August rent is due in days. When tenants can’t pay, landlords like Ronaldo Noureldin struggle. “Landlords are suffering,” Noureldin said. Noureldin said he manages nearly 40 properties across Jacksonville. Noureldin said landlords feel forgotten and something needs to be done to help them out.
Action News Jax told you on April 2 when Florida put a freeze on evictions and foreclosures to help renters during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the fourth time, Florida’s governor extended the eviction moratorium. This time until at least Sep. 1. “It’s disappointing,’ Noureldin said. “At least give us a heads up.”
He said the executive order is creating hardships for small mom-and-pop landlords. “You’ve got these tenants laughing at your face saying ‘You cannot touch us. Court is closed. The governor says no evictions.’ It’s frustrating.” Noureldin said it’s also causing tensions between landlords and tenants. “It is going to create a war between landlord and tenants,” Noureldin said. “It could turn to violence.” He said some tenants can’t pay and others simply refuse. “There are a lot of tenants out there taking big advantage of the situation,” Noureldin said. He said four tenants haven’t paid since May. Noureldin said tenants owe him more than $14,000.
He’s not optimistic he’ll see a penny.
The executive order now says tenants are required to repay their missed rent when they are “no longer adversely affected by the COVID-19 emergency.”
Action News Jax asked the governor’s office how a landlord can prove a tenant is no longer impacted by COVID-19. Cody McCloud, press secretary for the governor, said “The EO does not change the judicial role in eviction proceedings. Every situation is different, therefore judges should work with both landlords and tenants on an individual case basis to determine if a tenant’s inability to pay rent is a result of COVID-19.”