Tenants seeking help contact Legal Aid
EVICTION DIVERSION PROGRAM LAUNCHES IN COLLIER COUNTY
Residential Tenants and Landlords have a new tool available to them. The “Eviction Diversion Program” is a path that helps both sides avoid the costs and delays imposed by eviction lawsuits. The Program launched on March 1, 2022, and aims to make the current stock of rental housing more stable.
The Eviction Diversion Program (called “EDP”) brings together the Tenant and the Landlord to discuss a way to settle a residential dispute without having to go before a Judge. The meeting of the Tenant and Landlord is hosted by a “Navigator” who is a neutral third party, not connected to the Landlord, the Tenant, or the Court.
In EDP, the Navigator contacts both sides to see if they want to participate. The program is voluntary and free of costs. If both parties agree to participate, the Navigator sets up an agreeable time for all to meet by way of a Zoom call. The meeting takes no more than thirty minutes and, if successful, yields an enforceable agreement between the Tenant and Landlord. Corporate landlords can appear without an attorney.
What would such an agreement look like? It can provide for a quicker payment of rent that may be owed. It could set up conditions for the tenancy to continue. It could set up a smooth transition for the rental unit to be made vacant. In short, the agreement can be tailored to the needs of the parties.
There are tremendous advantages of resolving disputes by EDP:
- The Tenant avoids an eviction judgment appearing on the record.
- The Landlord receives delinquent rent sooner rather than later.
- There is no need to bring witnesses to a Trial.
- Both sides avoid the time and cost of going to a Trial.
Although the EDP was initially designed for individuals who already have eviction cases pending in the court system, EDP expanded its scope to include those landlord-tenant disputes before such lawsuits are even filed. All that is required are willing participants who want to avoid an eviction.
To participate in EDP, a party should contact the Navigator by way of the link at www.colliercountyhousing.com/community-assistance-program.
EDP is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Treasury and administered by Collier County under the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund.
As part of the EDP, Collier County