The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced on March 29, 2021 that they are extending the nationwide eviction moratorium through June 30, 2021. This is the third time the deadline has been extended. It was set to expire March 31, however, as expected, President Biden called for the CDC to extend the eviction ban.

The CARES act, which was the original ban of evictions for non-payment of rent, went into effect March 27, 2020, so we are officially at a year of the eviction ban.

The terms of the CDC order states that tenants must declare they have pursued all appropriate government assistance, met certain income and employment requirements, and are using their best efforts to make timely partial payments, among other qualifications. The announcement today expands the order to include people “who are confirmed to have, who have been exposed to, or who might have been exposed to COVID-19 and take reasonable precautions not to spread the disease”.

People who are “covered” under this act, must provide their landlord with a copy of a signed declaration form stating that they meet the requirements to be a “covered person”.

What are the requirements of a “covered” person? According to the eviction moratorium, the person must declare under penalty of perjury that:

1. They’ve made their best effort to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing;
2. The individual either 1) earned no more than $99,000 (or $198,000 if filing jointly) in the year 2020, or expects to earn no more than $99,000 in 2021 (or $198,00 if filing a joint tax return), 2) was not required to report any income in 2020 to the IRS, or 3) received a stimulus check.
3. They are unable to pay the full rent or make a full housing payment due to substantial loss of household income, loss of work compensation or wages, a lay-off, or extraordinary out of pocket medical expenses.
4. The individual is making their best effort to make timely partial payments that are as close to the full payment as their circumstances may permit, and
5. Eviction would likely render them homeless, or force them to move into close quarters in a new congregate or shared living setting.

According to the Eviction Moratorium – “the Census Household Pulse Survey estimated that over 4 million adults who are not current on rent perceive that they are at imminent risk of eviction. A wave of evictions on that scale would be unprecedented in modern times.”

The CDC’s Eviction Moratorium goes on to say that evicting such a mass amount of people at once would lead to an increased risk of COVID-19 spread, because those people who are evicted would be forced to live in close quarters in shared housing or other settings.

The CDC has created a standardized declaration form that you can download from their website, however, tenants are not obligated to use the CDC form. Any written documentation presented to their landlord that has the required elements of “covered person” will suffice.

Now, keep in mind that tenants can still be evicted for violating other terms of their lease such as criminal activity, property damage, and other contractual obligations.

This eviction moratorium is not rent relief. Once this ban is lifted, renters will be obligated to pay their entire rent back, as it stands now. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 10 million Americans are behind on their rent payments.

Forbes says that mom-and-pop landlords own about 77% of small building units. And of those small investors, around ⅓ of them are retired, and their rental units are their only source of income.

If you are a Missouri landlord and looking for rent relief options, here is a link to the Missouri Emergency Rental Arrears Program (ERAP): https://www.mohousingresources.com/erap-eligibility?fbclid=IwAR30AZkeGyvwrEcDeJe_wcBmyDF19cAqxhv19C5G4rFlfwv1p3nqCBEbkMY

If you would like to read the eviction moratorium in full, here is a link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/pdf/CDC-Eviction-Moratorium-03292021.pdf

Sources: CDC.gov ;
https://www.nar.realtor/coronavirus;
https://www.forbes.com/advisor/mortgages/what-mom-and-pop-landlords-can-do-to-relieve-eviction-ban-pressure/;

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