As most Florida landlords are aware by now, the eviction moratorium has long since expired. However, an immediate flood of evictions in the Sarasota and Tampa regions did not occur as expected. After the eviction moratorium’s expiration, evictions in the area only slightly increased in August and September, then fell in October.
Many landlords are holding off on eviction as they wait for funds through the federal government’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (“ERAP”). Unfortunately, landlords that have attempted to take advantage the ERAP funds are facing delays and complications. The ERAP application process is lengthy and time-consuming, and once complete, landlords often find themselves waiting a significant time for disbursement of the funds.
The current ERAP status
As part of the ERAP program, the U.S. Department of Treasury allocated almost $25 billion to local and state governments in September, but recent statistics show that only 42% of those funds have been distributed so far. If fund distribution continues at this slow pace, landlords financial difficulties will likely only increase.
Times have been tough for landlords over the past year, with the eviction moratorium being extended several times to protect tenants, while landlords waited for government assistance. Although most landlords do not wish to see their tenants thrown out of their homes for unpaid rent, without any assistance, mortgage payments cannot be made on their rental properties. This could lead to unfortunate outcomes, such as property foreclosures or bankruptcy filings.
Although evictions in the area decreased in October, eviction filings increased, signaling that there could be many landlords that simply cannot wait for the ERAP funds any longer. Landlords who are having difficulty collecting back rent and waiting for ERAP funds could benefit from speaking with a qualified attorney.