CDC Announces Moratorium on Evictions
Last week, we sent a HUDBlast explaining the CDC’s plans to announce a new CDC Order providing a moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent and other fees.
As expected, the Federal Register Notice was released Friday, September 4, 2020 at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/09/04/2020-19654/temporary-halt-in-residential-evictions-to-prevent-the-further-spread-of-covid-19.
This CDC Moratorium On Evictions is separate from the moratorium provided under the CARES Act, which is still in effect for those properties under forbearance.
To invoke the CDC’s Order, residents must provide an executed copy of the Declaration Form (or a similar declaration under penalty of perjury) to the owner/agent. The Declaration Form requires the resident to agree that he/she:
- Has used best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing;
- Either 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), was not required to report any income in 2019 to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service or received an Economic Impact Payment (stimulus check) pursuant to Section 2201 of the CARES Act;
- Is unable to pay full rent or make a full housing payment due to substantial loss of household income, loss of compensable hours of work or wages, lay-offs, or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses;
- 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;
- If evicted, would likely become homeless, need to move into a homeless shelter, or need to move into a new residence shared by other people who live in close quarters because he/she has no other available housing options.
- Understands that he/she must still pay rent or make a housing payment, and comply with other obligations under my tenancy, lease agreement, or similar contract. He/she further understands that fees, penalties, or interest for not paying rent or making a housing payment on time as required by my tenancy, lease agreement, or similar contract may still be charged or collected.
- Understands that at the end of this temporary halt on evictions on December 31, 2020, my housing provider may require payment in full for all payments not made prior to and during the temporary halt and failure to pay may make him/her subject to eviction pursuant to state and local laws.
A copy of the CDC Declaration form is available on our COVID-19 Resource page at https://www.rbdnow.com/resources/covid-19. At this time, the CDC has not provided the form in alternative languages.
Nothing in this Order precludes evictions based on a tenant, lessee, or resident:
- Engaging in criminal activity while on the premises;
- Threatening the health or safety of other residents;
- Damaging or posing an immediate and significant risk of damage to property;
- Violating any applicable building code, health ordinance, or similar regulation relating to health and safety; or
- Violating any other contractual obligation, other than the timely payment of rent or similar housing-related payment (including non-payment or late payment of fees, penalties, or interest).
After reviewing the CDC Order, we have created three new notices which are also available (at no charge) on our COVID-19 Resources page at https://www.rbdnow.com/resources/covid-19. They are:
This is a sample notice to Termination of Tenancy for nonpayment of rent that advises residents that they may invoke the CDC Moratorium on Eviction for Nonpayment of Rent.
This is a sample notice of denial to be used when a resident attempts to invoke the CDC Moratorium but the resident does not appear to qualify based on CDC requirements.
This is a sample notice of approval to be used when a resident attempts to invoke the CDC Moratorium and the resident appears to qualify based on CDC requirements. This sample explains that residents should meet with the owner/agent to discuss repayment options. This notice also advises residents that they must notify the owner/agent if income is fully or partially restored.
Please keep in mind that the CDC Order is in place to circumvent further spread of COVID-19. An explanation of the CDC objective is included in the Federal Register.
Under 18 U.S.C. 3559, 3571; 42 U.S.C. 271; and 42 CFR 70.18, a person violating the CDC Order may be subject to a fine of no more than $100,000 if the violation does not result in a death or one year in jail, or both, or a fine of no more than $250,000 if the violation results in a death or one year in jail, or both, or as otherwise provided by law. An organization violating the CDC Order may be subject to a fine of no more than $200,000 per event if the violation does not result in a death or $500,000 per event if the violation results in a death or as otherwise provided by law. The U.S. Department of Justice may initiate court proceedings as appropriate seeking imposition of these criminal penalties.
Owner/agents should check out the CDC web site. The CDC makes available many posters that you may find helpful.