No. The CDC’s order does not require that a renter’s financial hardship be COVID-related.
IF I HAVE ROOMMATES, DO WE EACH NEED TO FILL OUT A DECLARATION?
Yes. The CDC’s order specifies that every adult on the lease should sign and send their own declaration.
WHAT IF MY LANDLORD IGNORES THE DECLARATION AND MOVES FORWARD WITH EVICTION?
Landlords who violate the CDC’s order may be fined up to $100,000, face up to a year in jail, or both if the evicted person contracts coronavirus as a result of the eviction. If an evicted tenant dies of coronavirus, the landlord could be fined up to $250,000, face up to a year in jail, or both.
WHAT IF I AM IN THE PROCESS OF BEING EVICTED?
Because the order blocks all phases of the eviction process, eligible tenants going through an eviction should quickly provide their landlord a signed declaration to halt the eviction.
SHOULD I STILL PAY MY RENT?
Yes. If you are able, you should still pay as much of your rent as possible in order to continue meeting the qualifications for the moratorium. The declaration also requires you to agree that you will make partial payments to your landlord to the extent your circumstances allow it. All back rent will have to be paid once the moratorium expires on December 31, 2020.
DOES THE MORATORIUM INCLUDE ANY MONEY TO HELP ME PAY RENT?
No. Without rental assistance, the moratorium doesn’t ultimately prevent evictions – it just delays them.
CAN I BE EVICTED WHEN THE MORATORIUM EXPIRES?
Yes, although right now it is unclear whether the CDC’s order would waive protections afforded to renters under state or local laws.
WHAT STEPS MUST I TAKE TO BE PROTECTED BY THE EVICTION MORATORIUM?
If you meet all of these conditions listed above, you must send a signed declaration to your landlord.
DO I NEED TO PROVIDE PROOF OF FINANCIAL HARDSHIP, “BEST EFFORTS” TO OBTAIN ASSISTANCE, OR OTHER CRITERIA FOR COVERAGE?
The CDC’s order does not require you to provide any proof with the declaration. However, you may want to have documents on hand in case your landlord attempts to challenges the declaration.
NLIHC and NHLP also recommend tenants send their landlords the declaration via certified mail, which will provide you with an official receipt to prove the declaration was mailed and require a signature from the recipient to prove the declaration was delivered. Sending the declaration by email also provides evidence that you submitted the declaration. You should also make a copy of the declaration to keep for your records.