The National Eviction Moratorium imposed by the Center for Disease Control in its September 4, 2020 Order expired as of July 31, 2021. That Order provided protection from eviction for the nonpayment of rent to residential tenants, if they complied with the Order’s requirements. On the evening of August 3, 2021, a new Order was issued by the CDC affecting residential evictions.
New CDC Order
The New Order is in effect until October 3, 2021 and applies to residential properties in counties that have a heightened level of community transmission of COVID-19 and the Delta variant. CDC data on transmission rates can be found on the CDC website at: https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view
In order to obtain protection from the New Order, tenants must complete a signed declaration swearing, under penalty of perjury, that they meet the requirements for protection. The requirements that tenants must meet in order to be protected by the new Order include:
- used best efforts to obtain all available governmental assistance for rent or housing;
- either (i) earned no more than $99,000 (or $198,000 filing jointly) in 2020 or expects no more than that in 2021, (ii) was not required to report income in 2020 to the IRS, or (iii) received a stimulus check;
- unable to pay full rent due to substantial loss of household income, lay-off, or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses;
- using best efforts to make timely partial rent payments as close to the full rent as possible;
- eviction would render them homeless or forced into close quarters such as a shelter; and
- resides in a U.S. county with substantial or high rates of community transmission of SARS-CoV-2.
The New Order itself provides definitions including substantial transmission levels, high transmission levels, extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses, and other important terms. It also states that the Order is subject to extension, modification, or rescission and implies that it might not be rescinded until there is a continuous sustained improvement in numbers for two weeks.
As before, the New Order still allows evictions based upon certain circumstances. Tenants are not protected from eviction if they:
- engage in criminal activity while on the premises;
- threaten the health and safety of other residents;
- damage property;
- violate building codes, health ordinances, etc.;
- violate other lease obligations other than timely rent or similar payment.
The New Order specifically states that number two does not apply to a COVID-19 diagnoses or suspicion.
Other moratoriums may also prevent the pursuit of evictions. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development, commonly known as HUD imposed a moratorium that applies to tenants who are living in properties that have a single-family mortgage insured by the FHA. That moratorium was extended through September 30, 2021 and is still in effect.
Similarly, the FHA instituted a moratorium on evictions which is in effect through September 30, 2021. That applies to tenants who are residing in single-family properties that were acquired by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac via foreclosure or a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. It also institutes a 30-day Notice to Vacate requirement to tenants in multifamily properties with mortgages held by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. That notice must be provided before the tenants can be subject to eviction for nonpayment of rent but it does not prevent eventual eviction.
As before, the moratoriums do NOT relieve tenants of the obligation to pay rent and to comply with the lease. The New CDC Order specifically allows Landlords to continue to collect fees, penalties, and interest as allowed in the lease.
For help with eviction questions and other landlord tenant issues, contact Attorney Hunter Schenck at [email protected] or using the CGA online question feature to set up a consultation.
Hunter B. Schenck
Hunter B. Schenck provides legal services to individuals and businesses in the area of litigation.
Hunter has participated in multiple bench and jury trials while working at CGA Law Firm in both a solo and co-counsel capacity. She enjoys the opportunity to enter the courtroom and wants to help her clients obtain the best outcome for each case.
Hunter is ranked as 2021 Super Lawyer Rising Star. She is an active member of the York County Bar Association and serves as a member of the Social, Membership, and Law Day Committees. She is the Immediate Past Chair of the York County Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section and a member of the Herbert Cohen Inn of Court. Hunter was a member of the 2015, 2017, and 2019 Bar Stools Casts.
Hunter may be reached directly at (717) 718-3950 or by email: [email protected].