COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
If you need assistance with on-campus housing, please contact UF Housing and Residence Education via website by phone at 352-392-2161.
However, a few things should be noted about failing to pay rent:
- Rent is often still owed and will continue to accumulate during the 45-day period, including late fees and other costs. The Governor’s Order specifically says that it does NOT relieve any tenant from paying rent.
- A landlord still has available remedies for failure to pay rent- e.g., sending your account to a collections agent and/or reporting the amount owed against your credit report.
- The landlord can still file an eviction case against you. Unless an extension is signed by the Governor, at the end of the 45-day period, the landlords will again be able to move forward with eviction. If you have not paid any rent during that time, and you have continued to live in the unit, then you will have to deposit the entire amount owed into the registry of the court within a very short time period in order to avoid an eviction judgment.
- Some local landlords are offering payment plans for qualifying students.
Not paying rent can have serious consequences on your credit reports and credit checks. Before you decide to stop paying rent, you should consult with one of your free attorneys at UF SLS.
If you do move out, you should make sure the entire unit is carefully cleaned and left in the same condition it was in when you moved in minus normal wear and tear. SLS recommends that you document the condition of the unit at the time you move out with photographs. Also, make sure to turn your key and notify the landlord in writing that you have moved out. Again, we urge you to contact SLS for guidance on this issue.
If you have a joint lease, then the landlord can look to any tenant for full payment of the monthly lease obligation. If this happens to you, contact your SLS attorneys for help.
For assistance with finding off-campus housing visit the UF Off Campus Life website and connect with OCL staff. OCL staff are here to assist students with finding off-campus housing and with your transition to living in Gainesville. Additional resources include:
- Housing Locator where you can search for apartments, post or find sublease and connect with roommates.
- Gator Guide to Off Campus Life which is OCL’s annual publication and has everything you need to know about finding off-campus housing and living in Gainesville.
- Off Campus Life also provides one on one appointments with students to help with their housing search and anything else they need to related to living off-campus.
- Off Campus Life also provides a monthly e-newsletter to help you stay informed and social media pages with tips and fun things to do in Gainesville. To subscribe to the OCL e-newslettter email OCL at OCLContacts@ufsa.ufl.edu to connect through social media follow us @UFOffCampusLife on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Before you sign any documents, let your free attorneys at SLS review it with you and answer your questions. We want to make sure you understand both your leasing rights and your leasing obligations.
Whether the landlord can continue to access your unit during the COVID-19 outbreak period for other reasons, e.g., to show the unit, or to do general cleaning, etc., is less clear. Again, contact SLS to discuss your situation.
Remember that while you are a qualifying UF student, you have free, confidential attorneys to help you with any legal issues you may encounter. If you find that you need help with other issues, the following sections below contain information regarding other available UF services and resources.
Additionally, because there are students and families who have a reduction in work hours or loss of jobs, students can submit a revision petition for consideration of having their income reevaluated. At this point we are encouraging these students to complete the 2019-20 Financial Aid Revision Petition and the 2020-2021 Revision Petition. CARES (Coronovirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act) grant applications can be accessed at the UF Federal Cares Act Website.
Also, the Aid-a-Gator Program may be able to assist students experiencing unanticipated expenses.
- UF Covid-19 Updates
- UF Off Campus Life
- UF Housing and Residence Education
- UF Student Legal Services
- UF International Center
- UF Virtual Student Union
- Alachua Clerk of Court Covid-19 Updates
- Alachua Dept of Health
- Florida Unemployment Assistance
- Gainesville Code Enforcement
- Health Care Forms (Contact SLS)
- IRS Stimulus Check
- UF Police Department
The information contained in this FAQ is NOT intended to constitute legal advice and is NOT a substitute for consulting an SLS attorney regarding one’s particular case or situation.
The information and opinions contained herein are those of UF Student Legal Services only and are not necessarily those of the University of Florida, the UF Board of Trustees, the Board of Governors for the State University System of Florida, or the State of Florida.
In attempting to provide general guidance about landlords, leases, and COVID-19, it cannot be emphasized enough that each situation is UNIQUE and we recommend that you speak with a Student Legal Services attorney about your specific situation. You can apply for services on our website to make an appointment.