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CDC Moratorium on Non-Payment of Rent Evictions until December 31, 2020

September 1, 2020

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention issued today.  It forbids resident evictions for non-payment of rent for “covered person[s]” until December 31, 2020.

The main features of the directive are:

  • It covers all residential tenancies occupied by “covered person[s]”, not just federally subsidized tenancies.

 

  • To receive its protection, all adults in the tenant household must deliver a declaration to the landlord.  The CDC’s order states its required text.  That text requires the tenant to attest, among other things, that (i) they expect to earn no more than $99,000 for 2020 or $198,000 for a couple, or was not required to file a tax return, or received a stimulus check; (ii) they cannot pay the full rent because of a “substantial loss” of income because of “extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses”; (iii) they are making “best efforts” to pay the rent; (iii) if evicted they would likely become homeless or move in with other people “in close quarters”.

 

  • The directive permits evictions “based on a tenant, lessee, or resident: (1) engaging in criminal activity while on the premises; (2) threatening the health or safety or other residents; (3) damaging or posing an immediate and significant risk of damage to property; (4) violating any applicable building code, health ordinance, or similar regulation relating to health and safety; or (5) violating any other contractual obligation, other than the timely payment of rent or similar housing-related payment (including nonpayment or late payment of fees, penalties or interest).”

 

  • Tenants still owe the money and landlords may evict them when the moratorium expires.

 

  • The directive does not pre-empt local or state moratoria that are more protective of tenants.  Washington State’s present moratoria is more protective in at least two ways.  It does not require tenants to deliver a declaration to the landlord.  It is not limited to tenants who are low-income or suffered a loss of income or may become homeless.

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LandlordSolutions does not provide legal advice. The information we provide is general information for landlords. If you need legal advice or have questions about the application of the law in a particular matter, you should consult a lawyer.

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