The CARES Act eviction moratorium began on March 27, 2020, and ended on July 24, 2020. Covered tenants could not be forced to vacate, and landlords could not file notices to vacate, until 30 days after the
expiration of the moratorium (August 23, 2020). After this, the CDC eviction moratorium took effect on September 4, 2020, and was initially slated to extend through December 31, 2020. However, it was extended legislatively through January 31, 2021, and extended again by the CDC through March 31, 2021. On March 29, 2021, CDC further extended the moratorium until June 30, 2021. With this said, the CDC just extended the deadline for the moratorium again until July 31, 2021. This announcement from the CDC came on Thursday (June 24, 2021) and apparently is the final extension being granted for this program. It is important to note that the CDC moratorium does not address notices to vacate.
In a statement from the CDC: “The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a historic threat to the nation’s public health. Keeping people in their homes and out of crowded or congregate settings—like homeless shelters—by preventing evictions is a key step in helping to stop the spread of COVID-19.”
What types of evictions does the CDC order cover?
Under the CDC, evictions for nonpayment of rent may be affected where a tenant serves a signed CDC Declaration form on the landlord or the court. In the event that a tenant serves a signed CDC Declaration in a residential eviction case for something other than non-payment, it will be up to a judge to determine whether the Declaration applies or does not apply.
It is important to remember that landlords may still serve notices of evictions for nonpayment, particularly if the tenant never signed a CDC Declaration. In addition, a notice of eviction may also be served for reasons other than nonpayment. As with any lease agreement, there are many other terms that must be followed by the tenant. If these terms are not adhered to, it is possible that a notice of eviction may be served.
Landlords are left holding the bag
The majority of the nation’s landlords are individual investors. These investors own about 23 million units in 17 million properties, according to the U.S. Census. With this said, more than 6 million renter households are behind on rent, according to the Census. Unfortunately, landlords have next to no recourse and have had to shoulder the burden for the past 15 months.
Even the President of the National Association of Realtors, (NAR) Charlie Oppler, has expressed dismay over the CDC’s moratorium extension. According to Mr. Oppler, the decision is “continuing a broad, overreaching policy that hasn’t been needed on a national level for some time.” In fact, the majority of the real estate industry has been universally opposed to the continued extensions of the eviction moratorium.
The National Apartment Association (NAA) also remains fundamentally opposed to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) eviction order. In a recent statement from the NAA’s President, Bob Pinnegar, he stated the following: “Each passing month further escalates the risk of losing an ever-increasing amount of rental housing, ultimately jeopardizing the availability of safe, sustainable and affordable housing for all Americans.”
In addition to the CDC’s announcement on Thursday, the Biden-Harris Administration also announced that the national foreclosure moratorium would follow suit with the CDC’s eviction ban extension. The Administration announced that it would also extend the federal protections against foreclosures until the end of July.
Although the intent of the eviction moratorium was to assist those negatively impacted the pandemic closures and resulting financial hardships, there are many landlords throughout the country that have been forced to take the ultimate financial burden without much recourse. The ultimate concern is that landlords will not be able to sustain and this could negatively impact the availability of rental housing moving forward.
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