The Eviction Moratorium May Be Extended. But Not For Long. Here's How to Prepare for What Comes Next.

The Eviction Moratorium May Be Extended. But Not For Long. Here's How to Prepare for What Comes Next.

Patty Lamberti
 | 
Congress finally passed the second stimulus package. 

Assuming President Trump doesn't veto it, it will include some help for the millions of renters across the nation who have lost their source of income because of the Coronavirus. 

Many of these renters could have been evicted on December 31, when the CDC's eviction moratorium expired.

The new bill gives renters an extra month to stay in their apartments and homes.

According to the legislation, most landlords can't start evicting tenants until January 31, 2021.

But that's not much time to find a new source of income, especially during a period that experts have predicted will be one of the worst months in the pandemic. 

If you are a renter facing eviction, take these steps now to protect yourself from eviction:

1. Apply for some of the  $25 billion in rental assistance that Congress has included in the new bill to help those who lost their source of income during the pandemic.

Even though the bill protects renters through the end of January, all of the rent you haven't paid is due when the moratorium ends. 

Hopefully, you can work out a payment plan with your landlord. 

However, even with such a plan, you may be unable to make ends meet in the new year.

So the government has set aside money to help renters pay their landlords.

You must apply to receive this money. Don't apply at the last minute. Wait times are long, and there's a lot of paperwork involved.

To further complicate matters, there's not a single web site to apply for these funds. Click here to find rent assistance programs in your state and city. 


2. Fill out and file the proper government forms, and provide copies to your landlord.

To remain in your home legally through the end of January, you must prove to the government and your landlord that you have experienced a "substanial" loss of income, job loss or massive out-of-pocket medical expenses. 

 

You also won't be eligible if you made more than $99,990 this year. 

Use this form from the C.D.C.'s web site to prove  that the new stimulus package covers you and your family. 

3. Get a lawyer.

The best way to protect yourself from eviction is by getting a lawyer to argue your case to your landlord or to a judge in court, if it comes to that.

One study found that two-thirds of tenants who had a legal aid attorney were able to stay in their homes, compared with a third of tenants who represented themselves in housing court.

Obviously, if you can't pay your rent, you are probably worried about the cost of a lawyer. 

But our lawyers will likely cost you less than moving. And avoiding eviction may help you avoid contracting COVID-19. If you are forced to move out of your house to live with family or friends, or if you are forced into a shelter, you'll be around more people. And the more you interact with people, the higher your chances are for contracting the Coronavirus.

We're here to help you. Reach out today


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 LawChamps.


 
Patty Lamberti

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