Many citizens have been financially hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Lots of people are out of work or working significantly less hours. Many businesses are foregoing raises or bonuses for their employees this year. Workers who are physically going to work are putting their health at risk in order to make money, often in underpaid customer service or essential worker positions. Thankfully, there is some reassuring news.
In September, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention passed a nationwide order forbidding landlords from evicting tenants if they can’t pay rent due to the pandemic. This order is commonly known as the eviction moratorium. It is currently in place until the end of the calendar year 2020, but is capable of being extended. The moratorium applies to anyone in the United States who is renting their place of residence from someone else. Its federal status supersedes any state laws that would allow for evictions. It is based on a 1944 public housing law, and argues that more people becoming homeless would lead to more outbreaks of COVID-19.
The moratorium does come with some stipulations. It only applies to people who cannot pay their rent due to the pandemic, not those who cannot pay for any other reason. It means that renters can still be evicted for other reasons, such as crime or behavioral issues. It also only applies to renters who make less than $99,000 annually.
The moratorium is only legally valid to tenants who print the CDC’s affidavit and deliver a signed copy to their landlord. The affidavit states that the renters belong to the right category and are unable to pay their rent due to COVID-19. If you deliver a signed copy of the correct affidavit, your landlord will be legally incapable of evicting you. It is important to note that the moratorium does not get rid of your rent or mean that you can’t have late fees added to your account. It just stops you from being evicted due to the pandemic, not from having to pay all of that rent back once the pandemic is over.
The eviction moratorium is a great asset to renters, but it is conditional. If a renter does not submit the correct affidavit to their landlord, they can still get evicted. If a renter has a behavioral issue, they can still get evicted. If a renter does invoke the moratorium, their landlord can still add late fees to their account, and the renter must pay it all off eventually. For the moment, however, renters who lost their job due to the pandemic can breathe a little easier.
If you need help with real estate or business law, contact the Law Office of Tania Sayegh Bartolini, P.A. today at (954) 368-4050. We want to help you keep moving forward!