Now that the last remaining ejection protection established byhave disappeared, tens of millions of tenants who were protected from deportation are no longer protected against losing their homes for arriving late on rent. This includes some of the more than 27 million workers applying for unemployment benefits on 8 August, who recently .
Worsening things, every weekthat President Donald Trump ordered in August has not yet kicked in and is leaving nearly half of all U.S. tenants at risk of eviction in the coming months, according to an analysis by Statista. Trump August 8 promised only that his administration would investigate deportations, but stopped without directly hindering them (scroll down for an analysis of that order).
The US Department of Housing has extended some deportation protections until the end of the year for tenants living in certain single-family homes, but the move protects only a small percentage of the country’s 43 million rental households.
We guide you through everything we know, from the President’s executive order to how you can find out if your home is protected, plus what resources and options are available to you if you are facing a potential deportation now. We update this story frequently.
What happened? And what happens next?
When the CARES Act was signed into law in March, it stopped the eviction of certain types of rental properties for 120 days, plus it tackled a mandatory 30-day rejection notice, effectively creating a moratorium that lasted until August 24. Although several attempts have been made in Congress to extend or extend these protections, so far no one has made a final vote.
On August 27, HUD extended a deportation ban (PDF) until the end of the year, but only for single-family homes financed with loans guaranteed by the Federal Housing Authority, aka FHA loans. An analysis by Politico showed that only about 8.1 million properties fall under such strict restrictions. Not to mention, due to strict rules that require owner occupancy, very few FHA-funded houses are even used as rentals.
What all this means is that most landlords across the country can now submit exhibits to the courts, unless there are state or local laws prohibiting it. (Continue reading to learn how to find out the laws where you live.)
If this happens, it does not necessarily mean that you have to move out of your home today, just that a eviction procedure has been initiated against you. Depending on the laws where you live, as well as how backward the civil court is in your county, it can take days, weeks or even months for a judge to hear your case. With that said, once a verdict has been passed against you and an expulsion has been ordered, you can, depending on the laws where you live, again have as few as two days, as long as a week or even longer to pack your belongings and find somewhere else to live.
Keep reading for resources that may be helpful.
Trump’s executive order does not stop deportations
The wording of the August 8 executive order only promises to investigate the matter and does not prevent deportations today (emphasizes our):
Secretary of Health and Human Services and Director of the CDC should consider whether any measures temporarily stop the eviction of tenants due to non-payment of rent are reasonably necessary to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 from one state or holding to another state or possession.
The order contains four steps of government action, including investigating whether it is necessary to stop deportations as a way to prevent the spread of coronavirus, presumably from people crossing state borders and looking for new housing or shelter. The order also includes a review of existing “authorities and resources” and identification of ways to provide assistance.
Although the order encourages the Ministry of Finance and the Secretary for Housing and Urban Development to explore ways to finance financial assistance to tenants who remain on the rent, the executive order stops not setting up such a fund or banning deportations. In other words, without further action by the Trump administration or Congress, nothing has really changed – yet.
Find out the status of deportation protection in your state
Emissions bans throughout the country have often either expired or will come soon, many without compensation in sight. Michigan, for example, ended its abolitionist moratorium, as did several other states. A handful of states never canceled expulsions to begin with.
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.
If you are a serious criminal or know 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 help with civil cases such as deportations – you can find the nearest Legal Aid office using this search tool.
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 no longer charge rent payments 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 facing 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, many states and cities have increased their available financial support for those struggling to pay rent. To see what programs are available near you, select your country on the interactive map maintained by the National Low Income Housing Association.
Non-profit organization 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 tenants who are being evicted in touch 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, ordinances and measures covering rents and expulsions apply to you based on your location.
Finally, if you can no longer afford to rent your current home, relocation may be an option. Average rental prices have been declining across the United States since February, according to a August Zillow report. Apps like Zillow, Trulia and Zumper can help you find something cheaper. Just be aware that you may still be liable for any back rent that you are currently owed as well as for any rent that occurs until the end of your lease (whether you have one), whether you leave or not.