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Hardship Stay of Eviction in Florida: What Landlords Need to Know

Hardship Stay of Eviction in Florida: What Landlords Need to Know

Nearly 50% of American households are currently cost-burdened, thanks to rent increases that far outstrip their income growth. Some of these people pay as much as 50% of their household income toward rent every month.

The shortage of affordable housing does little to alleviate this situation, leaving many households facing eviction in the event of an unexpected financial setback.

A hardship stay of eviction is designed to help these tenants get the breather they need when disaster strikes.

What Is a Hardship Stay of Eviction?

A hardship stay of eviction is a legal directive ordered by a judge that temporarily suspends the eviction process. It is a temporary solution and allows tenants to remain on the property until they can:

  • Find alternative living arrangements
  • Secure assistance for paying past due rental
  • Overcome their financial difficulties

Judges do not automatically grant a stay of eviction. The tenant must prove they are experiencing legitimate financial hardship that prevents them from paying rent.

Tenants may submit a request for an eviction hardship extension after receiving an eviction notice. This involves three steps:

  • Inquiring about the possibility of a stay
  • Submitting a motion to stay or delay the eviction with the court
  • Providing the necessary documents to prove hardship

Reasonable explanations for non-payment of rent include job loss, medical expenses, or reduced income due to circumstances that have impacted the tenant's ability to meet their obligations. The tenant must prove that they've made good faith efforts to meet their financial commitments by:

  • Actively searching for employment
  • Seeking financial assistance
  • Negotiating a repayment plan with their landlord

Eviction hardship extensions are time-sensitive, so tenants must act promptly to rectify their situation. The judge will review the evidence and either deny or grant the stay of eviction.

They may sometimes request that the tenant present their case during a court hearing.

Benefits for Tenants

A hardship stay of eviction helps tenants avoid immediate eviction. It grants them extra time to catch up on rent payments and keep their housing.

Allowing the tenant time to rectify their late rent helps them avoid having an eviction on their record.

Landlord's Responsibilities After a Hardship Stay of Eviction

A landlord cannot take any further action against a tenant during a hardship stay of eviction. It's best to work with your tenant to come up with a solution.

You can help them contact one of Okaloosa County's assistance programs. In some cases, landlords may also be able to request assistance with lost income due to non-payment of rent.

During a hardship stay of eviction, the tenant is still liable for the rent accrued while they remain in the house. Tenants cannot apply for a hardship stay of eviction if they are being evicted for reasons other than non-payment of rent, e.g., damaging the rental property.

Navigating the Complexities of Being a Florida Landlord

The best way to avoid complex problems like a hardship stay of eviction is by hiring a property manager from the start of your investment property journey. These experts can help you find good tenants and guide you through all the ins and outs of managing a rental property.

All American Realty and Investment Group has assisted many clients with renting and managing their investment homes. We specialize in serving military landlords and tenants, but we can help you manage your Fort Walton Beach properties, too.

Find out how we can help you with customized property management services today.