What is an eviction moratorium?
An eviction moratorium is a temporary halt to eviction proceedings. In the case of COVID-19, a majority of moratoriums have been enacted to stop evictions for nonpayment of rent or for other reasons that are not the fault of the tenant. Depending on your state or locality, the moratorium can apply to residential or commercial rentals. During an eviction moratorium, landlords are still expected to uphold their lease obligations and tenants are still expected to pay rent on time, though there may be an opportunity to negotiate a Rent Payment Plan, if needed.
In some areas, evictions unrelated to nonpayment, such as violence or health and safety issues, may still occur under the COVID-19 moratoriums, so it is in your best interest to speak with an attorney to understand the guidelines related to your specific situation.
Is there an eviction moratorium in my state?
The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides a base level of protection for covered tenants and landlords, including a moratorium on evictions for residents of government-assisted housing until July 24. Your state or local government may provide additional relief, as described below:
Governor Ivey issued an eviction moratorium on April 3, ordering law enforcement officers to discontinue removing tenants from their homes. The moratorium ended on June 1, 2020.
- Grants temporary relief from foreclosures and evictions
- Tenants are still obligated to pay rent and property owners are still required to make mortgage payments, but tenants may not be evicted for non-payment of rent
Governor Dunleavy announced a comprehensive plan on March 20 that includes a halt to all evictions for the 13,000 Alaskans who receive rental assistance through the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation. The moratorium expired on July 1, 2020.
- 60-day moratorium
- The Alaska Housing Finance Corporation was also directed to suspend foreclosures and evictions
Governor Ducey issued an executive order temporarily delaying evictions for up to 120 days, and the Arizona Supreme Court authorized the suspension of mandatory timelines for eviction hearings. The executive order is expected to continue through October 31, 2020.
- Documentation regarding a reduction in income as a result of COVID-19 will be required—the executive order applies to those experiencing issues related to the pandemic.
- Tenants are still responsible for any rent owed
Governor Hutchinson has not issued a formal moratorium (but may consider one if necessary), citing circumstances that are creating a "practical moratorium," as courts and process server businesses are closed.
Governor Newsom announced a ban on the enforcement of evictions for renters affected by COVID-19, enacting a state-wide moratorium, to remain in effect through May 31st. Governor Newsom has given local governments the option to extend these protections through September 2020.
- Tenants must provide written notice to their landlord within 7 days of rent being due
- Tenants obligated to pay the full rent amount, in a "timely manner"
- Certain metropolitan areas, including San Francisco and Rancho Cucamonga, have enacted moratoriums for commercial evictions, as well
Governor Polis has issued an executive order that states landlords cannot penalize for non-payment from May 2020 through August 11th, 2020. Landlords must also give 30 days of eviction notice. In Denver, there is an indefinite hold on evictions.
Governor Lamont announced an executive order halting evictions through August 25, 2020.
- Landlords may apply security deposits toward rent due in April, May, or June, at the request of tenants who have been financially affected as a result of COVID-19
- Governor Lamont also issued a moratorium on utility shut-offs.
Governor Carney announced a moratorium on residential evictions and residential foreclosures "during the state of emergency."
- Under the order, landlords also cannot charge late fees or interest during a State of Emergency.
- Utility companies are prevented from shutting off services to residential customers.
- Tenants are still required to meet rent obligations.
Governor DeSantis ordered that all foreclosures and residential evictions be halted at least until August 1st.
No statewide eviction moratorium is in place at this time. However, the Supreme Court of Georgia issued two Emergency Judicial Orders delaying the eviction process.
- Mayor Bottoms of Atlanta issued an Executive Order on March 17 imposing a 60-day moratorium on residential evictions
Governor Ige has issued a statewide moratorium on evictions through July 31st.
Governor Little has not issued a moratorium.
Governor Pritzker issued an executive order pausing enforcement of residential evictions, which was extended through August 22, 2020.
Governor Holcomb issued an executive order preventing evictions or foreclosures through July 31, 2020.
- Tenants and homeowners are still required to pay what is owed
- Public housing authorities will consider extending deadlines for public housing eligibility
The temporary suspension of evictions has been lifted in Iowa.
Governor Kelly signed an executive order temporarily prohibiting commercial or residential evictions, as well as any mortgage foreclosures through May 1. It has not been extended, however utility companies are required to offer payment plans.
Governor Beshear signed an executive order suspending residential evictions. This order extends until the national emergency is declared over.
Governor Edwards suspended foreclosures and evictions until April 13. This order has not been extended.
Governor Mills issued an order stating that the eviction moratorium will continue until 30 days after the state of emergency is suspended.
- Utilities companies may not suspend service until further notice.
Governor Hogan extended the emergency order prohibiting certain kinds of residential evictions, effective through the duration of the state of emergency declaration.
- Foreclosure proceedings are temporarily prohibited for any residential, commercial, or industrial properties
- Tenants must prove substantial loss of income due to COVID-19
Governor Baker signed a bill into law on April 20 that temporarily halts evictions and foreclosures. The moratorium has been extended through October 17, 2020.
