For the last year and a half, many rental owners nationwide have been struggling to pay their mortgages and taxes without the ability to evict tenants for nonpayment. But with relief funds finally flowing, the nationwide eviction moratorium has come to an end.
That doesn’t mean that every state is following the federal government’s cues. Read on to find out where eviction moratoriums continue on, and for how long.
Eviction moratorium goes past the nationwide deadline in California, New York and more
The nationwide eviction moratorium may have ended this month, but with less than ten percent of the roughly $46 billion earmarked for rental aid actually distributed, several states have elected to extend the moratorium even further.
California has one of the longest eviction bans in place as the state works through a huge backlog of rent relief requests. It is currently set for September 30, after several previous extensions had pushed it to June 30. Tenants still have to submit a declaration saying they are unable to make full rent, and pay at least 25% of their monthly rent between Sept. 1, 2020 and June 2021, or in bulk, by Sept. 30, to avoid eviction. If they do not provide the declaration by the end of their 15-day notice for nonpayment, eviction proceedings can begin.
Even though evictions over nonpayment of rent could theoretically take place starting October 1, people who make less than 80% of the area median income and were financially affected by COVID would still have six more months to apply for rental assistance funds. If that application goes through, the eviction process will come to a halt and property owners will be able to receive funds for the missed back rent. The landlord must also provide evidence to the court that they applied for rental assistance and the case can only proceed if the tenant does not complete their application or qualify for aid.
"While there is some recognition of this distress in the deal by providing 100% in rent assistance and requirements for the tenants to use the funds to pay rent, we are very concerned as to when this moratorium will actually end," Christine LaMarca, president of the California Rental Housing Association, which represents more than 20,000 landlords, said in a statement.
New York also extended its moratorium to August 31, 2021, and its protections extend to residential and commercial tenants who have endured a COVID-related hardship. The commercial portion applies only to small businesses with under 50 employees that demonstrate a financial hardship brought on by the pandemic. The state didn’t even have its rent relief application set up until June 1 and housing advocates worry that the end of August will not be long enough to distribute these much-needed funds to the over 110,000 renters it has received requests from so far.
Next door in New Jersey, evictions for nonpayment have been halted until January 1, 2022. But tenants making more than 80 percent of the area’s median income could be evicted come August 31. Washington State also extended their eviction ban to September 30, but tenants must start paying full rent August 1 unless they negotiate a lower rent or apply for rental assistance.