The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) recently issued an order that instituted a nationwide moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent that goes into effect on September 4, 2020 and remains in effect through December 31, 2020. Click here to read a copy of the order. Unlike the previous stay orders, this order applies regardless if the landlord participates in federal subsidy programs or the property has a federally backed mortgage.
Under the moratorium on evictions order, a landlord or owner of residential property, or other person with legal right to pursue eviction or possessory action, shall not evict any “covered person” from any residential property in any jurisdiction for non-payment of rent. Landlords who evict tenants that qualify as a “covered person” face fines up to $100,000 and a year in prison.
For a tenant to qualify as a “covered person”, they must swear under penalty of perjury that they meet the following criteria:
- Have an income of $99,000 or less for single filers or $198,000 for couples filing jointly;
- Demonstrate they have sought government assistance to make their rental payments;
- Affirmatively declare they are unable to pay rent because of COVID-19 hardships;
- Affirm they are likely to become homeless if they are evicted; and
- Declare that they used best efforts to make timely partial payments that are as close to the full payment as the individual’s circumstance may permit.
If the tenant meets the above requirements, they will have to execute a declaration and provide it to the landlord. Accordingly, a landlord should tread cautiously in a nonpayment of rent situation. If a tenant has indicated they are experiencing any sort of COVID-19 hardship, it is strongly recommended that you contact an attorney at LDD for assistance to determine if your tenant is a “covered person”. We are here to help.
Again, this moratorium on evictions order only applies to non-payment of rent evictions, and it does not relieve the rental obligation or prevent landlords from charging late fees. Landlords can proceed on evictions for other lease violations, holdover tenancies, and other violations of R.C. 5321.05. As such, LDD further suggests contacting an attorney to ascertain if you have grounds to proceed with an eviction. If you have questions about the moratorium on evictions or would like a review of your specific situation, call us at (216)-453-1100 or use this online contact form.
** Note that the information presented herein is for discussion purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Contact our office today for any questions or clarification. **