Gov. DeSantis extends eviction protection -- but not for everyone

Florida governor’s order on evictions, foreclosures extended until Sept. 1; Order on local hearings also issued

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis extended until Sept. 1 an executive order to help prevent foreclosures and evictions amid job losses and financial problems caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The executive order, issued late Wednesday, makes clear that it is only supposed to apply to people who are “adversely affected” economically by the pandemic and that they will ultimately have to pay amounts owed on mortgages or in rent.

“Nothing in this executive order shall be construed as relieving an individual from his or her obligation to make mortgage payments or rent payments,” the order said. “All payments, including tolled payments, are due when an individual is no longer adversely affected by the COVID-19 emergency.”

An earlier version of the order had been slated to expire Saturday.

The latest order may provide some relief to landlords who say they’re unable to pay their own bills and are being taken advantage of by some tenants.

Ventura landlord Arik Lev said some have taken advantage of the situation.

“First of all, they never hide it. They were so happy. They told me in the beginning, ‘We’re still working.’ And then they didn’t pay and they sent even some kind of text message, which I have, [saying,] ‘Oh, the governor said we don’t have to pay,‘” said Lev.

Due to a lack of payments, Lev estimates he’s $20,000 in the hole.