With Governor Ron DeSantis’ moratorium set to expire on September 1st, lawmakers in Orange County decided more needs to be done to protect their residents from being evicted from their homes during the tough times the COVID-19 pandemic has us facing. According to Click Orlando, the Orange County Board of Commissioners recently approved a plan to use $20 million in CARES Act money to “fund a new program aimed at helping those who are struggling financially as a result of the coronavirus pandemic avoid eviction.” The program, which is called the COVID-19 Eviction Diversion Program, will begin on August 25th and will help both renters and landlords.
The news source cited that Orange County is prepared to pay up to $4,000 to go toward a tenant’s rent if the landlord agrees to waive the remainder of the money that is owed to them. The landlord must also agree to not pursue eviction. Commissioner Mayra Uribe says that a “contractual agreement will be made between the landlord and tenant through December 31st and the landlord must be willing to sign a work-out agreement with the tenant” to ensure the landlord “will not initiate the tenant eviction process for 60 days after receiving payment from the county.”
Tenants who wish to take advantage of the program must be able to pay their rent going forward. Given both parties agree to the contract, payments will then be sent directly to the landlord.
Who qualifies for the COVID-19 Eviction Diversion Program in Orange County, FL?
To qualify for the program, a tenant must meet all of the criteria some of which includes:
- They must be an Orange County resident.
- Are in imminent danger of eviction.
- The lease must be in the applicant’s name.
- One or more members of the household “must have experienced a documented, involuntary loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic between March 13th and September 1st.
- Applicants must be behind on at least two months of rent.
- Applicants must have received an eviction notice from their landlord.
The source says the $20 million will be divided as follows:
- $11 million for very low-income households.
- $8 million for low-income households.
- $1 million for moderate-income households.
Families and seniors over the age of 65 will be given priority as applications are being processed.
If you have fallen behind on your monthly rent (i.e. for an apartment or a commercial space) or your mortgage and would like to learn more about what your legal rights are, the Orlando, FL real estate lawyers at Legal Counsel P.A.would be happy to discuss this with you. With all the chaos that is going on in the world, the last thing a renter or homeowner needs is to lose their property.
Legal Counsel P.A. has an office in Orlando which is located at:
189 S. Orange Avenue, Ste. 1800
Orlando, FL 32801
Email: [email protected]