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.
What is the Federal Eviction Moratorium?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an order stopping evictions for non-payment of rent from September 4, 2020 through January 31, 2020. 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.
UPDATE: As of the latest Federal Coronavirus Relief and Spending Bill passed in late December 2020, the eviction moratorium has been extended until January 31, 2021. Check back for more updates soon.
Does the Federal Eviction Moratorium apply to me?
The order applies if you:
- Attempted to get rental assistance
- Expects to earn 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
Am I automatically protected?
No, you must declare that you qualify for the Federal Eviction Moratorium by signing the Declaration in English and submitting it to your landlord or the court. Before submitting your Declaration, be sure to make a copy for your records.
I have a court hearing scheduled. Should I go?
You may need to go to court even if you have provided the landlord a declaration. 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 January 31, 2020. 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 December 31,2020, 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. 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/
Will my electric, gas or water be shut off if I can’t pay?
No. North Carolina’s Utilities Commission says utilities including Duke Energy can’t resume disconnections of customers with overdue electric, gas, water and sewer bills before Sept. 1. It also ordered utilities to allow repayment periods of at least 12 months.
Can my utility company or my landlord charge me a late fee if I do not pay my utilities?
No. The governor’s order says that water, gas, and electric providers CANNOT charge you a late fee if you do not pay your utilities during this coronavirus crisis.
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.
What about telephone or internet bills? water, electric, and gas bills?
The governor’s order doesn’t cover these types of bills and service can be terminated for non-payment. However, you should still contact the utility provider and see if they will work with you. Some internet providers are providing free internet to families with children or college students in the home.
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.