On September 1, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) issued a nationwide Order (“Order”) to prohibit evictions of tenants meeting certain requirements. In the Order, the CDC prevents a landlord from evicting a tenant of residential property in any state during the period in which the Order applies. The Order, which can be found here, is effective through the remainder of calendar year 2020.
Even if a tenant qualifies for protection under the Order, it does not relieve a tenant of his/her obligation to pay rent or comply with other tenant obligations under the lease. The Order’s eviction protection only applies if a tenant satisfies all of the CDC’s requirements set forth in the Order. To be protected by the Order, a tenant must satisfy the following criteria:
- Tenant either (i) must expect to earn no more than $99,000 in 2020 (couples filing jointly can expect to earn no more than $198,000), or (ii) the tenant received a stimulus check pursuant to the Cares Act;
- Tenant attempted to obtain all available federal government assistance for rent or housing;
- Tenant is unable to pay rent due to COVID-19 hardships but is making best efforts to make partial payments; and
- Tenant will have to attest that he/she will likely become homeless or be forced to move to a close-quartered, shared living setting if evicted.
At this time, the Order providing a moratorium for eviction of tenants only applies if the above requirements are met and the tenant signs the declaration attached to the Order. While the Order provides some similar protections to Governor Wolf’s eviction moratorium that expired on August 31, 2020, the Order does not extend that moratorium and does not include commercial leases.
As always, the attorneys at Stock and Leader can help landlords navigate these regulations along with other COVID-19 related regulations. Contact a member of the Stock and Leader COVID-19 Response Team for further guidance.