Up to 40 million Americans could lose their homes during the COVID19 pandemic.
If you can’t afford your rent and are facing eviction, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has made it illegal for landlords across the U.S. to evict tenants who can’t afford to pay their rent.
The moratorium seeks to prevent the further spread of COVID19 and lasts through December 31, 2020.
It applies only when tenants present their landlords with a signed declaration. To sign the declaration, a tenant must be able to meet five essential criteria:
- Expect to have income less than $99,000 in 2020, or have received a stimulus check, or not have been required to report income to the IRS in 2019;
- Be unable to pay full rent due to an income loss or “extraordinary” medical bills;
- Have used best efforts to obtain governmental rent assistance;
- Be likely to become homeless or forced to “live in close quarters” in another residence if evicted; and
- Promise to “make timely partial payments that are as close to the full payment as the individual’s circumstances may permit.”
Click here for the CDC form.
If you are facing an eviction here is what to do
- Complete this CDC form and present it to your landlord.
- Once the landlord receives the form they cannot evict you. However, landlords are allowed to tack on late fees.
- Tenants who sign the form and deliver it to landlords don’t need to provide any other documentation.
If you are facing an eviction court date here is what to do
- Tenants that have a court date for eviction, should make sure to show up and present the CDC form to the court in order to halt the eviction. Tenants should be prepared to provide reasonable proof that they have tried to use all of the assistance laid out in the CDC’s order.
- Whether it's by telephone, over video, or in-person — show up at the hearing. When tenants don't show up, they will automatically get a default judgment against the
There is one major caveat to the CDC order – Renters are still required to pay their missed rent in full when the order lifts on December 31, 2020.
Check your state’s policy on eviction during COVID19, they may have its own moratorium on evictions.
Tenants can also find low-cost or free legal help with an eviction in your state at Lawhelp.org.