Within hours of being inaugurated on January 20, President Joe Biden signed several executive orders, including one which directs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to extend the September 4 CDC Order, which temporarily halted certain residential nonpayment evictions, through March 31, 2021. It was previously set to expire on January 31. President Biden also asked Congress to approve a COVID relief bill that would provide an additional $35 billion in rent, utilities, and homeless relief.
Shortly thereafter, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky formally announced that the CDC Order was extended until at least March 31, stating:
“As a protective public health measure, I will extend the current order temporarily halting residential evictions until at least March 31, 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a historic threat to our nation’s health. It has also triggered a housing affordability crisis that disproportionately affects some communities.”
Details on the CDC’s Order, the CDC’s subsequent non-binding guidance in the form of a series of FAQs, and previous extensions of the CDC Order are listed below.
As a reminder, the CDC Order, now extended through March 31, is not an automatic stay of all evictions and does not relieve any tenant of paying rent. Instead, the CDC Order allows certain tenants to invoke the protections of the CDC Order in regard to nonpayment evictions if they properly submit a CDC Hardship Declaration. When the Order’s protections are properly invoked by a covered tenant, the tenant cannot be evicted and removed from their leased premises until after the expiration of the CDC Order, which is now March 31, 2021.
Importantly, the Iowa Supreme Court previously entered an Implementation Order setting forth how Iowa courts should implement the CDC Order and such state Implementation Order generally prevails over the CDC’s non-binding guidance in the state of Iowa. More details are covered in prior blog posts from October 5 and December 30.
Landlords with questions about nonpaying renters or how to proceed in the midst of numerous federal and state programs and guidelines should contact an experienced landlord/tenant attorney to discuss their specific situation.
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