• Micahel N. Bress, Esq.

CDC EVICTION MORATORIUM IN FLORIDA, MAY 2021 UPDATE.

Updated: Jun 1



March 2021, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), extended the moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent until at least June 30, 2021 (“CDC Order” or "CDC Moratorium").


Tenants who are at risk of being evicted for non-payment of rent, must complete a CDC Declaration form (the “CDC Declaration” or the “Declaration”) which, under penalty of perjury, requires the tenant to attest that they qualify for protection under the CDC Order.


Violating the CDC order could subject either the landlord or the tenant to fines and-or criminal penalties. Additionally, a misstatement or mistake regarding the CDC Declaration, or failure to follow the form’s specific instructions, could be detrimental to either party’s interests. It could, for example, lead to your case being dismissed.


In order for a tenant to qualify for protection under the CDC Order, the tenant must first be able to check at least one box in both Column A and Column B of the CDC Declaration.


COLUMN A

[] I received a stimulus check (Economic Impact Payment) in 2020 or 2021.

[] I was not required to report any income to the IRS in 2020.

[] In 2020 or 2021, I earned (or expect to earn) less than $99,000 as an individual or less than $198,000 as a joint filer.


COLUMN B

I cannot pay my full rent or make a full housing payment because:

[] My household income has gone down substantially.

[] I have been laid off from work.

[] My work hours or wages have been cut.

I have extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses.


IF you cannot check at least one box in both columns, then you do not qualify for protection under the CDC Order.


If you do qualify, the CDC Declaration requires you to then declare, under penalty of perjury, that the following statements are true:


[] My income level qualifies for the reasons explained above

[] I have done my best to make timely partial payments that are as close as possible to the full payment and to get government assistance in making my rent or housing payments.

[] If I were evicted, I have no other available housing options, so I would:

-Probably become homeless, or

-Have to move to a homeless shelter, or

-Have to move in with others who live in close quarters.

[] I understand that after I sign:

-Unless I come to an agreement with my landlord, I am still responsible for rent, back rent, and any fees, penalties or interest under my lease.

-I must still follow the conditions of my lease.

-Unless I come to an agreement with my landlord, if I fail to make my required payments, I could be evicted when this temporary halt of evictions ends.

-I can still be evicted for reasons other than not paying rent or not making a housing payment.


If you are able to attest that the foregoing questions are true, you then have to sign and date the CDC Declaration. Lastly, you must give the signed CDC Declaration to your landlord (the company or individual that you rent from).


Whether a landlord or a tenant, please read the Declaration carefully, understand what is required of you, and make sure that you continue to comply with the Declaration’s requirements.


To protect your interests, other steps may be required of you. For example, regardless of whether a tenant signed the CDC Declaration or not, a landlord is not prohibited from filing an eviction action. And the landlord also has the right to object to the sufficiency of the tenant’s Declaration. Such objections are usually on factual grounds. If the objection leads to an evidentiary hearing, your arguments, all things given, should coincide with the standard detailed in the Declaration, and be clear and reasonable arguments that you should prevail.


Additionally, you may also be contacted by an agency and-or a court, if an action has been filed, regarding your application for rental assistance. To preserve your interests, please follow any of their instructions carefully.


Here is a link to the latest version of the CDC Declaration (as of May 15, 2021): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/EvictionDeclare_d508.pdf.


In conclusion, these are difficult and confusing times for landlords and tenants alike. The status and future of evictions has been in a state of uncertainty for well over a year. If you have questions or require legal assistance, you can contact the Bress Law Firm, PLLC. Our information is below. If you cannot afford an attorney, you can seek the assistance of a local legal aid agency, to see if you qualify for assistance. Either way, an attorney will help you protect your rights and defend your interests in these confusing times.


CURRENT AS OF MAY 15, 2021.


© Bress Law Firm, PLLC.


SEE BELOW FOR RELEVANT LINKS AND REFERENCES.


CONTACT INFORMATION

The BRESS LAW FIRM, PLLC. is located in Aventura, Florida, but serves clients throughout Miami-Dade County. Our areas of practice are Residential and Commercial LANDLORD AND TENANT LAW; WILLS, TRUSTS, & ESTATES; and CONTRACT LAW.

If you have any legal questions or want to schedule a consultation, you can contact the Bress Law Firm at (954)336-8049, Michael@BressLaw.Com, or you can visit our website at BressLaw.Com.


RELEVANT LINKS AND REFERENCES

SEE CDC ORDER entitled Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19, 85 Fed. Reg. 55,292 (Sept. 4, 2020).


LATEST CDC ORDER: CDC-Eviction-Moratorium-03292021.pdf.


CDC DECLARATION FORM: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/EvictionDeclare_d508.pdf.


THE NON-BINDING MEMO MEMO HHS/CDC Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of Covid-19 FAQ https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/eviction-moratoria-order-faqs.pdf


LOCAL RENTAL ASSISTANCE INFORMATION: https://www.floridahousing.org.


LEGAL AID IN YOUR AREA, LOCATOR https://www.lsc.gov/what-legal-aid/find-legal-aid.


DISCLAIMER

The information you obtain at BressLaw.Com or in this article is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. You are welcome to contact us about a legal matter via. Phone, Letter, or Electronic Mail. Contacting Bress Law Firm, PLLC. does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established. Bress Law Firm, PLLC., however, treats all client information as if confidential.


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