September 03, 2020
You may have seen in the news that The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued an Order to temporarily stop eviction cases if certain criteria apply. This is meant to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The order protects an individual that is being evicted for nonpayment of rent if he or she makes a sworn statement to his or her landlord OR a Court that ALL of the following are true:
- That the individual expects an income of no more than $99,000 in 2020($198,000 for joint filers);
- That the individual has sought government assistance to make rental payments;
- That the individual is unable to pay rent because of loss of income or substantial medical bills;
- That the individual will make any payments (i.e. partial payments) that he or she can afford; and
- That the individual will become homeless or be forced to move into a shared living situation (i.e. friends or family) because he or she has no other available housing options.
The Order covers the period from September 4th, 2020 until December 31st, 2020. Rent is still due during this time. Landlords can continue to charge late fees (if permitted by a lease) if rent is not paid on time. The Order only explicitly protects tenants that are being evicted for nonpayment; it is possible tenants may be evicted for other lease violations or reasons other than nonpayment.
The CDC has created a form that you can use to send to your landlord or a court if you think the Order applies to you. Also, we have more information available about the CDC order in our Eviction Article. It is not a new ‘law’ but an Emergency Order from an administrative agency. This new Order brings up lots of questions. Legal Aid of West Virginia is reviewing this Order. And we are trying to determine how it will apply in West Virginia. Keep in mind that any of this information is subject to sudden change, and keep checking back for more information. If you are being evicted and want to know how this applies to your case, apply for help.