Florida Article

With Eviction Freeze Extension, Florida Landlords Wonder How They’ll Recover Lost Rent

With Eviction Freeze Extension, Florida Landlords Wonder How They’ll Recover Lost Rent

Emily Mahoney and Christopher O’Donnell report on the difficult situation Florida’s eviction moratorium has put some property owners in.

“One thing we’ve been saying the entire time is that while these moratoriums are well-intended they’re not the cure for the crisis,” said Amanda Gill, the association’s government affairs director. “They don’t address the underlying symptoms that Florida residents don’t have the financial resources to pay for their basic needs.”

The group would also support more mortgage payment forbearance or grace periods for landlords since revenue from rent is down.

The CARES Act provided forbearance plans for some property owners to delay mortgage payments, but only for those whose loans are federally backed. That leaves a sizable portion of housing stock with little protection from foreclosures if their owners can’t afford mortgage payments.

“We have a broken system right now,” Gill said.

Because large, multifamily apartment buildings are considered commercial real estate rather than residential, there are fewer forbearance options for them. Those that are available through the CARES Act have stricter repayment guidelines. According to a May report, only 4.3 percent of these types of borrowers have taken advantage of the forbearance plans offered by Freddie Mac, a federally chartered but privately run financial institution.

“For single-family properties there’s all these forbearance programs, they’re handing them out like candy,” said Matt Weidner, a St. Petersburg-based real estate lawyer. “Multifamily gets nothing.”

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