Jose* and his wife faced financial difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic. His hours cleaning offices had been severely cut. Even with Section 8 Housing benefits, he and his wife struggled to pay rent. When they fell behind in payments, their landlord filed an eviction action. Jose worried about the real possibility that his family, including four children, would become homeless.
Jose turned to Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida (CCLA) for help. Unfortunately, by the time he contacted our office, an eviction judgment had already been entered against them. In Florida, the eviction process requires tenants to pay rent into the court’s registry during the pendency of the eviction case. The CCLA Attorney immediately initiated negotiations with Jose’s landlord to resolve the situation.
Within an hour of the sheriff arriving to change the locks, the CCLA Attorney reached a deal with the landlord’s attorney. This Agreement not only stopped the eviction but also led to the dismissal of the case.
Why it Matters
In Florida, failure to pay the rent due into the court’s registry during an eviction case can lead to losing the case by default. This means that an eviction judgment can be entered against a tenant quickly, without a hearing or an opportunity for the renter to tell their side of the story.
The settlement achieved through negotiation ensured that Jose’s Section 8 Voucher was no longer in jeopardy. He was grateful that his family was no longer threatened with homelessness. The CCLA Attorney’s timely intervention helped Jose and his family to stay in their home during a difficult time.
For more information about Coast to Coast Legal Aid Service of South Florida (CCLA) or to support our mission through a donation, please visit: www.coasttocoastlegalaid.org.
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*Names, images, and details have been changed to protect our client’s privacy