After acknowledging that the CDC did not have the legal authority to extend the eviction moratorium, and after Congress could not get the votes for a legislative moratorium, President Biden went ahead and directed the CDC to extend the eviction moratorium through October 3, 2021.
(For legal purposes, the CDC claims this is a new moratorium and not an extension, but it copies the previously moratoriums for a small change regarding the spread of COVID-19 within counties.)
Before we delve into the details, this underscores the importance of fighting these issues as they come up. Funding our trade associations to lobby and litigate these issues is the only means the rental housing industry has to fight back. If nothing is done, these moratoriums will continue indefinitely, through the holidays, through the summer etc.
The CDC moratorium has now been continued through October 3, 2021 for those counties that are considered to have “high” or “substantial” community transmission levels for COVID-19. A county must fall below “substantial” for 14 days before the moratorium would not apply to it. As of now, all counties in Arizona fall under substantial or high levels.
Beyond this new focus on transmission levels, the Order is substantially the same. A resident merely has to sign and turn in a CDC declaration and they will get the protections provided therein. A landlord has the option to challenge the declaration in court, if they can prove that one or more statements in the declaration are materially inaccurate.
Amazingly, if our readers recall, before he was sworn into office, President Biden said that he wanted the moratorium to continue through September, 2021. Evidently, he got his wish, despite the numerous legal challenges. We expect there to be a legal challenge to this extension as well, but it is unclear what exact procedure will be followed.
For now, owners are in the same position they were last week. They cannot evict a resident for non-payment of rent when the resident signs the CDC declaration, unless they challenge the declaration in court. If you wish to discuss such an option with our firm, please prepare a timeline of events, a log of communications and a new ledger. We can then discuss potential options.
As always, continue to work with your residents.
Look for a new podcast in the next two days.
Zona Law Group P.C.