Due to repeated pandemic shutdowns, many citizens across the United States continue to struggle financially. This has led to a large number of tenants being unable to pay their rent fees, thus putting them in danger of eviction.
To help minimize the impact of COVID-19 on tenants, the federal government alongside various counties and states have enacted measures placing moratoriums on evictions and banning utility shutoffs.
Keep reading to learn about the specific tenant protections in your state, as well as how eviction protection regulations have changed over time.
Eviction Moratorium Timeline
During the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. various eviction moratoriums were established in response to mass job loss and unemployment. The first of these was included in the CARES act, applying to federally-backed properties.
After its expiry on July 24, 2020, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an agency order known as “Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of Covid-19”.
This order was effective from September 4 until December 31 of 2020, during which evictions were banned in any jurisdiction where the order was applied and for all residential properties in which the tenant met certain criteria.
After the end of the moratorium on the night of January 1 2021, it was immediately extended to January 31. Following President Biden’s inauguration, the order was again extended until March 31.
These federal eviction protections were then extended by the CDC through to June 30, 2021, and one additional extension was enacted until July 31, 2021. Although this was originally meant to be the final moratorium, due to significant political pressure the CDC issued an additional extension for counties with considerable community levels of COVID-19 transmission.
This current ban on evictions will end on October 3 2021, and while additional nationwide bans have not yet been announced, further state and local tenant protections may be issued depending on location.
Who Does the Moratorium Protect?
The current eviction agency order enacted on August 3, 2021 only prohibits landlords from evicting tenants that meet certain criteria. It also only applies to counties with “substantial” or “high” community transmission rates of COVID-19. To check if your county fulfills this requirement, consult the CDC COVID-19 Integrated County View page.
To qualify for protection from eviction, a tenant must also meet the following criteria:
- Have earned less than $99,000 in 2020 or expected to earn lass than this amount in 2021 ($198,000 if filing jointly with another person)
- Not have had to report any income to the IRS in 2020 or have received an Economic Impact Payment (stimulus check)
- Have used their best efforts to obtain government housing assistance
- Are not able to pay their rent due to significant income loss
- Have made their best efforts to make partial rent payments
- Would become homeless or have to move into shared living after eviction
Tenants wanting protection from eviction will need to complete a declaration under penalty of perjury that they meet the order’s criteria. Anyone violating the order may face criminal penalties such as jail time or fines.
It’s also important to note that certain states have additional tenant eviction bans that provide more protection than the current agency order. Make sure you check your area's regulations to see if you fulfill the necessary requirements.
Eviction Protection Status for All States
The overview below includes the latest information on COVID-19 eviction protections by state. Please be advised that this information is changing frequently (sometimes on an hourly basis), so it’s important that you check your state’s government website regularly for up-to-date information on evictions.
|State||Ban On Evictions||Ban on Utility Shutoffs||Percentage of renters behind as of July 5|
|California||Yes: through 9/30/2021||Yes: through 9/30/2021||14%|
|District of Columbia||Yes||Yes||18%|
|Illinois||Yes: through 10/3/2021||No||17%|
|New Jersey||Yes: until end of emergency +2 months||No||18%|
|New York||Yes: through 1/15/2022||Yes||21%|
|Virginia||No||Yes: until at least 60 days after end of state of emergency||14%|
|Washington||Eviction moratorium "bridge" through 9/30/2021||Yes: through 9/30/2021||15%|
|Washington DC||Yes: through 28/02/2022||Yes: through 28/02/2022|
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