September 1, 2020, the Center for Disease Control and the Department of Health and Human Services announced a 4-month halt on evictions against renters, invoking public health laws out of concern that a national homelessness crisis
could worsen the country’s coronavirus outbreak.
To qualify for the protection, renters must provide a written certification covering several requirements. The CDC’s Order provides temporary relief to those residential tenants facing eviction who submit the required declaration through
the end of the year. The Order, however, does not absolve the tenant
from paying rent or restrict a landlord from applying penalties, interest, or
late fees on the tenant’s account for non-payment of rent.
Additionally, the CDC’s Order does not relieve landlords of their debt
service obligations if a tenant seeks relief under the Order.
The CDC Order can be found here with a sample affidavit.
On Friday, Maryland Chief Judge Morrissey made this announcement.
If this defense is raised, it will be treated as an affirmative defense in failure to pay rent cases until December 31, 2020, unless extended by the CDC. Each judge will determine the sufficiency of the evidence provided. If a tenant is successful in asserting this defense, the court will determine the amount that is due for possession but will reserve entry of judgment until such time as the judgment
is not prohibited by the CDC’s Order. Upon termination of the CDC Order,
the court, without request from any party, will enter each judgment for
possession that was reserved by the court. The landlord has a continuing
duty to inform he court of any payments made by the tenant while
the case is pending or is reserved.
Here is a link Maryland Matters story outlining the issues on all sides.
THERE IS MORE WORK TO COME!
The federal eviction moratorium merely delays the problem. When the
moratorium expires at the end of the year, back rent will be due, and renters
will be unable to pay. In the meantime landlords will continue to struggle.
Congress must provide at least $100 billion in emergency rental assistance
to keep renters stably housed during and after the pandemic and to
ensure we don’t lose any of our country’s essential housing stock.
Read NLIHC’s and NHLP’s Overview of National Eviction Moratorium and their National Eviction Moratorium: FAQ for Renters.
Eviction, Court Preparation & Mediation
Attorney General Frosh’s Covid-19 Access to Justice Task Force
hosted a virtual town hall on August 31, 2020 on
Evictions, Court preparation, and Mediation
There was a great Q&A with experts
following the presentation. Here is a link to the recording of the
English and Spanish sessions.
STATE UNEMPLOYMENT TOOL
Maryland Department of Labor now has unemployment data online.
Click here for useful tool for tracking trends. – There are maps and graphs,
broken down by industry and type of unemployment.
HELP US HELP YOU
Renew your CDN membership today!
Throughout the Covid-19 crisis, CDN has provided timely information to
you and your staff. It’s more critical than ever that we band together
for meaningful opportunity for all Marylanders.
Please click JOIN to pay your membership today.