For over a month now, Florida landlords (along with rental property owners across the U.S.) have not been allowed to evict tenants for non-payment of rent due to the COVID-19 crisis. This, in turn, can make it difficult for real estate investors to pay any expenses that they have regarding their property(ies), such as a mortgage or utilities.
What can make things even worse, though, is if the tenant is causing damage to the property or not following other rules in the lease, and would otherwise be a prime candidate for an eviction.
Before the eviction moratorium in Florida took effect, removing a bad tenant typically ended with an order called a writ of possession. (Whether the tenant actually complied is another story).
This order allowed the landlord the right to take back the property after a 24-hour notice. Unfortunately, though, many counties in Florida are not issuing these writs – regardless of whether or not the case is related to the tenant’s financial hardship due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
What Can You Do?
So, how can you still move forward with attempts to remove a bad tenant?
In some cases, property owners are still giving tenants “official” looking notices, letting the tenants know that they have only a certain amount of time to pay their rent or to leave. But if the tenant doesn’t budge, landlords could be back to square one, as neither law enforcement nor the courts are currently removing tenants from properties.
Another option could be to offer the tenant money to move out. During these tough times, people are in need of funds, so while this option could cost you a little up-front, it may end up saving you a great deal in the long-term. A related alternative could be to return the full security deposit to the tenants – provided that they leave the premises – regardless of the amount of damage they have caused.
If you own residential rental property in Orlando and/or the surrounding Central Florida area, and you don’t want to spend countless hours managing tenants and maintaining your investments, hiring a property manager could be the solution. For more details on how an experienced Florida property management team can help, contact us.