Can South Florida Landlords Recover the Rent lost during the Pandemic?

The CDC Declaration allows some South Florida Tenants to remain in the property until June  30, 2021 without paying rent.    While this creates financial problems for Landlords, Tenants are still responsible to pay. Accordingly, this leads to the bigger question: Can Landlords recover rent lost during the Pandemic?  If you are owed rent as a result of the Pandemic, contact the Law Office of Brian P. Kowal, PA at (954) 990-7552.

How Can South Florida Landlords recover rent lost during the Pandemic?

The media has focused more on the negative effects of the pandemic on Tenants than Landlords.  Many are unable to pay their mortgage as they are not receiving any rent.  As a result, some have been forced to sell their home or have been served with Foreclosure papers.  While there is no guarantee that they will collect, there are ways that they can protect themselves.

1.  Sue for Unpaid Rent Lost During the Pandemic

Most Evictions are filed to remove Tenants.  Many Landlords believe that a Court automatically orders a Tenant to pay.  This is not true. A Court can order a Clerk to execute a Writ a possession that allows a Landlord to regain possession.  However, with a count for unpaid rent, removal will be the only relief they can provide.  On the other hand, if a Landlord includes a Count for unpaid rent known as damages, they can obtain a Judgment against the Tenant.  This allows them to try and collect on the judgment.  Unfortunately, it does not guarantee that the Landlord will be able to collect.

2.  Work out a payment plan

If the Landlord files an Eviction against the Tenant, they should also try to settle the past due amount.  In addition, if they are able to resolve it, they can have the Court approve it.  If the Tenant fails to pay, the Landlord can receive a Judgment.  As a result, they can attempt to collect.

Does a Judgment mean that the Tenant has to pay?

Unfortunately it does not.  Just because an Eviction is entered, it does not mean that you will receive the past rent.  Unless the Tenant voluntarily pays, you will have to proceed with the Collection process.  This includes garnishing a their wages or freezing their bank account.  While it can be difficult to recover, there is a better chance you will be successful if a Tenant is employed.

The CDC declaration may limit a Landlord’s right to Evict but it does not restrict their ability to collect.  If you are a South Florida Landlord trying to recover rent lost during the Pandemic, contact the Law Office of Brian P. Kowal, PA  at (954) 990-7552.