The Law Office of Neubia L. Harris, PLLC
Evictions Halted by the CDC
Updated: Sep 9, 2020
The Department of Health and Human Services ("DHHS") and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ("CDC") have issued a joint order which halts evictions for the remainder of 2020. DHHS and the CDC reasoned that evicting people from their homes during a global pandemic would increase the number of COVID-19 positive cases due to individuals and families doubling up with one another, or an increase in shelter occupants which would decrease the ability to social distancing. Previously, Congress issued a eviction moratorium for tenants who received federal housing assistance or lived in properties that were backed by federal financing. Similarly, North Carolina issued an eviction moratorium for non-payment cases for the same types of tenants and properties. These moratoriums expired in July and August, respectively.
Like the previous federal and state eviction moratoriums, the DHHS and CDC order only applies to certain tenants and properties. If you rent a property (e.g. room, apartment, house or mobile home) you are protected by the new DHHS and CDC eviction moratorium if:
you are unable to pay your rent to to a COVID-19 related job loss or income reduction;
you qualified for a stimulus payment under the CARES act (or expect to earn less than $99,000 in 2020 if filing your taxes as single, or $198,000 if filing a joint tax return);
you, and/or your household members, have attempted to get any available government assistance to cover your rent;
you can demonstrate that your inability to pay is because of financial hardship due to COVID-19;
you can demonstrate that you have made your best efforts to make timely partial payments; and
you would likely become homeless if you were evicted.
It is the renter's responsibility to make sure that they meet the criteria above and that they provide a signed written statement to their landlord to invoke the protection of the new eviction moratorium. The CDC has provided a statement that renters can use in the order. A copy of the same can be accessed below.
Each adult in the household must sign their own copy of the statement. It is imperative that renters keep a copy of the signed statement and any documentation they provided to their landlord concerning their COVID-19 related inability to pay their rent.
The eviction moratorium does not relieve renters from their rent payment obligations. Landlords can stall charge rent, late fees, and other costs during the moratorium, and they can file an eviction against you for non-payment once the moratorium ends. Additionally, Landlords can still evict renters for violations of the lease agreement, certain criminal activity, and for holding over past the date their lease ends or the tenant was provided with a lawful notice to vacate.
Contact The Law Office of Neubia L. Harris, PLLC today to see how we can assist you with enforcing, or complying with the new eviction moratorium.