We've received a flood of emails from tenants being threatened with eviction after July 1, the deadline for the Florida moratorium, due to non-payment of rent through the pandemic. We created this post with answers on FAQ and what you can do.

Remember there is no substitute for organizing with your neighbors and fighting together for our rights. Contact us at pbtenantsunion@gmail.com or (414) 909-9186 to join the tenant movement.

1) If you haven't yet, begin filing for rent relief through the Palm Beach County Department of Community Services. You could be eligible for up to $7,000 in rent and utility relief. Link here: www.pbcgov.com/OSCARSS. Phone number here: (561) 355-4700. 

 

Fair warning: the process would be cumbersome for anyone but especially is for the poor who need it most. It requires tons of paperwork, and will be tied up in the mountain of filings + minimal staff to administer.

 

2) Call or email the Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles T. Canady to demand he extend the eviction moratorium deadline NOW. (850) 410-8092 fsc@flcourts.org

Sign this petition: Extend Florida's Eviction Moratorium NOW!

Justice Canady makes the decision, not Governor Desantis. Ask Canady if he wants to be responsible for millions of the poorest families being thrown out in the street in the middle of a deadly pandemic for no fault of their own? Ask him if he wants to overwhelm local service agencies, to cause a historic homeless crisis, and further spread Covid-19? Demand that he extend the eviction moratorium indefinitely and do it NOW!

3) “What if my landlord received mortgage relief?”

There is NO WAY to track if your landlord has received mortgage forbearance or any related assistance to help with non-payment of rent from any level of government. PPP loans have nothing to do with evictions. In any case, there is nothing preventing the majority of landlords from filing an eviction for nonpayment of rent, even if they have received any form of Covid-19 related assistance.

4) "What if I've paid partial rent to the landlord?"

If you're late on your rent, or haven't paid it in full, your landlord can still file to evict you under Florida law. We recommend to not pay at all, and hold onto your rent (don't just spend it if you can help it). If you decide to fight your eviction in court, you will first need to deposit the amount owed in the court registry.

5) Under the CARES Act, several forms of rental units are still covered by a federal eviction moratorium through August 31, including any housing that has received any sort of HUD assistance, LIHTC, FHA-insured mortgage, etc.

This map shows if you live in an FHA loan property: https://trla.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html…

Contact us (info at the top) to see if your property falls under any of these categories and any related details.

 

6) Free legal assistance to contact:

Florida Rural Legal Services (561) 820-8902

Legal Aid Society (561) 655-8944

7) "What if my landlord tells me I have to go?"

Your landlord telling you to go is NOT an eviction. There is a process for eviction that the landlord must go through. It often lasts a month or longer. Contact us if you want to know this process, and what it involves.

 

What an eviction is NOT: your landlord putting a vacate notice on your door, cutting off your utilities, putting locks on your door, or forcing you out through any form of threats or intimidation or force. That's illegal, and if you feel threatened by your landlord, contact us.

8 ) “What if I received an eviction notice already?”

Under the moratorium, it was still legal for landlords to file for evictions and judges to hear them, but they simply couldn't enforce them (re: issue a writ of possession to the sheriff). Quite a few landlords have already started this process of filing for evictions, which will become enforceable once the moratorium is lifted on July 1. Contact us if you're at imminent risk of eviction.

9 Emergency shelters and housing

Lewis Center (561) 904-7900

Adopt-A-Family (561) 253-1361

Community Partners 561-841-3500

10 ) if you’re not facing an eviction and are able to, please donate to the Tenant Union. We need all the support we can get for helping tenants in this crisis.

Venmo: @pbctu
Cash-App: $PBCTU
https://www.patreon.com/pbtenantsrising

11) Above all, organize with your neighbors immediately. It is your right. Talk to them. Hold meetings (safely). See if they're in the same boat. Prepare and strategize. You’re not alone. There are 28 million families in this nation at imminent risk of eviction. Many are the poorest in this country, and disproportionately black and brown. They’re also at much higher risk of Covid-19. If we organize a mass resistance, they can’t move us. There is no housing shortage. Don’t buy the lies of scarcity.. There are millions of empty vacant office units, homes, rentals, and more. We could house everyone today if we lived in a just system. Tenants unite and fight! Housing is a basic human right!

Covid-19 FAQ for Tenants

©2017 by Palm Beach Tenants Union.