TAMPA, Fla. -- As Governor Ron DeSantis’ order, which suspends all evictions in Florida during the pandemic, is set to expire June 2, legal experts say hundreds of Tampa Bay area renters could be kicked out of their homes in a matter of days.
Last month, Taking Action Reporter Jackie Callaway found that even after the suspension order went into effect April 2, landlords filed hundreds of evictions in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco courts.
Tom DiFiore, an attorney with Bay Area Legal Services, said the courts in those counties are processing the evictions up until the final step before a tenant can be removed their home. That final step is known as the writ of possession.
“A lot of these cases are potentially at that point where they've already moved quite a long and it is just a matter of going to the sheriff and getting a 48-hour notice posted on your front door,” said DiFiore.
For those facing evictions due to the financial fallout from the pandemic, Bay Area Legal Services recommends negotiating a payment plan or settlement with the landlord.
Tenants who have been evicted during this suspension period can contact Bay Area Legal Services at www.bals.org.