The CDC Eviction Moratorium is a new national emergency policy that orders renters should be protected from eviction if they are unable to pay their rent due to hardships like job loss, income loss, or medical expenses. This protection lasts from September 4, 2020 through December 31, 2020.
The CDC Eviction Moratorium is not automatic protection against eviction. Tenants need to fill in a written Declaration document and give it to their landlord to get the protection. Landlords may still try to file an eviction lawsuit against renters, but renters can use the moratorium to defend themselves in court.
Who Qualifies for protection?
The CDC Eviction Moratorium applies to people who:
- Rent a home in the United States; AND
- Make less than $99,000 (or $198,000 if you file a joint tax return); AND
- Are facing eviction based on nonpayment of rent (not for other problems, like lease violations or criminal activity); AND
- Can show they’re unable to pay rent because they’ve had a financial hardship, like losing a job, decrease in income, or medical bills; AND
- Can show that they’ve been trying their hardest to pay their rent and find any rental assistance; AND
- Can show that they’re at risk of homelessness if they were to be evicted.
If you live in a state, county, or city that has an eviction moratorium, the CDC Eviction Moratorium doesn’t replace this local one. It adds on top of your local protections.
What does the CDC Eviction Moratorium get a tenant? (And not get them.)
The CDC Eviction moratorium can stop an eviction proceeding against you. It could stop your landlord from removing you from your home, or from a court giving your landlord an eviction order through Dec. 31, 2020.
- If your landlord has already started an eviction lawsuit against you, you can use the CDC Eviction Moratorium as a defense in court.
- You can use the moratorium’s Declaration form to tell your landlord that you are protected from eviction, and to ask the court to stop the eviction.
- You must follow the process below to be protected by the CDC Eviction Moratorium.
The CDC Eviction Moratorium does NOT get you rent relief:
- This does not cancel rent that you owe, or stop rent or late fees from building up.
- After the CDC moratorium expires on Dec. 31, 2020, you may be evicted for the rent that you owe.
The CDC Eviction Moratorium may NOT stop a landlord from suing you:
- Even after you follow the Moratorium process below, your landlord might still file an eviction lawsuit against you.
- You can use the eviction moratorium and your declaration as a defense in this lawsuit process to stop the court from letting the landlord remove you from the home.
How can a tenant use the CDC Eviction Moratorium to protect themself?
The process of getting CDC moratorium protection looks like this:
- Look for any rental and utility assistance in your area, and submit applications to these programs. Find assistance programs here (link to state’s Get Help financial page).
- You and every adult in the household need to fill out a written Declaration about your financial hardships and send them to your landlord. In this Declaration, you must say that you are telling the truth and that you may face legal consequences if you are lying. Find them here (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/declaration-form.pdf, and https://www.allianceforhousingjustice.org/understand-cdc-eviction-moratorium).
- Send the Declarations to your landlord, and also tell them that you will do your best to pay when you can. Keep a copy of the Declarations, as well as any receipt or documentation that you have sent it to your landlord. This can be useful evidence that you followed the process correctly.
- After you send this, your landlord cannot remove you from your home for nonpayment of rent, or harass or intimidate you.
- If your landlord has filed an eviction lawsuit against you, you can bring this Declaration to the court to ask them to stop the lawsuit. Contact a legal aid lawyer ( (link to state’s Get Help legal page) to help you with the lawsuit.
- Please note: Your landlord can still evict you for reasons other than nonpayment of rent, such as engaging in criminal activity on the premises, violating building codes or health ordinances, or threatening the health and safety of other residents.
- You will continue to owe your rent. Try to make a plan about how you will take care of all the rent you owe. At the end of the Eviction Moratorium protections on Dec. 31, 2020, you will no longer be protected from being evicted.
- Find your lease and look closely at its terms. Some landlords may try to evict you based on you doing something against the lease’s terms. If you know your lease and abide by it, you can protect yourself.
If you are being evicted, you should contact a legal aid attorney who helps with evictions. The CDC Eviction Moratorium might apply even if your landlord isn’t evicting you for owing rent.