A national moratorium on suspension is back in force, this time with much broader protection than the now expired ban on deportation. While the previous law only covered certain types of real estate, the new moratorium effectively protects everyone living in one of the country’s 43 million apartment buildings, no matter where they live.
But the new ban on deportations, which took effect on September 1 and will expire on December 31, did not come from Congress or the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Instead, it was issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, using authority granted to the federal government in a 1944 public health law..
Unlike previous federal measures, the CDC’s order requires renters who end up renting to file a return with their landlord stating that they have lost income due to the coronavirus pandemic and have sought financial support and some other circumstances.
We will dig into this new deportation moratorium to unpack who is covered, what cannot be covered and what you need to do now if you are worried about being deported. In addition, we look at what other resources and options are available to help you stay in your home. We update this story frequently.
What does (and does not) the new ban on deportation do?
The CDC’s new order stops deportations across the United States for anyone who has lost income due to the coronavirus pandemic and has fallen behind on rent. It does not prohibit late fees, nor does it release tenants from the rent they owe. Nor does it create any kind of financial fund to help tenants get stuck – a protection that some say is crucial to preventing a massive wave of expulsions when the ban ends.
The order only cancels exclusions for not paying rent. Rental offenses for other offenses – criminal conduct, becoming a nuisance, etc. – are still enforceable with expulsion. And it only protects tenants who earn less than $ 99,000 a year ($ 198,000 for shared archives).
The order requires tenants who are subject to completion to complete an as yet unpublished government form that certifies several things: The tenant has lost income due to the pandemic, is currently unable to pay full rent, has tried to pay as much as possible, has sought financial assistance where it is available and would probably end up homeless or otherwise forced to live in cramped spaces if thrown out.
The CDC’s order does not change state laws
Any state-level bans that still apply will remain in place as they are as broad or broader than those set by the CDC. To help you find out the status of deportation protection in your state, the Nolo.com legal services website has an updated list of state deportation regulations.
Ask your landlord for a reduction or extension
In almost all cases, it is probably best to draw up an agreement with your landlord or leasing agency, if possible. Although some landlords have reportedly responded to the pandemic by putting even greater pressure on tenants to pay, other landlords have increased at the time, and some have gone so far as to stop paying rent for a period.
It may be worth contacting your landlord to see if you can pay less rent in the coming months, or spread payments for the coming months to rent out next year. Just be careful with landlords who make excessive demands. For example, some have asked tenants to turn over their $ 1,200 stimulus check or some money received from charity as a condition of not submitting an expulsion order. Do not agree to unreasonable terms or conditions that you will not be able to meet, especially if your city or state has adopted protection against such arrangements.
What you can do if you are having financial difficulties right now
If you need immediate protection or emergency housing, the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development maintains a list of housing organizations in your area. Select your state from the drop-down menu for a list of resources near you.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, many states and cities have expanded their available financial support to those struggling to pay rent. To see which programs may be close to you, select your country on the interactive map maintained by the National Low Income Housing Association.
Ideell 211.org connects those who need help with important community services in their area and has a specific portal for pandemic help. If you have problems with your food budget or pay your housing bills, you can use 211.org’s online search tool or call 211 on your phone to talk to someone who can try to help.
JustShelter.org is a non-profit organization that puts expatriate tenants in contact with local organizations that can help them stay in their homes or, in the worst case, find emergency housing.
The online service chatbot on DoNotPay.com has oneas it stands will identify which of the laws, regulations and measures cover rents and expulsions that apply to you based on your location.
If you are a serious criminal or know that you will be soon, you may want to consult a lawyer to better understand how the laws in your area apply to your situation. Legal Aid provides lawyers free of charge to qualified clients who need assistance with civil cases such as deportations. You can find the nearest legal aid office using this search tool.
Finally, if you can no longer afford to rent your current home, relocation may be an option. Average rental rates have been declining across the United States since February, according to a Zillow report in August. Apps like Zillow, Trulia and Zumper can help you find something cheaper. Just be aware that you may still be held liable for any sublease that you are currently liable for and any rent that occurs until the end of your lease (whether you have one), whether you leave or not.