The CDC’s nationwide eviction moratorium officially ends on October 3rd, 2021.
This current moratorium is an extension of the CARES Act passed March 27th, 2020. The original purpose of the moratorium was to provide relief for renters with a loss of income or medical expenses due to the Pandemic. It also was in place to prevent “the further spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), specifically by preventing homelessness and overcrowded housing conditions resulting from eviction.” (The Congressional Research Service’s Federal Evection Moratoriums report.)
To qualify for the current extension of the moratorium, tenants had to meet 5 requirements: income eligibility, loss of income/medical expenses due to the pandemic, applying for government assistance, using best efforts to make partial payments, or will be homeless if evicted. The tenant was required to sign a declaration saying they meet these requirements and give that to that to their landlord. The US Census Bureau estimates that more than 7 million people are still behind on rent due to the pandemic and therefore, qualify for the moratorium. Tenants who have qualified for the moratorium still have to pay rent and fees that are due under their lease.
The government has approved nearly $50 billion dollars to help renters pay back rent and avoid eviction. However, a lot of that aid has been slow to reach the landlords and tenants that would benefit from it. The moratorium’s extension will hopefully allow more landlords to benefit from the aid. For example, the city of Charlotte has been allocated $24,000,000 in emergency rental and mortgage assistance. As of June 30th, 2021, only $14,025,886 has been distributed.
What can you do as a landlord now that the moratorium is ending?
Well, you can evict people who could not pay their rent and had a signed declaration. If you do not want to do that there are a few options.
- Apply for Assistance
There are many new programs for government rental assistance and many of those programs take applications form landlords. If not, you can help your tenants apply. Many of the federal assistance programs cover up to 18 months of rent, including unpaid rent incurred during the pandemic!
North Carolina’s HOPE program has rental and utility assistance and is available in 88 Counties. The program has distributed money to families for rent and utilities to 96,944 households since beginning last fall.
If you are not in one of those 88 counties, there are county programs available, such as Charlotte/Mecklenburg’s RAMP program.
- Pause your mortgage payments with Forbearance
Many property owners who relied on rent payments are having trouble paying their mortgages. Forbearance temporarily pauses or reduces your mortgage payments. In the past, Forbearance could negatively affect your credit. However, as part of the CARES act, that is necessarily not the case.