The Federal Government through the Center for Disease Control (CDC), announced that effective September 4, 2020 it will adopt a temporary ban on Landlords taking action against residential Tenants for nonpayment of any charges.
The CDC Moratorium has added another layer of complexity to an already challenging set of laws enacted in Oregon due to COVID-19.
The CDC Moratorium prohibits a Landlord from evicting any covered persons for nonpayment of rent during the covered period. A covered person is a residential tenant who provides their Landlord with a declaration made under perjury that meets specific criteria outlined below:
- The individual(s) has used best efforts to obtain all available government assistance to help pay rent;
- The individual either:
- expects to earn no more than $99,000 in annual income for 2020 ($198,000 is filing a joint tax return),
- was not required to report any income in 2019 to the IRS, or
- received a stimulus check pursuant to Section 2201 of the CARES Act;
- The individual is unable to pay the full rent or make a full housing payment due to loss or reduction of household income, loss or reduction of work or wages, a lay-off, or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses;
- They are doing their best to make partial payments;
- Eviction would render them homeless
The moratorium only applies to unpaid charges; if a tenant is violating the lease in other ways (such as engaging in criminal activity, threatening the health or safety of others, damaging the property, etc), then a for-cause eviction could still be filed.
The penalties for failing to abide to this temporary moratorium are stiff and start at a $100,000 fine and/or a year in jail (or both) up to $500,000 per event and jail time.
In Oregon, House Bill 4213 prohibited taking any action for nonpayment of rent during the emergency period of April 1, 2020 through September 30, 2020. The CDC Moratorium now prohibits any such action on unpaid debts until January 1, 2021 at the earliest.
Alpine is adopting policies to ensure no prohibited action is taken if we receive a declaration or any other statement under perjury that a tenant cannot pay rent as outlined above.
This blog is not legal advice. Please consult with an attorney who specializes in residential landlord tenant law in your state when it comes to Landlord-Tenant matters.