Since around January 2020 COVID-19 has spread globally and as of August 3, 2021, there have been almost 200 million global cases of COVID-19. In an effort to fight the spread of COVID-19 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) has issued an eviction moratorium with multiple extensions, which ran through July 31, 2021. However, due to a surge in COVID-19 cases from the Delta variant and because the virus spreads so easily, the CDC has created a new Order extending the eviction moratorium until October 3, 2021.
This new Order extending the eviction moratorium is more targeted compared to the previous Order which ran through July 31, 2021. This Order temporarily halts residential evictions in counties that are experiencing substantial and high rates of community transmission. Since this Order is more targeted to counties rather than being widespread to apply to everyone, it means that certain counties can be subject to the Order and then not be subject to it. The Order will be applicable in a county as of the date the county begins to experience substantial or high levels of community transmission, which can be tracked via the CDC’s website. Community transmission, according to the CDC, means spread of an illness for which the source of infection is unknown. That essentially means that they cannot determine where it came from.
For the CDC’s Order to no longer apply to a county, the county must show that they no longer experience substantial or high levels of community transmission for fourteen (14) consecutive days. However, if a county again experiences substantial or high levels of community transmission, the Order will reapply to them.
Notwithstanding that the Order halts residential evictions for nonpayment of rent, there five things that a tenant, lessee, or resident can still be evicted for under this Order. If a tenant, lessee, or resident:
1. Engages in criminal activity while on the premises.
2. Threatens the health or safety of other residents.
3. Damages or posing an immediate and significant risk of damage to property.
4. Violates any applicable building code, health ordinance, or similar regulation relating to health and safety
5. Violates any other contractual obligation, other than the timely payment of rent or similar housing-related payment (including non-payment or late payment of fees, penalties, or interest).
One thing to note is when it comes to a tenant engaging in criminal activity, the tenant is not allowed to be evicted if they are alleged to have committed the crime of trespass, or similar state-law offense, where the underlying activity is the tenant staying in a residential property for nonpayment of rent. Otherwise, if the tenant engages in one of the five exceptions stated above, it is grounds for an eviction. Additionally, since the beginning of this pandemic, rent is not considered excused during these moratoriums and tenants should still make valiant efforts to continue to pay their rent.
If a landlord filed an eviction prior to the new Order but that eviction is not completed, then that eviction is subject to the CDC’s Order. However, if an eviction was completed between August 1, 2021 and August 3, 2021, then that eviction is not subject to the CDC’s new Order extending the eviction moratorium until October 3, 2021.
At this point, are commercial tenancies or nonresidential tenancies impacted by this Order. Luckily, commercial and nonresidential tenancies are not applicable to the Order, which means they go about business as usual. At this time there is no saying whether the CDC is going to extend this new Order temporarily halting residential evictions or if they may include commercial or nonresidential tenancies to the Order. For help with understanding the CDC’s new Order or to discuss your options, click here to speak with an attorney.