- No utility shut-offs until a statement from the Public Utility Department is issued, or the state of emergency is lifted.
- The mayor of Boston has extended the ban through 2020.
Governor Whitmer issued an executive order on April 17 temporarily halting evictions for nonpayment of rent and halting all current eviction proceedings. The moratorium ended on July 15, 2020.
- Evictions in the city of Detroit are suspended through August 15, 2020.
Governor Walz issued an executive order putting a halt on all evictions and foreclosures beginning March 24 and running through April 30. This order has been extended through August 12, 2020.
Governor Reeves issued an executive order placing a halt on evictions. The suspension expires on June 1st.
There is no statewide eviction moratorium in place. However, The Supreme Court of Missouri suspended all in-person proceedings for non-emergency cases. While Gov. Parson said the courts have indicated that evictions are not considered a priority, some Missouri tenants are still facing eviction notices.
Governor Bullock issued an order stating that those who meet the criteria cannot face eviction or shut-offs.
- The directive also prevents residential foreclosures because of nonpayment
Governor Ricketts signed an executive order prohibiting certain eviction proceedings in Nebraska through May 31. This ban was not extended.
Governor Sisolak announced a statewide eviction moratorium, which will phase out between July 31st and August 31st, 2020.
Governor Sununu's executive order regarding evictions expired on July 1st.
Governor Murphy issued an executive order on March 19 declaring a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures.
- The order does not halt court proceedings, just removals
- The moratorium will end two months after Governor Murphy declares an end to the state of emergency
New Mexico Courts have paused evictions issued on or after March 24 for tenants who prove their inability to pay rent. Tenants are required to participate in hearings once proceedings have begun.
- Moratorium set to end once the declared state of emergency has ended
Governor Cuomo has enacted a suspension of all commercial and residential evictions, effective March 22. The eviction moratorium has been extended through the state of emergency.
- New York City: Mayor De Blasio implemented a rent freeze program for tenants in the City's 1 million regulated apartments. He also suggested that the state legislature allow tenants to use security deposits in lieu of rent payments.
- Water companies are prohibited from shut-offs.
North Carolina Chief Justice Cheri Beasley issued an order extending the delay of all non-emergency proceedings though June 1. Eviction proceedings have resumed.
North Dakota eviction proceedings have resumed.
Governor issued an executive order requesting commercial landlords to suspend rent payments for commercial tenants, as well as a moratorium on evictions for commercial tenants for 90 days (beginning April 1). The order also includes protections against commercial foreclosures.
- The Ohio Supreme Court asked municipal courts to stop processing residential eviction and foreclosure proceedings, but there is no official policy in place regarding a moratorium.
Oklahoma's county courts have resumed evictions for tenants not covered by the CARES Act.
- Local sheriff departments are suspending enforcement of evictions, including Oklahoma County and Tulsa County
The eviction moratorium has been extended through September 30, 2020.
By the order of Governor Wolf, eviction proceedings cannot begin until August 31, 2020
Rhode Island eviction proceedings resumed on June 1, 2020.
Eviction proceedings resumed on May 15, 2020.
Governor Noem stated she would not consider a moratorium for evictions or foreclosures.
- Small businesses can apply for aid through Governor Noem's Small Business Relief Fund
Eviction proceedings resumed June 1, 2020.
- Utility shut-offs have been suspended through the state of emergency.
Eviction proceedings, unless prohibited by local order, resumed May 18, 2020.
Governor Herbert issued a moratorium on residential evictions in very limited circumstances through May 15. This order was not extended and eviction proceedings have resumed.
The Vermont Supreme Court has halted evictions until the state of emergency is lifted.
Eviction proceedings resumed on June 28, 2020.
- A halt on utility shut-offs will remain in effect until August 31, 2020.
Governor Inslee extended the initial moratorium of evictions through June 4, and expanded the protections until August 1st.
- New extension also applies to parcels of land (such as where mobile homes are located), transitional housing, and public lands (camping grounds)
- Includes additional prohibitions on raising commercial rents or forcing tenants to change units
- The Governor has encouraged utility companies to halt shut-offs.
The District of Columbia Supreme Court has suspended evictions of all tenants and utility shut-offs. Landlords may not file eviction complaints until 60 days after the state of emergency has been lifted.
Eviction proceedings resumed on May 15, 2020.
Eviction proceedings have resumed, but a freeze on utility shut-offs remains in place.
Eviction proceedings have resumed.
Get the help you need
In light of the financial bind that an eviction moratorium can create, landlords should understand their eligibility for mortgage forbearance or government assistance through Small Business Administration programs, such as the Paycheck Protection Program or Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. Along the same lines, given the rise in unemployment, it is important that tenants understand their legal rights when it comes to economic hardship during this time.
Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, Rocket Lawyer is here to help. Get access to free legal advice and essential documents in the Coronavirus Legal Center to help you address any challenges that you or your business are facing as a result of COVID-19.
This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.