Eviction Moratorium – Who Qualifies?

The CDC eviction moratorium will continue to be in effect until January 31, 2021, however it does not provide blanket protection to tenants. The updated provisions require that the tenant meet certain criteria in order for the moratorium to apply to them. It is important to keep in mind that the eviction moratorium only applies to evictions based on the non-payment of rent, and tenants are not protected for violating any other requirements of their lease.

The new eviction moratorium protects the following tenants:

  1. Tenants that have used their best efforts to obtain government assistance for housing; and
  2. Tenants that are unable to pay their full rent due to a substantial loss of income; and
  3. Tenants that are making their best efforts to make timely partial payments of rent; and
  4. Tenants that would become homeless or have to move into a shared living setting if they were to be evicted.

Additionally, in order to qualify for the protections, the tenant must meet certain income requirements demonstrated by providing a statement to their landlord signed under penalties of perjury. These income requirements are as follows:

  1. An individual tenant can expect to earn no more than $99,000 or $198,000 when filing joint tax returns for 2020; or
  2. The tenant has not been required to report any income to the IRS in 2019; or
  3. The tenant has received an Economic Impact Payment pursuant to the CARES Act.

The tenant bears the burden of providing notification to the landlord that they meet the criteria, and if challenged by the landlord, the tenant could be required to provide supporting documentation in court.

Residential landlords should review any documentation provided by their tenants with regard to non-payment of rent and determine if their tenant qualifies under this order. While evictions are temporarily halted, rent is not abated, and tenants still owe the full amount for rent due under their lease, unless alternate arrangements are made with their landlord. Keep in mind, one “qualifying” tenant may not absolve all tenants of their obligation to pay rent either.

Whether you are working with an investor client to purchase a rental property or assisting a landlord client list their property for sale, staying on top of these developments will ensure you can help your clients make informed decisions as they navigate the real estate market.

With the deadline for the eviction moratorium approaching, there are sure to be updates in the coming weeks. There are many nuances to the protections being offered so we urge all residential landlords and tenants to consult with their local real estate attorney to determine their best course of action.

Sincerely,

Natasha Selvaraj, Esq.,nselvaraj@berlinpatten.com

Berlin Patten Ebling, PLLC

This communication is not intended to establish an attorney client relationship, and to the extent anything contained herein could be construed as legal advice or guidance, you are strongly encouraged to consult with your own attorney before relying upon any information contained herein.

All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

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