CARES Act/Eviction Moratorium

Legislative Updates,

CARES Act Eviction Moratorium

April 7, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted business operations nationwide, leading to dramatic job losses that threaten the ability of many to meet their financial obligations, including housing rental payments. To aid individuals and businesses harmed by the pandemic, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (P.L. 116-136).

Section 4024 of the CARES Act provides a temporary moratorium on eviction filings as well as other protections for tenants in certain rental properties with federal assistance or federally related financing. These protections are designed to alleviate the economic and public health consequences of tenant displacement during the COVID-19 outbreak. They supplement temporary eviction moratoria and rent freezes implemented in states and cities by governors and local officials using emergency powers. While Section 4024’s tenant protections are narrower in scope than those proposed by some lawmakers, called for by some tenant-advocates, or enacted in some other countries, they represent arguably unprecedented action by the federal government in an area of law that, largely, states and localities traditionally govern. Thus, questions remain about the law’s effects on tenants, landlords, and rental markets.