Eviction Moratorium Leaves Small Landlords Struggling

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One of President Biden’s early executive orders extended the temporary national moratorium on evictions for nonpayment of rent that began on September 4, 2020. The moratorium is intended to help renters struggling to make rent payments because of the economic impact of the pandemic. Based on data reported by the National Multifamily Housing Council, rental delinquencies increased from 4.1% in December 2019 to 6.2% in December 2020.

While the moratorium technically doesn’t apply to every residential tenant, qualifying for it is relatively easy. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, a tenant needs to give the landlord a written declaration, subject to the penalty of perjury, that affirms:

  1. They expect to earn less than $99,000 ($198,000 married) in 2021;
  2. Have used their best efforts to obtain governmental renters' assistance;
  3. Can’t pay the rent because of a substantial loss of income or out-of-pocket medical expenses;
  4. Are using their best efforts to make partial payments; and
  5. If evicted they would likely become homeless.

The declaration also underscores that the tenant understands all late payment penalties apply and the total of past-due rent becomes due and payable on April 1, 2021, when the tenant can be evicted for nonpayment.