The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on June 24 that it is extending its order, Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19, set to expire on June 30, until July 31. In issuing this extension, the CDC indicated that this is intended to be the final extension.
The content of the moratorium remains the same as the that of the previous extension, in March of 2021. As a reminder, you can review our KEW Tip on that extension here. Landlords should remember that valid declaration forms provided by tenants in the past, under previous iterations of the moratorium, are still effective under the newest renewal; a tenant who provided a valid declaration in December does not need to provide a new one. Further, tenants do not need to use the “official” CDC form template for their declaration. Any written document that an eligible tenant provides to the landlord will comply as long as it contains the required elements of “covered person” as described in the moratorium, is signed, and includes a statement that the tenant/resident understands they could be liable for perjury for any false statements.
The qualifications to be a “covered person” remain the same. A covered person is a tenant/resident who provides their landlord with a declaration under penalty of perjury that:
- The tenant has used best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent and housing;
- The tenant either i) earned no more than $99,999 (or 198,000 if filing jointly) in Calendar Year 2020, or expects to earn no more than $99,000 in annual income for Calendar Year 20201 (or no more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax return), ii) was not required to report any income in 2020 to the IRS, or iii) received an Economic Impact Payment stimulus check;
- The tenant is unable to pay the full rent or make a full housing payment due to substantial loss of household income, loss of compensable hours of work or wages, a lay-off, or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses;
- The tenant is using best efforts to make timely partial payments that are as close to the full payment as the individual’s circumstances may permit, taking into account other nondiscretionary expenses; and
- Eviction would likely render the individual homeless or force the individual to move into and live in close quarters in a new congregate or shared living setting.
As in the previous moratorium periods, nothing in the newest moratorium precludes a landlord from challenging the veracity of such a declaration.
As always, if you have questions about your rights and obligations as a landlord under the latest Moratorium or any local orders or ordinances, feel free to contact Kramer, Elkins & Watt, LLC at 608-709-7115.