New Requirements for Eviction Complaints

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Did you know that there are laws to protect you from being evicted and, in some instances, from incurring fees and penalties for non-payment of rent during the Covid-19 pandemic?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an order entitled “Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19.”  This Order is effective September 4, 2020 through December 31, 2020 and prohibits a landlord from taking any action to evict for nonpayment of rent a residential tenant who provides the landlord a declaration under the order. You can learn more about the Order, the criteria for coverage, and how to request protection under the Order in this ACDL blog post.

Another law, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), required a temporary moratorium on evictions from public housing, federally subsidized rental housing, and rental housing with federally-backed mortgages, as well as a ban on accrual during the moratorium of fees, penalties, and interest related to nonpayment of rent.  The CARES Act expired on July 25, 2020.  If you lived in housing covered by the CARES Act between March 27, 2020 through July 25, 2020 and did not pay your rent, your landlord would not be able to charge you for late fees, penalties, or other charges for nonpayment of rent during that time.

What if I am covered under the CDC Order or the CARES Act, but my landlord is trying to evict me over non-payment of rent or has initiated another action against me concerning non-payment of rent?

Recently, the Supreme Court of Arizona issued Administrative Order 2020-159, which requires the landlord in a residential eviction action for non-payment of rent to state in the complaint or attachment to the complaint whether:

  1. Rent is claimed for or any part of the period of time from March 27, 2020 through July 25, 2020 and, if so, whether the property in which the tenant resided was covered under the CARES Act; and
  2. From September 4, 2020 through December 31, 2020, the landlord received from a tenant, lessee, or resident of the residential property a declaration under the CDC order “Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID–19.”

The Supreme Court of Arizona’s Order also requires a landlord in a civil or small claims action that requests a judgment for rent for a residential property to state in the complaint or attachment to the complaint whether rent is claimed for any part of the period of time from March 27, 2020 through July 25, 2020 and, if so, whether the property in which the tenant resided was covered under the CARES Act.

This Order is intended to let the judge know whether you might be protected by the CDC’s Order or the CARES Act.  If this information is not included in the eviction documents and you are entitled to protection under the CDC’s Order or the CARES Act, you may be able to benefit from these protections by informing the judge of your status under the CDC’s Order, the CARES Act, or both.

 

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