Eviction Moratorium Extended Through June 30

By Andrew Leonatti on March 30, 2021

With just days to spare, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Monday that it is extending its pandemic-related nationwide moratorium on evictions until June 30. The moratorium was due to expire on March 31.

The extension means that people who are falling behind on rent due to job losses will have a little bit of breathing room. There are many ways that landlords can get around this moratorium, however.

Who Qualifies for Eviction Relief?

The CDC first issued the moratorium in 2020 due to a belief that keeping people in their homes and out of more-crowded living situations would help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Due to prolonged economic upheaval, differing estimates place the number of Americans now behind on their rent at between 8 million and 12 million people, owing approximately $57 billion in unpaid rent.

To qualify for eviction relief, you must meet the following conditions:

  • Make less than $99,000 as an individual or $198,000 as a couple in 2020 or 2021
  • Suffer economic hardship, such as job loss, loss of hours, or high medical expenses, that makes it hard to pay your rent on time
  • Make a good-faith effort to pay as much of your rent as you can
  • Acknowledge that you will still owe your unpaid rent

You then must proactively present your landlord or rental company with the CDC's declaration form. Your landlord does not have to offer this relief to you.

Beware the Loopholes

There were fears that allowing the moratorium to expire could usher in a wave of evictions and homelessness. And landlords are opposed to the moratorium, arguing that they are suffering economic hardships as well by not being able to evict tenants.

However, there are many ways that a landlord may still be able to evict you during this time. For example, if you violate your lease for any other reason, such as for unsafe behavior, damaging the property, or breaking the law, your landlord will likely still evict you.

Additionally, if your lease is expiring, your landlord may still choose to not renew it, although in some jurisdictions they have to offer you the option to renew first.

Some fair housing advocates also argue that this order is difficult to enforce. If your landlord tries to evict you, yet you qualify for this relief, you will need to turn to a legal aid society or a private attorney for help.

There is also the U.S. Treasury Department's Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which is sending billions of dollars to states to help renters who are behind on their payments. This program can provide up to a year of rental assistance, which, unlike the CDC's moratorium, you do not have to pay back.

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