Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida

Q: I have been living at my current house rental since October of 2015 with a lease. The lease was up at the end of March.

I was informed the owner was putting the house on the market and my lease would then be month to month. I paid April rent, on time. I just got a certified letter from the real estate agent that the house is sold and I have to be out by May 7. The state of FL is currently under a shelter in place until the end of April due to COVID-19. I am physically disabled and have co morbidities which would make me highly susceptible to COVID-19. Can they legally evict me like that in the middle of a national pandemic?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL

A: Under Florida Law if you are month to month you have to given not less than 15 day notice prior to the end of the rental period that tenancy is terminated. So if you received proper notice the tenancy is terminated as of the end of April, 2020 assuming you have a month to month that starts on the first of the month.

The governor has but a ban on evictions for non payment of rent, but your situation is not for non payment of rent. So technically you can still be evicted if you do not vacate on a timely basis. The only other factor is that there is a current ban on the ability of the clerk's to enter a default if you are served and do no answer and no writs of possession can be issued while the courts are running under rules implemented due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile if the closing goes thru the new owner will want possession of the property. You will have to communicate with your landlord and the new owner as to how much they can compromise due to the current situation but the bottom line is you will need to move and should use your efforts to locate a new place to live as soon as feasible.

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