The information provided on this website is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please contact Pisgah Legal Services or a private attorney if you need to speak with an attorney regarding your specific situation. You can apply online for Pisgah Legal at www.pisgahlegal.org/free-legal-assistance or call 1-800-489-6144.
August 27, 2021 Update
The Supreme Court of the United States has struck down the eviction moratorium, effective immediately. Evictions for non-payment of rent due to COVID-19 can go forward.
If you are at risk of eviction, apply for help online with Pisgah Legal Services or call 828-253-0406, and also apply for Rental Assistance immediately.
If you live n Buncombe County, apply for rental assistance funds with Buncombe County DHHS. If you live outside of Buncombe County, apply for NC HOPE at https://www.rebuild.nc.gov/hope-program.
A court order is necessary to evict someone in North Carolina. It is not advisable for someone to move out prior to a court order unless they have consulted with an attorney first.
August 11, 2021 Update
The CDC issued a new eviction moratorium effective August 3 through October 3, 2021 that prevents evictions for non-payment in communities experiencing high or substantial rates of community spread of COVID-19 cases. See the CDC cases tracker for more information.
If you’re behind on rent, don’t wait until Oct. 3. Apply for rental assistance.
If you have been threatened with an eviction for non-payment of rent, contact Pisgah Legal at 828-253-0406 or apply online. You will need to complete a CDC Declaration form and give to your landlord and/or to the court.
July 1, 2021 Update
Despite the N.C. Council of State recently voting to end the state’s eviction moratorium, a nationwide CDC moratorium has been extended until July 31 and still protects eligible tenants.
The CDC states that this will likely be the last extension. Please apply for help from Pisgah Legal Services and act now if you are at risk of eviction.
August 2021 Update
What is the Federal Eviction Moratorium?
President Biden’s administration has extended the order stopping evictions for non-payment of rent through October 3, 2021. To avoid eviction, a tenant is required to provide their landlord with a signed copy of the CDC declaration, which is available on this website. Please scroll down to bottom of webpage to access the Declaration Form to Avoid Eviction to be submitted to your landlord or to the court. If you need legal assistance, please contact Pisgah Legal at 828-253-0406 or apply online here.
Does the Federal Eviction Moratorium apply to me?
The order applies if you:
- Attempted to get rental assistance
- Earned less than $99,000 in 2020
- Lost income
- Are trying to make partial payments, given your expenses
- Would likely become homeless or have to stay with friend/family if you are evicted
If all of these points are true, then you still are not protected UNLESS you give your landlord a signed “Declaration” (sworn statement). You can use the Declaration created by the CDC. Print and sign this declaration, then give one copy to your landlord and keep a copy for yourself. Make a note for yourself of the date you gave it to your landlord.
Download a PDF of available Rental Assistance Programs HERE
Am I automatically protected?
No, you must fill out the CDC Declaration in English and submit it to your landlord or the court. If you or someone you know is a Spanish speaker, you can read the CDC Declaration in Spanish, but you will need to submit it in English. Before submitting your Declaration, be sure to make a copy for your records.
Does my landlord have to tell me about the eviction moratorium?
Yes. When a landlord files an eviction lawsuit, they must give the tenant a blank CDC Declaration, such as this one created by the CDC. The landlord must also prepare and file this AOC form, on which they certify under penalty of perjury that they provided a blank CDC Declaration form to the tenant.
Landlords who take any action to evict or remove a “covered person” (tenant who has submitted a declaration) from a residential rental unit may be subject to criminal penalties, including but not limited to a fine or a jail sentence.
I have a court hearing scheduled. Should I go?
If you already have a court date for an eviction hearing, you should give the Declaration to your landlord and also bring it with you to court. If you do not go to court, the Magistrate or Judge may not know that the eviction moratorium applies to you and you may be evicted. For questions and to apply for services, call Pisgah Legal Services at 828-253-0406, or apply online at www.pisgahlegal.org.
Do I still have to pay rent?
Yes. Even though you cannot be evicted for non-payment of rent, you are still responsible for paying your rent. You must make an attempt to pay as much of the rent as possible each month, unless you cannot afford it or have another legal reason for withholding rent payments.
I am being evicted for a reason other than failure to pay rent. Am I protected by the Order?
The CDC Order does not stop evictions that are based on breaching a condition in the lease (such as damage to the property) or criminal activity in the premises. If you are being evicted for reasons other than failure to pay rent, you should speak to a lawyer immediately.
Does the CDC Order apply in North Carolina?
Yes. The Order applies nationwide. Check our website for updates related to the CDC Order.
