• Dominique Higgins

BREAKING– Nationwide Eviction Moratorium Extended

In an unprecedented move, the CDC is issuing an order to halt all residential evictions due to non-payment of rent through the end of this year. The order is set to go into effect this Friday, September 4, 2020, after which landlords and rental property owners will be unable to evict tenants and other occupants due to non-payment of rent.

Fortunately, tenants are still obligated to pay their rent, along with any applicable fees, penalties, and interest, on a timely basis. Additionally, the order still enables evictions to take place due to a tenant’s failure to comply with other terms of their lease contract.

Inclusion into the moratorium, however, is not automatic, and only certain tenants are eligible. Tenants must provide landlords a signed declaration (the CDC will be posting a template on their website upon publishing of the order) that states that:

  • They “used best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing”;

  • They meet the income requirements because

  • Their projected 2020 income will be less than $99,000 (or less than $198,000 if filing jointly)

  • They were not required to report income in 2019;

  • They received an Economic Impact Payment (stimulus check) pursuant to Section 2201 of the CARES Act

  • They cannot pay rent due to loss of job or substantial income;

  • They are doing their best to make partial payments in a timely and agreed upon manner

  • They face homelessness or would be forced to live in denser living conditions should they be evicted from the property.

It is still unclear, whether this order will work retroactively for the landlords that have filed for eviction proceedings on August 25, following the lapse in the prior federal eviction moratorium. So please, check with your attorney on what the potential ramifications may be. The order also does not apply is states and local jurisdictions with equivalent or more restrictive eviction moratoriums, so it is advised to check what rules apply for your specific property.

Lastly, as a landlord, there are still steps that you can take to protect your interest. First make all attempts to create a unique payment plan with your tenants that still enables you to meet your financial obligations. In the even that your tenant or tenants happen to not be paying rent, and have not tried to work with you to come up with a plan, examine your leasing contract, including all rules of conduct, and hold tenants accountable to these to the full letter of the law. Above all else, make sure to document and put everything in writing.

Read the full order here.

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