Yesterday, the Trump administration announced an Order suspending certain evictions for renters across the United States. This is an emergency action issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In order for the stay on eviction to apply to a particular renter, they must meet the following requirements:
- The tenant’s eviction will likely lead to either homelessness, an increase in rental price, or would be likely to be in contact with more people (and thus, create a COVID infection risk)
- The tenant must make best efforts to make partial rent payments, as “circumstances permit”
- The tenant must have experienced a “substantial” loss, such as loss of income, excessive medical expenses, etc.
- The tenant’s expected, or regular income must be less than $99,000, or $198,000 combined if they are married and file a joint return
- The tenant must make reasonable efforts to obtain governmental assistance through public benefit programs
Under this Order, the CDC suggests that renters should provide notice of their hardships to their landlord in written form, as well as their intent to remain in the rental under the new Order. If a landlord disagrees with a tenant’s nonpayment of rent, he/she may still attempt to evict the tenant in small claims court and allow the magistrate to determine whether the renter is eligible to remain in the rental under this new Order.
Be aware, that landlords may still evict tenants for other reasons than non-payment of rent. This includes criminal behavior, destruction of property, domestic violence, etc. Additionally, landlords may still charge fees, penalties, and interest for non-payment of rent.
Because of the shifting groundwork on evictions across North Carolina, and the nation, it is important to consult with an experienced landlord-tenant attorney on these types of matters.