CDC Halts Residential Evictions Through December 31, 2020

Industry ,

Washington DC The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at the direction of the President, filed an order in the Federal Register yesterday to temporarily halt residential evictions to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. National Apartment Association (NAA) members should prepare for the order to go into effect this Friday, September 4. It will bar evictions of renters in residential housing until December 31, 2020.

Here is what you need to know about the order:

  • It applies to virtually all rental housing providers and prohibits any eviction action to remove a renter from their housing during the covered period, so long as the renter provides the required declaration to their housing provider.
  • The order does not prevent evictions based on the lawful reasons articulated in the order, other than nonpayment of rent.
  • Outstanding balances will become due when the moratorium ends and housing providers may charge late fees or other penalties for nonpayment of rent.
  • To be eligible for the order’s protections, a renter must provide a declaration under penalty of perjury to their housing provider (an example form is contained in the order) indicating the following: 
    • The individual has used best efforts to obtain rental assistance;
    • The individual expects to earn no more than $99,000 (no more than $198,000 when filing jointly); was not required to report income in 2019 to the IRS; or received a stimulus check pursuant to the CARES Act;
    • The individual is unable to pay their full rent due to a number of factors that remain unconnected to COVID-19;
    • The individual is using best efforts to make timely partial payments; and
    • 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.
  • Any person or organization that violates the order may be subject to up to $500,000 in fines per violation and/or jail time. Enhanced penalties apply if the violation resulted in death, at the discretion of the U.S. Department of Justice. 
  • Jurisdictions that have an eviction moratorium providing the same or greater level of public-health protection than the CDC order are exempt from its requirements.

The complexity of the language in the CDC’s order will amplify the strain of operating rental housing and sustaining your businesses during these difficult times. NAA is developing operational guidance to assist members in following the requirements of the order.