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What is the CDC Eviction Moratorium?

CLICK HERE if you need to fill-out and print a Declaration Form related to the CDC Eviction Moratorium.  Other languages can be found via this link. [Se pueden encontrar otros idiomas a través de este enlace.]

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has issued an Order temporarily stopping some evictions to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

What does the Order do?

Under the Order, a landlord may not take any action to evict certain tenants from their home or apartment during the period of the order, which is scheduled to end July 31, 2021. The Order does not relieve tenants of the obligation to pay rent, and tenants still must comply with the terms of their lease, federal, state and local laws.

As a tenant, am I protected automatically?

No! This law is not applied automatically. A tenant who wants the protection of the law must show that they qualify and ask for the protection. The tenant does this by completing a Declaration Form (attached) and giving it to their landlord or the owner of the property. Every adult listed on the lease must complete a Declaration Form and give a copy of the form to the landlord to be protected.

Who qualifies for this protection?

To qualify, a tenant must be able to say that all five of the following are true:

    1. The tenant has used their best efforts to get all available government assistance for rent or housing;
    2. AND The tenant either:
      • Received a CARES Act stimulus check; OR
      • Was not required to report any income in 2019 to the IRS; OR
      • Expects to earn no more than $99,000 in the calendar year 2020 (or no more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax return).
    3. AND The tenant cannot pay their full rent because of a significant (“substantial”) loss of household income, work hours or wages, a lay-off, or extraordinary out-of-pocket expenses;
    4. AND The tenant is using their best efforts to make timely partial payments as close to full payment as their circumstances permit;
    5. AND an eviction would be likely to make the tenant homeless or force them to move into close quarters with other people (e.g. doubling up with friends or family or living in a shelter.

If a tenant meets all five requirements, what do they need to do?

A tenant who meets the requirements and wants the protection of the law must complete a Declaration Form.  Click on THIS LINK to get yours started!

Every adult listed on the lease must complete a Declaration Form and give a copy of the form to the landlord to be protected. Tenants should keep a photocopy of the completed Declaration Form for their own records.

Tenants may need to prove that they gave a copy of the Form to their landlord, so the tenant may want to ask the landlord to initial the tenant’s copy of the form, or give the Form to the landlord with a witness present.

When does this protection end?

The moratorium currently is scheduled to end on July 31, 2021.

Does the law prevent all evictions?

The law only protects tenants from evictions for nonpayment of rent or other similar “housing payments.” Tenants still can be evicted for other reasons. The moratorium does not prevent evictions based on other grounds, like: criminal activity; threatening the health or safety of other residents; damage to property; violating local health or safety laws; or violating any lease provision, other than the timely payment of rent or similar housing-related payment (including non-payment or late payment of fees, penalties, or interest).

Do tenants still owe rent for the period of the moratorium?

Yes, rent will continue to accrue during the period, even though an eviction cannot be filed. This means that at the end of the moratorium, now scheduled for July 31, 2021, the landlord can request all of the unpaid rent, along with late fees, penalties, and other charges for the failure to make payment.

What if a landlord has already filed an eviction action?

A tenant can request the protection of the Order by giving the landlord a Declaration Form, even if the landlord has already filed an eviction case for nonpayment of rent. After giving the landlord a copy of the Declaration Form, the tenant can notify the Court by filing a photocopy of the form with the court, in their case, or by bringing it to their court hearing, with proof they gave the form to the landlord.

Tenants with pending eviction cases who believe they qualify for the protection of the moratorium can contact the Legal Aid Society for information and advice.

What is the penalty for a landlord who violates this law?

Landlords who violate the law may be prosecuted, and, if convicted, may be fined up to $250,000 and jailed for up to a year.

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