COVID-19 has left Landlords and Tenants to scramble to pay rent and mortgage. The Federal Government has enacted the CARES ACT to temporarily alter the procedure in all jurisdictions for obtaining an eviction. Under the Cares Act, if you have a Federally backed mortgage or your tenant is receiving public housing assistance, you will need to submit an an affidavit confirming you are in compliance with the CARES Act prior to starting an eviction proceeding for non-payment of rent.

CARES Act Section 4024(b) prohibits landlords of certain rental “covered dwellings” from initiating eviction proceedings or “charg[ing] fees, penalties, or other charges” against a tenant for the nonpayment
of rent. These protections extend for 120 days from enactment (March 27, 2020). Section 4024(c) requires landlords of the same properties to provide tenants at least 30 days-notice before they must vacate the property. It also bars those landlords from issuing a notice to vacate during the 120-
day period. In contrast to the eviction and late fee protections of Section 4024(b), which are expressly limited to nonpayment, Section 4024(c) does not expressly tie the notice to vacate requirement to a particular cause. Thus, Section 4024(c) arguably prohibits landlords from being able to force a tenant to vacate a covered dwelling for nonpayment or any other reason until after August 24, 2020 (i.e., 120 days after enactment, plus 30 days after notice is provided). Section 4024(b)’s and (c)’s protections, however, do not absolve tenants of their legal responsibilities to pay rent. Tenants who do not pay rent during the eviction grace period may still face financial and legal liabilities, including eviction, after the moratorium ends.

Contact us today to schedule a low cost consultation to discuss your rights as a landlord or tenant in Washington DC or Virginia.

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