By Gary M. Singer
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Question: I rent an apartment and have been out of work due to the pandemic. I am behind two months on the rent. The world is starting to open up, and I am worried every day about being sued for eviction. What should I do? – Lisa
Answer: In the upcoming weeks, the temporary ban on evictions (in Florida) will lift, and landlords who need to make their mortgage payments will flood in for assistance.
While I expect a bit of backlog, the courts have been preparing for this and should get caught up quickly.
Now is the time for you to speak with your landlord and try to work things out. If your financial picture is improving, try to see if you can start paying some rent, even if you are not able to get caught up.
Your landlord will be less likely to evict you if they see you are trying, and you will not owe as much in back rent when things return to normal.
If you are not able to do this, or if your landlord is not willing, you should start looking for a new place to live now. Some landlords have been sitting on empty apartments due to coronavirus and would be happy to get a tenant.
It also will be much harder to rent a new home after an eviction lawsuit has been filed against you.
Even if you do move out, you are still on the hook for the back rent.
However, most landlords are less likely to sue you just for the back rent if you voluntarily move out and leave the property in decent condition.
About the writer: Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and board-certified as an expert in real estate law by the Florida Bar. He practices real estate, business litigation and contract law from his office in Sunrise, Fla. He is the chairman of the Real Estate Section of the Broward County Bar Association and is a co-host of the weekly radio show Legal News and Review. He frequently consults on general real estate matters and trends in Florida with various companies across the nation.
© 2020 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Disclaimer: This is not my Article. Yet I am sharing in in my website because it is of public interest and this info should get to as many people as possible.