Eviction During the Pandemic: Renter and Landlord Rights, Protections, and Resources
Written by Cooper & Friedman PLLC on November 3, 2020
The pandemic has caused a lot of hardship. Many renters have found themselves unable to make rent and are concerned about eviction. Here’s a look at some of the protections and assistance both renters and landlords have right now.
Ban on Evictions in the CARES Act
Back in March, when the federal government passed the CARES Act, the act included some
protections against evictions during the pandemic. It prohibited evictions for renters in federal
housing assistance programs and those who lived in properties with federally-backed
mortgages. This ban was in place for 120 days, and expired on July 24. However, it only ended
up covering about ⅓ of all renters, since most renters are in privately-owned properties that
aren’t federally-backed. After July 24, landlords could again begin giving 30 days’ notice.
CDC Eviction Moratorium
Then, on September 4, the CDC issued a moratorium on evictions that affects most tenants
struggling to pay rent during the pandemic. The moratorium is in place until the end of the year.
There are a few requirements. First of all, individuals must earn less than $99,000
annually (couples must earn under $198,000) or have received a stimulus check to qualify.
Additionally, anyone who was not required to pay income taxes in 2019 is eligible. It also protects people in the process of being evicted. Renters who meet the requirements and are struggling to make rent should sign a declaration and submit it to their landlord (you can see example text here) as quickly as possible.
Importantly, this does not mean that you do not owe any rent. If you can pay your
rent, you should, because once this expires you could be evicted if you have rental debt.
Eviction Resources for Tenants and Landlords
There are several programs at the state and local level that are available to help tenants make
and pay rent. For example, in Louisville, the city government has launched the Eviction
Prevention Program (visit the program webpage here). The program’s stated purpose is “to
prevent the anticipated wave of new eviction cases and aid low-to-moderate income households
that are delinquent on rent payments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.” The program is
supported by federal CARES Act funding, and will include as much as $21.2 million in funding.
Grants are given to households facing eviction due to COVID-19, supporting up to three
months of rent.
To be eligible, households must earn 80% or less of the annual area median income ($61,000
for a family of 4). Landlords of federal, state, or locally subsidized multi-family or single family
units can also apply on behalf of multiple tenants. To be eligible, they must be currently
registered on the Rental Registry; have no outstanding code violations for the property for which
rent is being paid; waive all late fees, fines, and penalties; forgo evictions for assisted tenants
for 60 days after assistance is provided; and provide pre-COVID-19 rent rolls to document
delinquency rates before and after the pandemic.
If you are struggling with rent, there are resources that can help. Here are a few places to look:
- Louisville: https://louisvilleky.gov/government/develop-louisville/eviction-prevention
- Indiana: https://www.in.gov/judiciary/5758.htm
- CDC moratorium document:
- Community Resources across the United States: https://justshelter.org/communityresources/
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