On May 5, Dabney Friedrich, a federal judge in D.C., laid down the law by tossing out the nationwide moratorium on evictions that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had put in place to protect renters faced with financial issues during the pandemic.
After the controversial decision, Friedrich did agree to place a temporary hold on this ruling while the government seeks to reverse the decision on appeal.
What now? Are struggling renters left stranded? What will be the outcome for both renters and landlords?
To understand how this may affect you, let us back up a minute.
What is the moratorium about?
As a result of COVID-19, millions of people lost their jobs and could not afford to pay rent. The moratorium was put in place to protect renters from eviction caused by the pandemic.
In a nutshell, the order prohibited landlords from evicting tenants who were financially impacted by the pandemic and met specified criteria showing that they made an attempt to pay their rent by applying for government assistance, making small monthly payments for housing, and earn a certain amount of annual income.
What does the ruling mean for landlords?
Numerous landlord groups have voiced concern over the moratorium from their point of view, arguing it has shifted the financial burden from the tenants’ plates to theirs. While tenants have struggled and are protected from paying full rent, landlords have not been receiving the money they are owed, leaving them struggling to cover their costs.
Once the moratorium ends, the door may be open for them to proceed with evictions.
What does the ruling mean for renters?
Just because businesses are opening, and vaccines are rolling out does not mean there is an end to the financial troubles that millions of Americans are facing during this pandemic. After the moratorium ends, struggling renters may be at risk for eviction once again.
If you are one of the millions navigating their finances to come up with rent, here are some questions you are probably facing as the moratorium ends:
- Does your landlord have the legal right to evict you?
- Do you now owe previous missed payments?
- Will there be further actions to protect renters during the pandemic?
- What should you do if you cannot afford rent?
- Who should you get help from if you think you may be evicted?
Get all your landlord/tenant questions answered by a lawyer
While a lot of answers are up in the air right now, the best thing renters can do is to navigate next steps with the help of a lawyer who is familiar with real estate laws in your state.
With the support of your LegalShield provider lawyer, you can get all your questions answered and receive the consultation and advice you need during a difficult time. Our mission at LegalShield is to provide the access to affordable legal help for every person, and we continue to give millions the answers they need every day.
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