On September 1, 2020, the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention issued a nationwide order halting eviction actions through the end of the year. Unlike the now expired CARES Act moratorium, the current moratorium applies regardless of how a rental property is financed. Instead, tenants will have to attest to a substantial loss of household income, the inability to pay full rent, and best efforts to pay partial rent.WHO QUALIFIES?
This order only applies to renters. It does not apply to foreclosures on home mortgages. To qualify for the protection, renters must provide a written certification stating the following:
- Renters must certify that they have used “best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing.”
- Renters must certify that one of the following has occurred related to their income:
- That the individual expects to earn no more than $99,000 in 2020, or $198,000 if filing a joint tax return; or
- That they were not required to report any income to the IRS in 2019; or
- That they received a stimulus check (Economic Impact Payment) under the CARES Act.
- Renters must certify that they are unable to pay the full rent due to “substantial loss of household income, loss of compensable hours of work or wages, a lay-off, or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses.”
- Renters must use “best efforts” to make partial payments on time that are “as close to the full payment as the individual’s circumstances may permit, taking into account other non-discretionary expenses.”
- Renters must certify that if evicted, they would likely become homeless, need to move into a homeless shelter, or need to move into a new residence shared by other people who live in close quarters because they have no other available housing options.
RENTERS MUST COMPLETE A WRITTEN CERTIFICATION FORM
Each adult listed on the lease, rental agreement, or housing contract should provide a certification form to their landlord, owner of the residential property, or any person who has a right to evict or remove the renter. A copy of this form is included with this informational sheet. The certification form is subject to the penalties of perjury. Be sure to keep a copy of this form for your records.
RENTERS STILL HAVE TO PAY RENT
This order does not relieve renters of the obligation to pay rent. In addition, this order does not prevent landlords from charging or collecting fees, penalties, or interest as a result of a renter’s failure to pay rent. These fees will generate as outlined in the lease agreement. Once the moratorium expires, renters will owe any unpaid rent as well as all penalties and interest.
RENTERS MAY STILL BE EVICTED
This order only applies to those renters who meet the qualifications outlined above. It does not apply to those renters who:
1. Do not qualify for the protection for any reason;
2. Have committed criminal activity on the premises;
3. Have threatened the health or safety of other tenants;
4. Have damaged the property;
5. Have violated building codes or health ordinances related to health and safety; or
6. Have violated any of the terms of the lease other than the timely payment of rent.ASSISTANCE
If you have questions about the above or need assistance please visit www.sdlawhelp.org or call one of the legal service agencies below: 1. EAST RIVER LEGAL SERVICES
(877) 870-1250 2. SOUTH DAKOTA ACCESS TO JUSTICE
(855) 287-3510 3. DAKOTA PLAINS LEGAL SERVICE