By Austin Carter

BROWARD (CBSMiami) — As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to reach unsettling records in Florida, the federal eviction moratorium which was created to keep folks in their homes during the pandemic has expired.

According to Broward County Clerk of Courts, 33 new evictions have been filed since the moratorium ended.

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There are also 2,260 pending evictions in Broward County.

In Miami-Dade County, there are 7,019 pending evictions.

For well over a year, residential evictions were halted as long as renters cooperated with their landlord and filed paperwork.

Captain Roy Liddicott with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office says the eviction process is emotional for those being evicted and for the deputies.

“We take it very seriously, we put somebody out of their house that’s not a fun thing to do for us, but it has to be done,” says Liddicott.

Millions of Americans nationwide could be impacted by the moratorium expiring.

“Last week the administration also made clear that given the spread of the Delta variant among those Americans most likely to face eviction and lacking vaccinations,” said Jen Psaky, White House Press Secretary. “The president would have strongly supported a decision by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to further extend its eviction moratorium to protect renters at this moment of heightened vulnerability.”

So what happens when a person is evicted in Broward County?

“We do it in two person teams and they go around the county,” explained Captain Liddicott to CBS4.

BSO’S Civil Division handles evictions and Captain Liddicott said they understand it’s a time of great anxiety and stress.

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The eviction process begins in the courts.  After a judge sign an eviction order, deputies post eviction notices at the home and tenants are given 24 hours to leave.

WATCH: BSO Explains How Eviction Process Works

 

After that, deputies check to make sure those being evicted have left and then post a final notice and the tenant can no longer be on the property.

If a former tenant does attempt to re-enter the property, they might be subject to criminal charges or arrest.

Throughout the pandemic some types of evictions that were non-COVID-19 related continued.

“We have some foreclosures that have been in the process 10, 12, 15 years – they’re coming to fruition now, they’re not covered by COVID-19 either,” said Captain Liddicott.

The only evictions that ceased were residential evictions for non-payment of rent due to COVID-19, provided renters filled out and submitted required paperwork to their landlord.

During the eviction process, BSO deputies and civil process servers provide people experiencing eviction with links and phone numbers to community assistance, like transitional housing, food assistance and job placement. Rental assistance may also be available through Broward County. The county received approximately $53 million in funding from the federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program. The funding helps residents who are struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We open a can of resources for these people,” said Captain Liddicott.

Click here to learn more about the program and eligibility requirements. You can also call 888-692-7203 for information.

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