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How Do Evictions Work During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

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How Do Evictions Work During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

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Eviction has been a matter of concern for many people during the coronavirus pandemic. With many people out of work due to the virus, there is a wide concern regarding the ability to pay rent and fear of eviction. Due to the virus, the United States government has issued a temporary eviction ban for qualifying renters. To learn whether you are eligible for protection from eviction, research the legislation in your area. Additionally, although people may not be allowed to be evicted for reasons relating to coronavirus, outstanding rent is still owed for each month it is not paid.

In late March of 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The CARES Act was designed to address specific concerns brought about by the effects of COVID-19 on the economic climate. This act authorized more than $2 trillion to provide immediate financial relief for individual citizens, loan programs for small businesses, support for medical providers, as well as other kinds of economic relief which vary based on the business and industry. This act also protected renters living in federally subsidized housing. Since then, various states and localities have determined their own rules regarding who may be evicted and under what circumstances. In general, the eviction bans do not protect renters who are being evicted for reasons other than an inability to pay rent. This has not stopped many illegal evictions from occurring; if you have experienced what you suspect might be an illegal conviction, reach out to a landlord-tenant attorney to discuss your situation.

While rent missed is still owed, landlords are not allowed to charge late fees on federally subsidized properties.

Qualifying housing may be protected from eviction, but residents are still required to pay the total of their rent owed as soon as possible. However, the CARES act prevents landlords from charging late fees or otherwise penalizing renters for paying their rent late. If you are unsure whether your housing participates in any qualifying federal housing program, research the federal housing programs covered under the CARES act in your state. Individual counties have set their own rules regarding when and how an eviction can be handled in these times, so it’s important to brush up on the recent legislation in your area.

Courts did not begin hearing eviction cases until May of 2020, so there is some backlog for which renters cannot be penalized.

It’s important to note that qualifying renters evicted between March and May of 2020 will not be penalized for those months. This means that the time spent between March and May awaiting an eviction hearing cannot count toward any deadlines for your eviction. The count toward any applicable deadlines should begin as of May 19, 2020. If you have already lost your eviction case it may help to note that you have up to five days from losing your eviction hearing before you can be served the final notice to vacate. These days can be used to file an appeal for the eviction. To learn more about your eligibility for eviction protections, or for help filing an appeal, reach out to a landlord-tenant attorney.

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