The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (the “CDC”) and the Department of Health and Human Services (the “HHS”) has issued an order to temporarily halt a landlord’s right to evict certain residential tenants to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 (the “CDC Order”). The CDC Order is effective through December 31, 2020.
Applicability of the CDC Order. The CDC Order does not apply in jurisdictions that have a moratorium on residential evictions in effect that provides the same or greater level of protection than the CDC Order, and the CDC Order permits local jurisdictions to continue to pass more restrictive eviction moratoriums. To invoke the protection provided by the CDC Order, a landlord’s tenants must deliver an executed declaration (a “CDC Declaration”) form to the landlord that includes the following statements: (i) the tenant has used best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing; (ii) expects to earn no more than $99,000 in annual income in 2020 (or $198,000 if filing joint tax returns), was not required to report income in 2019, or received an Economic Impact Payment under the CARES Act; (iii) the tenant is unable to pay the full rent due to substantial loss of household income, loss of work or wages, or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses; (iv) the tenant is using best efforts to make partial payments that are as close to the full rental payments as the tenant’s circumstances permit; and (v) the eviction would likely render the individual homeless or force the individual to move into and live in close quarters or shared living space.
Effect of the CDC Order The CDC Order prevents landlords from evicting tenants for the non-payment of rent or similar housing-related payments that have sent their landlord a CDC Declaration. The CDC Order does not relieve tenants of the obligation to pay rent or other charges owed under their leases and does not preclude a landlord from charging late fees, penalties, or interest for missed payments.