Declaration to Give to Landlord or Court
See below for the Declaration that you will need to fill out, sign and submit to your landlord or to the court. Each adult listed on the lease, rental agreement, or housing contract should complete this declaration. You can copy/paste the document below onto a Word document and sign, date and submit or click on the button below.
Please note: There are serious criminal penalties for submitting a declaration to your landlord or the court with false information on it. Use this form at your own risk.
DECLARATION UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY FOR THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION’S TEMPORARY HALT IN EVICTIONS TO PREVENT FURTHER SPREAD OF COVID-19
This Declaration is for tenants, lessees, or residents of residential properties who are covered by the CDC’s order temporarily halting residential evictions (not including foreclosures on home mortgages) to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. Under the CDC’s Order you must provide a copy of this declaration to your landlord, owner of the residential property where you live, or other person who has a right to have you evicted or removed from where you live. Each adult listed on the lease, rental agreement, or housing contract should complete this Declaration. Unless the CDC Order is extended, changed, or ended, the Order prevents you from being evicted or removed from where you are living through June 30, 2021. You are still required to pay rent and follow all the other terms of your lease and rules of the place where you live. You may also still be evicted for reasons other than not paying rent or making a housing payment.
I certify under penalty of perjury, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1746, that the foregoing are true and correct. This declaration is sworn testimony, meaning that you can be prosecuted, go to jail, or pay a fine if you lie, mislead, or omit important information.
- I have used best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing. “Available government assistance” means any governmental rental or housing payment benefits available to the individual or any household member.
- I either expect to earn no more than $99,000 in annual income for Calendar Year 2020-2021 ( or no more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax return), was not required to report any income in 2019 to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, or received an Economic Impact Payment (stimulus check) pursuant to Section 2201 of the CARES Act;
- I am unable to pay my full rent or make a full housing payment due to substantial loss of household income, loss of compensable hours of work or wages, lay-offs, or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses. An “extraordinary” medical expense is any unreimbursed medical expense likely to exceed 7.5% of one’s adjusted gross income for the year.
- I am using best efforts to make timely partial payments that are as close to the full payment as the individual’s circumstances may permit, taking into account other nondiscretionary expenses.
- If evicted I would likely become homeless, need to move into a homeless shelter, or need to move into a new residence shared by other people who live in close quarters because I have no other available housing options. “Available housing” means any available, unoccupied residential property, or other space for occupancy in any seasonal or temporary housing, that would not violate Federal, State, or local occupancy standards and that would not result in an overall increase of housing cost to you.
- I understand that I must still pay rent or make a housing payment, and comply with other obligations that I may have under my tenancy, lease agreement, or similar contract. I further understand that fees, penalties, or interest for not paying rent or making a housing payment on time as required by my tenancy, lease agreement, or similar contract may still be charged or collected.
- I further understand that at the end of this temporary halt on evictions on October 3, 2021, my housing provider may require payment in full for all payments not made prior to and during the temporary halt and failure to pay may make me subject to eviction pursuant to State and local laws.
I understand that any false or misleading statements or omissions may result in criminal and civil actions for fines, penalties, damages, or imprisonment. Please sign and date below.
What should I do if I know that I will be unable to pay my landlord in the future for rent?
Talk to your landlord about the situation. Your landlord may be willing to put you on a payment plan. You should also call 211 and ask to be connected to charities that may be providing rental assistance because various rental assistance programs may be available now and in the future. Find out about available rental assistance programs HERE.
Additionally, PLS encourages you to reach out to us or other legal services before you make a decision to move out due to nonpayment of rent. Call Pisgah Legal at 828-253-0406 or apply online at www.pisgahlegal.org/free-legal-assistance/
Do I still have to pay my water, electric, and gas bills?
Yes. You are still responsible for paying the bill. You should talk to the utility company or your landlord. They have to offer you a six-month payment plan to pay back what you owe.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE DECLARATION FORM:
- Tenants who sign this declaration to protect themselves from eviction must deliver a signed copy to their landlord for it to take effect.
- Each adult listed on the lease, rental agreement, or housing contract should complete this declaration.
- Tenants may want to make an extra copy and keep it for themselves in case they must prove they gave it to their landlord.
- Tenants who have an eviction court date already scheduled may need to appear in court and show their copy of this declaration to the magistrate or judge for the court to know the eviction should be stopped.
- Tenants who already have had eviction court may appeal their eviction judgment within 10 days of the judgment.
- Tenants who have missed their appeal deadline may still be able to stop the lockout.