NONRENEWALS UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER 20-94 AND THE STIMULUS ACT
There are state and federal moratoriums currently in effect on nonpayment of rent eviction cases.
Florida’s current eviction moratorium is in effect through August 1, 2020. The federal moratorium runs through July 25, 2020 but only applies to “covered” properties, and would also require a 30-day notice to be given for any vacating notice (including a demand to pay rent or vacate).
A nonpayment of rent notice on a “covered” property cannot be given until after August 1, 2020. The list of “covered” properties includes a federally backed mortgage interest on the property (such as Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac), an FHA insured loan or a Section 8 recipient as the tenant, among other notable categories tied to the federal government. Further extensions of either or both evictions moratoriums are certainly possible.
THE DANGER ZONE: Many landlords will consider circumventing the moratoriums by non-renewing the existing tenancy, if the operative lease is soon to expire or has expired. However, if the property is considered “covered” under federal law, the non-renewal notice will still have to provide at least 30 days’ written notice and coincide with the end of some payment period, in addition to any notice requirements of the existing or expired lease.
Moreover, if the non-renewal notice is primarily motivated by the resident’s nonpayment of rent, we believe most judges are going to deny the eviction request if the nonpayment of rent eviction moratorium is still in effect, whether it be the state or federal law moratorium.
If the non-renewal notice was delivered prior to the nonpayment of rent eviction moratoriums going into effect (March 27, 2020 regarding the federal law moratorium and April 2, 2020 regarding the state law moratorium), then there is a better chance a judge will view the notice as not being an attempt to circumvent the nonpayment of rent moratoriums, but if that notice in question was given to replace a 3-day notice, the landlord could still have problems having the eviction granted.
A non-renewal notice issued after the applicable moratoriums went into effect will likely face greater judicial scrutiny, but if the notice was legitimately motivated by reasons not connected to rent payment, the landlord should be able to enforce that notice, subject to whatever other delays may be affecting all eviction cases, such as some courts not accepting cases for filing and possible delays on writ of possession issuance and execution.