The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an order entitled “Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19.” This order, which took effect on September 4, declares a national moratorium on certain residential evictions for nonpayment. The moratorium lasts through December 31, 2020. It applies only when tenants present their landlord with a signed declaration. The declaration must be signed under penalty of perjury.
To sign the declaration, you must meet five essential criteria. The tenant must:
Expect to have income less than $99,000 in 2020, received a stimulus check, or was not required to report income to the IRS in 2019;
Be unable to pay full rent due to an income loss or “extraordinary” medical bills;
Have used best efforts to obtain governmental rent assistance;
Be likely to become homeless or to “live in close quarters” in another residence if evicted; and
Promise to use “best efforts to make timely partial payments that are as close to the full payment as the individual’s circumstances may permit.”
You should only sign this certification if all of the statements are true. Once you provide the declaration to the landlord, you should be protected from eviction for non-payment of rent. The CDC Order applies to most tenants facing eviction for non-payment. The Order should protect tenants at any stage of the eviction process. If your landlord is evicting you for another reason, the CDC order may not protect you and you should consult with a lawyer.
You can access a template for the CDC certification below.
If you receive an eviction, it is still important to respond to the eviction and seek legal assistance, even if you send the CDC certification to your landlord. You can find forms on the Leon County Clerk of Court website or use the Eviction Answer Builder website below. If you would like assistance with any of these please call us ASAP at 850.222.3292.