CDC Eviction Moratorium - Tenant Resource Center - [TRC]



Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions To Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19

On September 1, 2020 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), located within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the issuance of an Order under Section 361 of the Public Health Service Act to temporarily halt residential evictions to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

The order is published here: www.federalregister.gov/d/2020-19654

Effective Dates of the Order: This Order is effective September 4, 2020 through December 31, 2020.

Applicability: Under this Order, a landlord, owner of a residential property, or other person with a legal right to pursue eviction or possessory action, shall not evict any covered person from any residential property in any jurisdiction to which this Order applies during the effective period of the Order.

This Order is a temporary eviction moratorium to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. This Order does not relieve any individual of any obligation to pay rent, make a housing payment, or comply with any other obligation that the individual may have under a tenancy, lease, or similar contract. Nothing in this Order precludes the charging or collecting of fees, penalties, or interest as a result of the failure to pay rent or other housing payment on a timely basis, under the terms of any applicable contract.

The order DOES NOT automatically protect a tenant. Tenants must take steps in order to be protected under the moratorium. The order does not cover all tenants. Please feel free to use this online app to see if you are qualified under the CDC requirements and to fill out the required declaration:

CDC Eviction Moratorium Declaration Online App

FAQ:
What do you have to do to be covered under the order?

  • To be protected by the moratorium, you must truthfully complete a declaration form
  • The tenant must give that declaration to the landlord (Keep a copy of the form and keep proof you gave it to your landlord as soon as you know you can’t pay rent).

How does the order protect tenants?
We believe that the following may be covered, if covered by the order, a landlord cannot:

  • Give a notice terminating tenancy due to non-payment of rent
  • Pursue an eviction due to non-compliance with a negotiated dismissal (stipulation) related to a payment plan
  • Deliver or otherwise cause an already issued writ to be executed by the sheriff

Who/what circumstances do these protections NOT apply to:

  • Homeowners that can’t pay their mortgages;
  • People being evicted for criminal activity on the premises;
  • People threatening the health or safety of other residents ;
  • People damaging property or those that pose an immediate/significant risk of damage to property.
  • People violating building code, health ordinances, or regulations about health and safety;
  • People violating other contract obligations other than nonpayment of rent, late fees, penalties or interest.

What if my landlord doesn’t believe me or still files an eviction?
Court clerks have been directed to still continue to accept eviction filings and let the court determine whether the eviction is valid under this order. Please note that this order does not preclude all evictions. If you receive a hearing date you must show up even if you provided your landlord with a signed declaration and are covered by the CDC order. You should bring your copy of the signed declaration with you to your court appearance.

If an eviction action is filed, it is the responsibility of the tenant to demonstrate that they qualify for a stay under this order. To do so, the tenant will have to file a declaration with the landlord. The order states that the declaration must be “executed” or be a “similar declaration under penalty of perjury”. This declaration should be filed with the landlord to prevent an eviction action from being filed. However, it is possible that the landlord could file an eviction action and then the tenant completes this declaration. This would allow the tenant to argue that the eviction should be stayed. This would occur at court. The tenant must still attend their hearing even if they have signed and delivered the declaration to their landlord.

Though the order does not require the declaration to be filed with the court, if it is filed, clerks can add it to CCAP using the Affidavit (AF) court record event. The judge may want to see the tenant declaration document to confirm that the tenant is eligible for the eviction stay.

What must the declaration form say? (You don’t need to get it notarized)
When you sign the declaration form, you certify under penalty of perjury:

  • You have tried your best to get government help for rent or housing.
  • You have earned less than $99,000 ($198,000 joint filers) in 2020; OR You did not have to file taxes with the IRS in 2019; OR You got a CARES stimulus check.
  • You can’t pay because you lost income, had lay-offs, or had extraordinary medical expenses.
  • You are trying your best to make partial payments.
  • If you are evicted, you are likely to be homeless and have no other options (If you would use a homeless shelter or move into a place with others in close contact.)
  • You must still pay rent and any fees or interest under the lease agreement or contract.
  • At the end of the temporary order, after December 31, 2020, the landlord can require payment in full, and if you don’t pay, you can be evicted.
  • False or misleading statements can lead to criminal and civil actions, including fines, penalties, damages or imprisonment. (These are the consequences for perjury (lying)).

As indicated above, to be eligible for a stay of eviction under this order, each adult tenant, lessee, or resident on the lease “must provide an executed copy of the Declaration form (or a similar declaration under penalty of perjury) to their landlord, owner of the residential property where they live, or other person who has a right to have them evicted or removed from where they live.” The order contains an attachment, which is a declaration that tenants can complete to satisfy this requirement.

Do you like this page?
Help keep our services free for everyone! Can you donate a few dollars a month?

Tenant Resource Center