What You Need to Know: CDC Eviction MoratoriumThe Centers for Disease Control (CDC), has issued an Order declaring a moratorium on some evictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Order:
- Applies only to evictions for non-payment of rent.
- Begins September 4th and lasts through December 31st.
- Does not waive the rent or late fees.
- Does not prevent evictions for other reasons.
- Requires a tenant to pay the balance of any amount due by December 31st.
- Applies to all tenants who meets certain qualifications and who deliver a Declaration (signed under penalty of perjury) to their landlord.
How do I know if I qualify?To qualify, all 5 of the following statements must be true:
- You have used your best efforts to apply for all available government assistance for rent or housing.
- You meet at least one of these criteria:
- You expect your income to be less than $99,000 in 2020, or
- You expect your income to be less than $198,000 if filing jointly, or
- You had zero income for tax purposes in 2019, or
- You received a stimulus check during the pandemic.
- You are unable to pay rent due to substantial income loss (e.g., reduction in hours or laid off) or extraordinary medical expenses.
- You are using your best efforts to make timely partial payments to your landlord when possible.
- You would become homeless if evicted (e.g., shelter, or having to move in with other friends or family members who live in close quarters because you have no other options).
How Do I Let My Landlord Know that I Qualify for the Moratorium?If you qualify for the CDC’s eviction protections, you must sign and deliver the CDC Declaration form to your landlord. Keep in mind:
- All tenants on the lease must sign the Declaration.
- You do not need to have the Declaration notarized.
- You should make and keep a copy of the signed Declaration so that you can prove delivery later.
- You should make and keep proof that you delivered the Declaration to your landlord. What does proof look like?
- If you mail it, get proof of mailing from the post office or send it by UPS/FedEx.
- If you fax or text it, keep your copy of fax confirmation, text, or other evidence it was faxed.
- If you deliver it in person, get your copy signed and dated by the landlord. In case your landlord refuses, bring a witness with you when you deliver it. Otherwise, write the date and time you delivered the Declaration on your copy.
- Write the date and time you delivered the Declaration to your landlord on your copy.
- If your landlord sues you, you should attach a copy of the Declaration form to your response to the eviction lawsuit.
I filled out the form, but I still have a court hearing scheduled. What should I do? You may need to go to court even if you have provided the landlord a declaration. Bring proof of form with you.
Do I still have to pay rent, even if I gave my landlord the Declaration? YES. Even though you cannot be evicted for non-payment of rent, you are still responsible for paying your rent. You must make an attempt to pay as much of the rent as possible each month, unless you cannot afford it or have another legal reason for not making your rent payments.
I am being evicted for a reason other than failure to pay rent. Am I protected by the CDC Order? NO. The CDC Order does not stop evictions that are based on breaching a condition in the lease (such as damage to the property) or criminal activity in the premises. If you are being evicted for reasons other than failure to pay rent, you should speak to a lawyer immediately.