National Eviction Moratorium now in effect
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued an Agency Order entitled “Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19,” according to City Judge M’elise Trahan.
The Order prohibits all landlords from evicting certain qualified renters from residential property through Dec. 31.
This Order is only a temporary moratorium and renters are still required to pay rent and follow all other terms of their lease. Qualified renters may still be evicted for reasons other than not paying rent.
Landlords who violate this Order may be subject to criminal penalties.
To qualify for the eviction protection, each adult member of a household must provide an executed copy of the Declaration form attached to the Order to their landlord. The form requires renters to declare, under penalty of perjury, that:
• The individual either (a) expects to earn no more than $99,000 in annual income for calendar year 2020 [or no more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax return]; (b) was not required to report any income in 2019 to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service; or (c) received an Econominc Impact Payment [stimulus check] pursuant to the CARES Act;
• The individual has sought all potential sources of federal housing aid;
• The individual cannot afford to pay the rent due to a pandemic-related job loss or expense;
• The individual has used best efforts to make timely partial payments that are as close to the full payment as possible;
• The individual “would likely become homeless, need to move into a homeless shelter, or need to move into a new residence shared by other people who live in close quarters because they have no other available housing options;”
• The individual understands that he/she must still pay rent or make a housing payment, and comply with other obligations under tenancy, lease agreement or similar contract and that fees, penalties or interest for not paying rent or making a housing payment on time as required by tenancy, lease agreement or similar contract may still be charged or collected;
• The individual understands that, at the end of this temporary halt on evictions on Dec. 31, the housing provider may require payment in full for all payments not made prior to and during the temporary halt and failure to pay may make the individual subject to eviction pursuant to state and local laws, and
• The individual understands that any false or misleading statements or omissions may result in criminal and civil actions for fines, penalties, damages or imprisonment.
“Tenant Declaration forms can be picked up in the mailbox located in the first floor lobby of Crowley City Court,” Trahan said. “Any questions about a tenant’s rights under this moratorium should be addressed to an attorney. City Court employees are prohibited from giving legal advice.”