COVID-19 & Rights of Renters: CDC Eviction Ban FAQ

FAQ


Is there a nationwide eviction ban?

The CDC has issued an order banning many, but not all, evictions through December 31, 2020.

 

How do I know if I qualify?

You might qualify if the following is true for you:

  • You are being evicted for non-payment of rent or other rental related fees
  • A loss of income or medical bills have made it hard to pay rent
  • You got a Stimulus Check or make less than $99,000 a year as a single person or $198,000 as a family
  • You have applied for all available rental assistance
  • You are willing to make partial payments that you can afford towards your rent, or you can offer to make partial payments towards your rent
  • If you were evicted you would be homeless, forced to live with others, or forced to live in unsafe housing

 

If I qualify, what should I do?

  1. You must sign a form certifying that those things are true and give it your landlord:
    You can find the form here. There are also versions of this form translated into Spanish and Vietnamese thanks to Lone Star Legal Aid - a legal aid program in Texas.
     
    • You can give this form to your landlord at anytime while you are still in your unit, but it's best to give it to your landlord as soon as possible and have proof you gave it to them. For example:
      • Get a receipt from the post office when you mail it to your landlord and
      • Give a copy to the court if your landlord has started an eviction against you
         
  2. You should call your local legal aid organization for help with any questions or if your landlord continues to try to evict you. 

    Click here to find your local legal aid organization. Once there:

    • Choose your state from the right hand drop-down menu
    • Select "LSC - Legal Services Provider" for the type of organization
    • Click the red "Find Help" button

       

What if those qualifying things AREN'T true, can I be evicted?

Maybe or maybe not. There are arguments that people who don’t meet those criteria are protected by the CDC’s order. There are also other special rules during COVID that might affect your ability to be evicted. People who are being evicted for no reason or “no cause” should also call Pine Tree to talk about their cases. There may be restrictions that apply.
 

Click here to find your local legal aid organization for help and 

  • Choose your state from the right hand drop-down menu
  • Select "LSC - Legal Services Provider" for the type of organization
  • Click the red "Find Help" button

 

What rental assistance programs should I apply for?

You should apply for any available housing assistance in your local area or state. Keep copies of applications or denials to prove you did.  Click here to find legal assistance in your state and local area. 


Once there,

  • Choose your state from the right hand drop-down menu
  • Select "LSC - Legal Services Provider" for the type of organization
  • Click the red "Find Help" button

 

Will I still owe rent?  

Yes. The CDC is not saying you don’t have to pay your rent or fees. Your landlord can try to collect the full amount of your rent or evict you after the CDC order expires on December 31st.  

 

What kind of evictions are allowed?

The CDC order says that you can still be evicted for:

  • Criminal activity,
  • Dangerous behaviors,
  • Damaging the property, or
  • Violating a term in your lease.

But you should call your local legal aid organization, they may be able to help.  

Click here to find legal assistance in your state and local area. 

Once there,

  • Choose your state from the right hand drop-down menu
  • Select "LSC - Legal Services Provider" for the type of organization
  • Click the red "Find Help" button

 

What happens if a landlord violates the CDC order?

The CDC order provides significant criminal penalties for landlords who are found to have violated the order including fines up to $250,000 and jail time.

 

Is the CDC order the same as SCRA Protections?

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) is a law that helps protect members of the military and their families from financial and legal harm because of military service. Although the SCRA provides some protection regarding housing, the CDC order is completely separate and is not specific to military service.  You can use the protections in the CDC order with or without being eligible under the SCRA.

 

Posted and up-to-date on 9/15/2020