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Federal rent moratorium ended: Here’s what you need to know

Federal rent moratorium ended: Here's what you need to know


Federal rent moratorium ended: Here’s what you need to know

California to pay back rent for eligible tenantsCalifornia will ban evictions for unpaid rent through the end of September and pay off all back rent for eligible tenants under a deal announced Friday by Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders. (June 25)APA federal freeze on most evictions enacted last year expired Saturday after President Joe Biden’s administration extended the original date by a month. The moratorium, put in place by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in September, was the only tool keeping millions of tenants in their homes. Many of them lost jobs during the coronavirus pandemic and had fallen months behind on their rent.Landlords successfully challenged the order in court, arguing they also had bills to pay. They pointed out that tenants could access nearly $47 billion in federal money set aside to help pay rents and related expenses.Advocates for tenants said the distribution of the money had been slow and that more time was needed to distribute it and repay landlords. Without an extension, they feared a spike in evictions and lawsuits seeking to boot out tenants who were behind on their rents.Record-high rents: Students struggle to find affordable housing in college townsMore: COVID-19 pushed Black households deeper into debt than their white peers, new analysis findsEven with the delay, roughly 3.6 million people in the U.S. as of July 5 said they face eviction in the next two months, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey. The survey measures the social and economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic every two weeks through online responses from a representative sample of U.S. households.Do I need to pay back the missed rent payments?Yes.If you missed a payment or were late on a few, you might also owe your landlord a late fee, depending on your agreement.Some states passed legislation prohibiting landlords from charging late fees during the COVID-19 pandemic, but others have not.Can I be evicted after the moratorium?The moratorium only protects from evictions due to nonpayment of rent, said David Bartholomew, Co-Director of the Homelessness Prevention Program at Pisgah Legal Services, not evictions for other reasons, like a landlord not renewing a lease or for a breach of lease.If your state has not passed a local law extending moratoriums on evictions – like California, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Washington state and Washington, D.C. – your landlord can begin the process with a notice. Can my landlord turn off my utilities?It depends on whether your landlord is responsible for paying the utilities, according to the lease or rental agreement. In most states, if a landlord is responsible for paying for a utility, they are not allowed to turn it off.Why didn’t President Joe Biden extend the moratorium?After a Supreme Court decision in June, the White House does not have the power to extend the moratorium. The Supreme Court voted to not end the eviction program and let it expire on July 31. Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote in the opinion in June that “those few weeks will allow for additional and more orderly distribution” of the funds that Congress appropriated to provide rental assistance to those in need due to the pandemic.Congress needed to pass new legislation to extend the moratorium, which it failed to do.Contributing: Josh Rivera, USA TODAY; Derek Lacey, The Asheville Citizen-Times

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