Q: Now that the eviction is resuming, I need to deal with my tenant who is more than six months late. I kept paying the mortgage, but it wasn’t easy. I need cash flow from a paying tenant before I get into foreclosure. Should I know something? -Peter
A: A recent Supreme Court ruling on the CDC’s eviction moratorium has removed the federal checkpoint to evict tenants who did not pay their rent.
While most tenants who stopped paying did so for good reasons, the moratorium prohibited evictions, non-payment of rent, or lease compliance.
The tenants still had to maintain and pay for the house. When they stopped paying the landlord, the missed payments started to accumulate and their debt to the landlord increased.
Many tenants who have relied on this protection face insurmountable debt due to unpaid rent.
Even after the CDC moratorium was lifted, restrictions are still in place in some states and many municipalities. Before doing anything, you need to make sure that you do not reside in one of these jurisdictions.
If you have the green light where you live, you need to follow traditional steps, such as posting a notice and filing a lawsuit.
You will also need to decide whether to take the simpler route – just restoring ownership or the longer route – to seek cash compensation for late rent.
Consider the financial situation of your tenant when making this decision.
While many people really couldn’t afford to pay their rent due to the COVID-19 crisis, some took advantage of their position by not paying the rent they could afford.
Other tenants recently found stable jobs as the economy reopened.
If your tenant has a steady job or valuables, it may be worth getting a monetary statement and trying to raise money.
Warning: Many homeowners have historically felt comfortable filing eviction suits, but the current environment is fraught with pitfalls and hurdles. It would be wise to consult an experienced lawyer if you are unsure of what to do.
Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and is certified by the Florida Bar Association as an expert in real estate law. He handles real estate, litigation and contract law from his office in Sunrise, Florida. He is Chairman of the Real Estate Section of the Broward County Bar Association and co-host of the weekly radio show Legal News and Review. He frequently consults on general issues and trends in Florida real estate with various companies across the country. Send him questions online at www.sunsentinel.com/askpro or follow him on Twitter @GarySingerLaw.