Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to the Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19 (with the last update occurring in early February). Please note that these FAQs include several new updates, including:
Who does this Order apply to? The Order applies to a landlord, owner of a residential property, or other person with a legal right to pursue an eviction or a possessory action against a residential tenant, lessee, or resident, including an agent or attorney acting on behalf of the landlord or the owner of the residential property
How should state or local courts apply this Order? The Order does not apply in any states (including the District of Columbia), localities, territories, or tribal areas that have in place a moratorium on residential evictions that provides the same or greater level of public-health protection than the Order, and it only applies to the extent its application is not prohibited by federal court order. Relevant courts deciding these matters should make the decision about whether a state order or legislation provides the same or greater level of public health protection. Once a court determines that a state order does not provide the same or greater level of public health protection, the court should apply this Order. This Order supplies federal law for state and local courts to apply. Consistent with 42 U.S.C. § 264(e) and the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution, this Order preempts state and local laws to the extent they conflict with it. Thus, where this Order applies, state and local courts should not order the eviction of covered persons for nonpayment of rent (or should stay any such eviction orders until this Order expires). It would violate this Order for a person to whom this Order applies to execute an eviction order (or cause that order to be executed) by physically removing a covered person for nonpayment of rent before this Order expires.
How can I find government rental assistance? You can find up-to-date information on your eviction protections, rental assistance, and housing rights at www.consumerfinance.gov/renters. To find rental assistance in your area, visit this rental assistance database from the National Low-Income Housing Coalition. Visit https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/cares/state-and-local-governments for more information about the Coronavirus Relief Fund and https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/cares/emergency-rentalassistance-program for more information about the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.
What types of residential properties are covered by the Order? The Order applies to any property leased for residential purposes, including any house, building, manufactured home, mobile home or land in a mobile home park or manufactured housing community, or similar dwelling leased for residential purposes.
Do landlords have to make their tenants aware of the CDC order and Declaration? The Order itself does not require landlords to make tenants aware of the Order and Declaration. But other relevant law, for instance the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Federal Trade Commission Act, may require landlords, or their agents, to do so. Under these statutes, evicting tenants in violation of the CDC, state, or local moratoria, or evicting or threatening to evict them without apprising them of their legal rights under such moratoria, may violate prohibitions against deceptive and unfair practices. Landlords must otherwise comply with all requirements of the Order. Also, even if not legally required, landlords are encouraged to tell their tenants about the Order.
What does it mean when a tenant has declared themselves to be a covered person under the CDC Order? A covered person cannot be physically evicted unless and until the tenancy is terminated for a legitimate reason other than nonpayment of rent.
How does the federal government intend to enforce this Order? The U.S. Department of Justice has the authority to prosecute violations of the Order. The public may report violations to their local U.S. Attorney’s Office or to the National Center for Disaster Fraud at 866- 720-5721 or https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form. In addition, on March 29, 2021, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Acting Director Dave Uejio and Federal Trade Commission Acting Chairwoman Rebecca Slaughter issued a joint statement that evicting tenants in violation of the CDC, state, or local moratoria, or evicting or threatening to evict them without apprising them of their legal rights under such moratoria, may violate prohibitions against deceptive and unfair practices, including under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Federal Trade Commission Act (see footnote # 7).
How can CDC help me avoid being evicted? If you are looking for legal help, contact legal aid or your local bar association. Visit LawHelp.org to find a legal aid program in your state. CDC is providing this link for your awareness only. CDC has not evaluated and does not endorse these websites.
Is CDC providing rental assistance? No. But you can find up-to-date information on eviction protections, rental assistance, and housing rights at www.consumerfinance.gov/renters.
The updated CDC Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19 FAQs are available here.
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