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Temporary halt in residential evictions to prevent the further spread of COVID-19

September 8, 2020

On September 4, 2020, the Center for Disease Control published an order halting residential evictions through December 31, 2020, to prevent further spread of COVID -19 by facilitating self-isolation. Under the order, “a landlord, owner of a residential property, or other person with a legal right to pursue eviction or possessory action, shall not evict any covered person from any residential property in any jurisdiction to  which the order applies.” The Order does not apply to an area with a moratorium on residential evictions that provides the same or greater level of public health protections and does not preclude jurisdictions from imposing additional requirements that provide greater public-health protections. The order does not relieve the individual of the obligation to pay rent, make housing payments, or comply with other obligations under the housing contract, nor does the order preclude fees, penalties, or interest as a result to pay on time under the applicable contract.

To halt an eviction the tenant, and each adult listed on the lease or housing contract must provide an executed scope of the Declaration, Attachment A of the Order, to the person or entity with the right to have them evicted or removed from the property.

The tenants are required to pay rent and abide by the rest of the terms of the lease or housing contract and can be evicted for reasons other than not paying rent or making a housing payment, including:

(1) engaging in criminal activity while on the premises;

(2) threatening the health or safety of other residents;

(3) damaging or posing an immediate and significant risk of damage to property;

(4) violating any applicable building code, health ordinance, or similar regulation relating to health and safety;

(5) violating any other contractual obligation, other than the timely payment of rent or similar housing-related payment (including non-payment or late payment of fees, penalties, or interest).

Those violating the Order “may be subject to a fine of no more than $100,000 if the violation does not result in a death or one year in jail, or both, or a fine of no more than $250,000 if the violation results in a death or one year in jail, or both, or as otherwise provided by law. An organization violating this Order may be subject to a fine of no more than $200,000 per event if the violation does not result in a death or $500,000 per event if the violation results in a death or as otherwise provided by law.”

For more resources on navigating the novel coronavirus visit the NCSC Pandemic Resource Center.

Does your jurisdiction have a moratorium on evictions that differs from the CDC’s moratorium? Follow the National Center for State Courts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest and share your experiences.

For more information on this or other topics impacting state courts, contact Knowledge@ncsc.org or call 800-616-6164.