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September 15, 2020 12:30 PM

Eviction Moratorium Information

On September 4, a CDC order went into effect - halting residential evictions through December 31, 2020. The order applies to residential renters in DeSoto County, and across the nation.

The protection under the order is not automatic. A Tenant must provide their landlord a declaration containing certain assurances:
• That the individual used best efforts to obtain all government assistance for rent/housing.
• That the individual (i) has an income less than $99,000 in 2020 ($198,000 for joint filers), (ii) was not required to report income in 2019, or (ii) received a CARES stimulus check.
• That the individual is unable to pay full rent because of a substantial loss of work/income/hours, or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses.
• That the individual is making best efforts to make timely partial payments.
• That an eviction would likely leave the individual homeless or forced into a congregate living setting because they lack another available housing option that would not increase their housing costs (i.e. there is not a cheaper rental option).
• That they understand they must still pay rent or make a housing payment and comply with other obligations listed on the lease agreement, or similar contract.
• At the end of the temporary halt on evictions, they understand landlord may require payment in full for all payments not made prior to and during the temporary halt.

The order includes a declaration form for renters to use. Declarations do not go to the federal government. The tenant MUST provide the Declaration to the landlord. Individuals must make these declarations under the penalty of perjury, and each adult listed on a lease must complete the declaration. Violators of the order can face criminal penalties.
Here is what the moratorium does not do:
• It does not relieve rent payments
• It does not prevent late fees/penalties
• It does not prevent eviction for other reasons; criminal activity, damage to property, posing a risk to others, violating building codes or health ordinances.
• It does not affect foreclosure actions
• It does not protect people residing in hotels/motels or like properties.

Penalties: Landlords and others violating this Order may be subject to a fine of no more than $100,000 if the violation does not result in a death - or one year in jail, or both, or a fine of no more than $250,000 if the violation results in a death or one year in jail, or both, or as otherwise provided by law. An organization violating this Order may be subject to a fine of no more than $200,000 per event if the violation does not result in a death or $500,000 per event if the violation results in a death or as otherwise provided by law. The U.S. Department of Justice may initiate court proceedings as appropriate seeking imposition of these criminal penalties.

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