The Arizona eviction moratorium is a complicated and thorny issue. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, thousands of Arizona renters have been put in the unsustainable position of owing rent that they can’t pay. In the beginning, the state’s eviction moratorium offered temporary relief. The governor has extended the moratorium until October 31, 2020, with some limitations. However, housing advocates say that even with moratorium renewal and with millions of dollars allocated to assist tenants impacted by COVID-19, state agencies are denying claims, and funds have not been getting to those most in need. However, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also issued an eviction order. Here is how the CDC’s eviction order may help Arizona renters:
The CDC Eviction Moratorium Order
The CDC?s Eviction order banned evictions beginning September 4, 2020.? The order was issued to prevent the spread of COVID-19, as evicting millions on a national scale could have created a greater health crisis. Evictions have been delayed under the order until January 1, 2021. Thus far, the CDC?s order has been interpreted to override Arizona?s eviction moratorium order.
To qualify under the CDC?s requirements, a tenant must sign a declaration affirming that they:
- Have used their best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing;
- Either expect to earn no more than $99,000 in annual income for Calendar Year 2020 (or no more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax return);
- Are unable to pay their full rent or make a full housing payment due to substantial loss of household income, loss of compensable hours of work or wages, lay-offs, or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses;
- Are using best efforts to make timely partial payments that are as close to the full payment as the individual?s circumstances may permit, taking into account other nondiscretionary expenses;
- If evicted, they would likely become homeless, need to move into a homeless shelter, or need to move into a new residence shared by other people who live in close quarters because they have no other available housing options.
- They understand that they must still pay rent or make a housing payment, and comply with other obligations they may have under their tenancy, lease agreement, or similar contract.
- They further understand that fees, penalties, or interest for not paying rent or making a housing payment on time as required by their tenancy, lease agreement, or similar contract may still be charged or collected.
- They further understand that at the end of this temporary halt on evictions on December 31, 2020, that the housing provider may require payment in full for all payments not made before and during the temporary halt, and failure to pay may make them subject to eviction according to state and local laws.
Tenants can be fined $100,000 for lying on their declaration forms, and landlords can be fined as much for breaking the ban. Presently, the CDC?s ban will remain in place until December 31, 2020. The federal ban has fewer requirements for renters than the Arizona moratorium, and for that reason, more will probably qualify for federal eviction protection.
Laura B. Bramnick is an experienced Arizona real estate attorney who has the expertise you need at every stage of your real estate transaction. If you are seeking an exceptional, client-driven real estate lawyer in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Sedona, and throughout the state of Arizona, contact Laura B. Bramnick to schedule your consultation.