Center for Disease Control (CDC) National Eviction Moratorium FAQ
What does the CDC moratorium do?
The moratorium stops landlords from evicting tenants for non-payment of rent until January 31, 2021. This potentially includes some types of holdover cases where non-payment is involved.
To be covered by the moratorium, a tenant needs to give their landlord a sworn declaration that says they:
- tried everything they could to get government help to pay their rent;
- have income less than $99,000, did not have to pay income tax in 2019, or received a stimulus check;
- can't pay rent due to income loss or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses;
- would become homeless or need to double/triple-up if they're evicted;
- will pay their landlord as much as they can, taking into account their other essential expenses.
Who’s not covered by the CDC’s moratorium?
Tenants who are facing eviction for issues unrelated to rent payment. Of course, tenants and their lawyers will argue that the moratorium covers other types of eviction cases, but the CDC moratorium is only really clear that it covers tenants in non-payment cases.
What’s the downside of the CDC Moratorium?
- It doesn't include a clear prohibition on landlords suing tenants, which is a serious cause of anxiety and stress. To date, NY courts continue to accept new eviction case filings and they are not asking landlords about the declaration before they file or taking any steps to stop landlords with declarations from filing.
- It requires that tenants make declarations that many lawyers would not advise a tenant to make when they can still be sued and evicted eventually.
- It requires tenants to swear they’ll pay their landlord what little money they have, clearly prioritizing a landlord’s profit over tenants’ needs. Plus, tenants will be paying their landlords their last resources to avoid eviction in the short term, but their landlord can still sue them and evict them for any unpaid amount after January 31, 2021.
- It’s too short! For NY tenants it will most likely expire before it could benefit anyone sued during COVID.
I think I qualify, should I send my landlord the declaration?
This is an individual choice. If you’re thinking about sending your landlord the CDC declaration, all tenants should get legal advice before submitting this declaration, because it could have legal consequences after the moratorium lifts.
Because of the eviction moratorium in NY and the way the courts are moving cases forward, it’s unlikely that we’ll see evictions in 2020 for anyone sued after March 16, regardless of the CDC order. Given that cases generally take more than 4 months to finalize in NYC, that makes the CDC moratorium largely meaningless because it’s not long enough. Meaning, you could send in the declaration, giving your landlord lots of info you don’t need to give them, and have the moratorium expire before it would ever benefit you and potentially having consequences for a future case.
If you have an eviction case that was started Pre-COVID, it may make more sense to consult with a lawyer to decide about the declaration, since your eviction could move forward before 2020 is over and therefore the CDC moratorium could buy you some time. But even if you have a pre-COVID case, a lawyer may be able to tell you about better options for preventing your eviction.
To connect with a lawyer:
- In NYC, CALL:
The Housing Court Answers hotline at 212-962-4795, from Mon-Fri, from 9-5. This hotline is staffed by housing court advocates who can walk you through the process and connect you with resources. They take calls in all languages.
You can also call 311 and ask for the Tenant Help Line, which is currently staffed by Right to Counsel Attorneys.
Because of Right to Counsel--you should absolutely talk to an attorney before deciding!
- Outside of NYC, call the Statewide hotline: 833-503-0447, open 24/7.
The CDC moratorium isn’t enough. What else is there?!
We have a 3 bill platform that NYS could pass TODAY!
- Emergency Housing Stability and Displacement Prevention Act (Myrie S8667/Reyes A10827). This bill extends the Universal Eviction Moratorium for 1 year.
- Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act of 2020 (Salazar S08802/Niou A10826). This bill cancels rent for the duration of the public health crisis, plus 90 days, freezes all rents and gives every tenant in New York the right to renew their lease. It also provides for landlord hardship. READ OUR CANCEL RENT FACT SHEET HERE.
- Housing Access Voucher Program (Kavanagh 7628A /Cymbrowitz A9657A). This bill provides vouchers to rehouse New Yorkers experiencing homelessness.