Eviction Moratorium Laws by State

by | May 16, 2020 | Business Law | 0 comments

This post originally published here: this site

Last updated: May 13, 2020

As a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, the federal government, along with many states and municipalities, are taking emergency actions to protect tenants from eviction. The rationale for these actions—in correlation with relief for landlords and other property owners—is to minimize disruptions while shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders are in effect.

We’ve put together a guide to the states where such laws have been enacted, but keep in mind that these policies are subject to changes and extensions. If you have questions about evictions or foreclosures, or your general rights as a landlord or tenant in your state, ask a lawyer.

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:

Alabama

Governor Ivey issued an eviction moratorium on April 3, ordering law enforcement officers to discontinue removing tenants from their homes.

  • 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

Alaska

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.

  • 60-day moratorium
  • The Alaska Housing Finance Corporation was also directed to suspend foreclosures and evictions

Arizona

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.

  • Documentation regarding a reduction in income as a result of COVID-19 will be required
  • Tenants are still responsible for any rent owed

Arkansas

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.

California

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 31.

  • 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

Colorado

Governor Polis has issued an executive order that suspends evictions through the month of May.

Connecticut

Governor Lamont announced an executive order halting evictions through July 1, including a 60-day grace period for rent in April and May.

  • 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

Delaware

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 the State of Emergency.
  • Utility companies are prevented from shutting off services to residential customers.
  • Tenants are still required to meet rent obligations.

Florida

Governor DeSantis ordered that all foreclosures and residential evictions be halted at least until May 17th.

Georgia

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

Hawaii

Governor Ige has issued a statewide moratorium on evictions through May 31st.

Idaho

Governor Little has not issued a moratorium.

Illinois

Governor Pritzker issued an executive order pausing enforcement of residential evictions, which was extended through the end of the state of emergency.

Indiana

Governor Holcomb issued an executive order preventing evictions or foreclosures for the duration of the state of emergency.

  • Tenants and homeowners are still required to pay what is owed
  • Public housing authorities will consider extending deadlines for public housing eligibility

Iowa

Governor Reynolds has enacted a temporary suspension of some evictions through May 27th.

  • Foreclosure proceedings or prosecution of ongoing foreclosure proceedings on residential, commercial, and agricultural real property located in the state of Iowa are suspended as well

Kansas

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.

Kentucky

Governor Beshear signed an executive order suspending residential evictions.

Louisiana

Governor Edwards suspended foreclosures and evictions until April 13. This order has not been extended.

Maine

No statewide eviction moratorium has been announced, but Governor Mills indicated she is strongly considering one.

  • Courts are closed for eviction and foreclosure hearings and proceedings until May 15

Maryland

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

Massachusetts

Governor Baker signed a bill into law on April 20 that temporarily halts evictions and foreclosures. The moratorium is set to end on August 18 or 45 days after the governor issued a state of emergency (whichever comes sooner).

Michigan

Governor Whitmer issued an executive order on April 17 temporarily halting evictions for nonpayment of rent and halting all current eviction proceedings. The moratorium is set to end after May 15.

Minnesota

Governor Walz issued an executive order putting a halt on all evictions and foreclosures beginning March 24 and running through April 30. This order is expected to be extended.

Mississippi

Governor Reeves issued an executive order placing a halt on evictions. The suspension expires on June 1st.

Missouri

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.

Montana

Governor Bullock issued an order prohibiting landlords from evicting tenants or charging late fees or other penalties for failure to pay rent through May 24. This protection has since been extended to provide protections against refusing lease renewals, etc.

  • The directive also prevents residential foreclosures because of nonpayment

Nebraska

Governor Ricketts signed an executive order prohibiting certain eviction proceedings in Nebraska through May 31.

Nevada

Governor Sisolak announced a statewide eviction moratorium, which will last for the duration of the state of emergency.

New Hampshire

Governor Sununu issued an executive order prohibiting any new eviction or foreclosure proceedings due to tenants being unable to pay rent as a result of COVID-19.

  • The order shall remain in place for the duration of New Hampshire’s state of emergency declaration

New Jersey

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

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

New York

Governor Cuomo has enacted a suspension of all commercial and residential evictions, effective March 22. The eviction moratorium has been extended until August 20th.

  • 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.

North Carolina

North Carolina Chief Justice Cheri Beasley issued an order extending the delay of all non- emergency proceedings though June 1. Evictions and foreclosures are not listed as emergency proceedings, and thus will not be heard.

North Dakota

North Dakota Supreme Court Chief Justice Jon Jensen announced that all residential eviction proceedings have been suspended.

Ohio

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

Oklahoma’s county courts have suspended non-emergency proceedings through May 15. The statute of limitations for all civil cases is extended through May 15.

  • Local sheriff departments are suspending enforcement of evictions, including Oklahoma County and Tulsa County

Oregon

Governor Brown passed an executive order establishing a moratorium on residential evictions effective March 22nd. Another executive order was later issued providing a 90-day moratorium for commercial evictions. Both were extended for 90 days (from April 1st).

Pennsylvania

By the order of Governor Wolf, eviction proceedings cannot begin until July 10, 2020.

Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Supreme Court announced that it will remain closed to all non-emergency matters through May 17. The Court clarified that no new evictions would be processed during this time.

South Carolina

Though suspended temporarily, eviction proceedings are expected to begin May 15th.

South Dakota

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

Tennessee

The Tennessee Supreme Court extended its order delaying most in-person court proceedings, including eviction cases, through May 31.

Texas

The Texas Supreme Court extended an order stopping eviction proceedings through May 18.

Utah

Governor Herbert issued a moratorium on residential evictions in very limited circumstances through May 15.

  • Tenants must demonstrate wage or job loss as a result of COVID-19, have been ordered to quarantine or self isolate by the Utah Health Department or local health authorities, or have tested positive for COVID-19

Vermont

The Vermont State Senate has passed a bill that would temporarily prevent evictions and foreclosures, and has sent the bill to the Vermont House of Representatives.

  • The Vermont Supreme Court has suspended all non-emergency court hearings (including evictions) through May 31

Virginia

The Supreme Court of Virginia extended its order preventing new eviction cases through May 17.

Washington

Governor Inslee extended the initial moratorium of evictions through June 4, and expanded the protections dramatically.

  • The 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

Washington, D.C.

The District of Columbia Supreme Court has suspended evictions of all tenants and foreclosed homeowners. D.C. courts will only handle emergency orders through May 31 at the earliest.

West Virginia

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals extended its order ceasing all non-emergency actions (including evictions) through May 15.

Wisconsin

Governor Evers issued an executive order on March 27 prohibiting evictions and foreclosures for 60 days.

Wyoming

There is no moratorium in place, however, a Supreme Court judicial order suspends all in-person proceedings until May 31st.

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.

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