Resuming Residential Evictions After the CARES Act Moratorium
The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), Public Law No. 116-136, § 4024, imposes a moratorium on filing eviction actions for non-payment of rent against tenants residing in a “covered property” until after July 25, 2020. Additionally, § 4024(c) of the CARES Act also indicates that the landlord of a “covered property” may not evict a tenant for non-payment after the moratorium expires except on 30 days’ notice, which the landlord may not issue until after the moratorium period has expired.
The CARES Act defines a “covered property” as any of the following:
- Has a federally backed multifamily loan;
- Has a federally backed mortgage loan;
- Participates in a rural housing voucher program under § 542 of the Housing Act of 1949; or
- Participates in a “covered housing program” under the Violence Against Women Act of 1994
The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 “covered housing program” includes the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program (42 U.S.C. § 1437f). This means that any landlord that has tenants that participate in the Section 8 housing program are a “covered property” under the CARES Act and are subject to the moratorium on filing new eviction actions until after July 25, 2020. This applies even if the tenant who has failed to pay rent is not one that is participating in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program, so long as one or more of the landlord’s other tenants is participating in the program.
In addition to being unable to file new evictions until after July 25, 2020 and having to give a 30-day notice prior to going forward with evictions after the moratorium, landlords subject to the CARES Act moratorium are also not allowed to do any of the following:
- Serve notices to vacate for non-payment of rent (instead landlords will serve the 30-day notice to vacate after July 25, 2020);
- Charge fees, penalties, or other charges to a tenant for the non-payment of rent; or
- File eviction actions against a tenant for the possession of property.
Thus, during the moratorium period, landlords subject to the CARES Act may not try to make a tenant who is not paying rent leave the premises and cannot impose fees or penalties for non-payment of rent. However, landlords may continue asking the tenants to pay their rent during the moratorium.
If a landlord has tenants it desires to evict after the CARES Act moratorium ends, it is advised that the landlord be prepared to issue its thirty-day notices to vacate immediately after the moratorium ends (on July 26, 2020). Then, after those thirty days have elapsed, the landlord should issue a 3-day notice to leave the premises to the tenant, pursuant to Ohio law. After those three days have elapsed, then the landlord may file an eviction action.
If you need assistance preparing the thirty-day notices to vacate or have other questions regarding the resumption of evictions after the CARES Act moratorium ends, please contact one of our attorneys.
Wegman Hessler specializes in business law for business leaders, applying legal discipline to solve business problems to help business owners run smarter. For more than 50 years, this Cleveland business law firm provides full-service strategic legal counsel for closely held businesses. Learn more at www.wegmanlaw.com.