Rent Relief: Do You Need to Repay It?

Rent Relief: Do You Need to Repay It?

Scott Dylan Westerlund
Scott Dylan Westerlund
 | 

About half of all American families missed at least one rent payment since the start of the pandemic. If you’re included in that statistic, then you may be wondering what will happen once pandemic rent protections end.

 

Depending on how many payments you’ve missed, you might also be worried about whether the previous rent relief measures mean you need to pay back everything. Learn everything you need to know to feel secure below.

 

When Did the Pandemic Rent Protections End?

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was created with the goal of promoting and improving the health of all citizens in the U.S. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the government organization became an authority on issuing guidance on how we should react. One of the measures they recommended that was implemented was a temporary moratorium on evictions.

 

This moratorium began in September of 2020 and it immediately stopped states and landlords from starting eviction proceedings against tenants due to nonpayment. If you couldn’t pay your rent and you’d have to move in with others if you were forced out, then that could potentially cause more havoc and spread COVID-19. To prevent that from happening, the CDC stopped all evictions. This moratorium ended on July 31st, though.

Some states and cities have extended the ban. You can find out what's happening where you live here.

Do I Need to Repay Rent or Am I Protected From Eviction?

One of the most pressing concerns for families who are financially struggling is – do I need to repay rent or am I protected from eviction after the pandemic ends? The CDC is clear. Their moratorium on eviction proceedings does not equate to rental forgiveness. You still owe your landlord every payment that you missed out on.

 

That’s not it, either! You aren’t protected from all forms of eviction during this moratorium. You can still be evicted for reasons other than nonpayment.

 

Once the pandemic rent relief ends, you’ll need to repay rent that you missed. Your landlord can evict you if you aren’t able to come up with all of those late payments upon the lift of the moratorium. That doesn’t mean that they will exercise that right, though. Depending on your relationship with your landlord, you may be able to work out a deal with them. They may still allow you to keep renting if you come up with a payment plan together.

Rent Relief Options After the Pandemic

Do you currently owe your landlord a hefty sum of money in past-due rent? If so, then you’re likely wondering what rent relief options you’ll have after the pandemic. It’s crucial to start researching your options now because those options will be limited if your landlord begins eviction proceedings once August starts.

 

If you act before the moratorium ends, though, then you could get yourself enough time to afford to pay off those missing payments. If you’re struggling to pay off your rent because the pandemic got you too far into debt for you to get out, then filing for bankruptcy could be a good option for you. If you file for bankruptcy before the CDC lifts the eviction ban, then your landlord won’t be able to start eviction proceedings right away. They’ll have to wait until your bankruptcy case gets resolved. During that time, you could use any extra money you free up from bankruptcy to pay off some of your past-due rent.

 

It's crucial that you talk about your financial situation with an attorney before you make the decision to file, though.

What to Do Moving Forward

Were you one of the millions of American families who missed at least one rent payment during the pandemic? If so, then the pandemic rent protections likely helped you get by. Now that those rent relief options are evaporating, it’s important that you get informed about your options moving forward. As made clear by the CDC, you’ll still owe all the rent payments that you missed during the crisis.

If you need to know more about your rent relief options after the pandemic, then it’s a good idea to get in touch with an attorney in your area. They’ll help you determine your best course of action and potentially help you keep living in the same residence. Head over to our lawyer search area now to find a quality attorney near you.

This article is intended to convey generally useful information only and does not constitute legal advice. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the author, not Law Champs.

Scott Dylan Westerlund

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