CDC halts evictions for nonpayment

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September 9, 2020

CDC halts evictions for nonpayment

On Sept. 4, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared a “temporary halt to residential evictions to prevent the further spread of Covid-19.” This eviction moratorium applies to all residential housing in New Hampshire, as it overrides local and state regulations.

The CDC’s order requires residents to declare (under penalty of perjury) that they::

  • Have used best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing (New Hampshire has made funds available to tenant through local Community Action Partnerships);
  • Expect to earn no more than $99,000 (individual) or $198,000 (married couple) in 2020; OR are not required to report income in 2019; OR received an Economic Impact Payment from the CARES Act;
  • Are unable to pay the full rent or housing payment due to substantial loss of household income, loss of hours, layoff, or extraordinary medical expenses;
  • Are using best efforts to make timely partial payments;
  • Eviction would likely mean that the tenant(s) would become homeless or would force the tenant(s) to move into close quarters or shared living settings due to no other housing options.

Upon receipt by the landlord of a confirmation to the above, the resident may not be lawfully evicted for failure to pay rent through December 31, 2020. Landlords may still evict for other lease violations. This notice does not relieve residents from their rent obligations, and landlords may charge late fees, penalties and interest on missed rental payments.

The order is enforceable through substantial fines to individuals (tenants) of up to $100,000 to $500,000 per event and one year in jail. Organizations (housing providers) are 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.

NHAR understands that the order leaves many questions unanswered and will likely be subject to legal challenges. We will continue to monitor further developments and update you once we know more about how this order will work in practice.

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