Thursday, September 17, 2020

Landlords are Still Blocked from Evicting Certain Tenants

 The CARES Act passed by Congress and signed on March 27, 2020, placed a moratorium on evictions for certain landlords and renters.  This protection ended July 25, 2020.  Therefore, a detailed analysis of this expired Act is not necessary.  

Approximately 1-1/2 months after the expiration of the CARES Act, the Center for Disease Controlled stepped into the landlord-tenant relationship and issued a temporary halt to certain residential evictions.  This is a broader moratorium than the CARES Act because it covers landlords regardless of whether they have a federal loan or accept VA or Section 8 tenants. Unlike the CARES Act, this moratorium allows the landlord to charge fees, penalities, or interest as a result of the failure to pay rent or other housing payment. The CDC states, it issued its moratorium to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.  Therefore, it covers residential tenants until December 31, 2020.  

The tenants must sign a declaration that states the following: 

(1) The individual has used best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing;

(2) The individual either (i) expects to earn no more than $99,000 in annual income for Calendar Year 2020 (or no more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax return),[6] (ii) was not required to report any income in 2019 to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, or (iii) received an Economic Impact Payment (stimulus check) pursuant to Section 2201 of the CARES Act;

(3) the individual is unable to pay the full rent or make a full housing payment due to substantial loss of household income, loss of compensable hours of work or wages, a lay-off, or extraordinary [7] out-of-pocket medical expenses;

(4) the individual is using best efforts to make timely partial payments that are as close to the full payment as the individual's circumstances may permit, taking into account other nondiscretionary expenses; and

(5) eviction would likely render the individual homeless—or force the individual to move into and live in close quarters in a new congregate or shared living setting—because the individual has no other available housing options.

If you are in Cobb, Dekalb, Gwinnett, Cherokee, Clayton or Fulton Counties, and you are a tenant or small landlord, contact me with any questions by e-mail at