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Federal Eviction Moratorium Ends – What are your options as a renter?

Federal Eviction Moratorium Ends – What are your options as a renter?

The US national moratorium on evictions ended August 26th, 2021, and that was by a 6-3 vote in the Supreme court. The moratorium had been implemented by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and Joe Biden’s administration had extended those beyond the July 31st date when they’re originally due to expire. The moratorium was in place to target specific areas affected by COVID-19 that would have been made worse by mass evictions, and it was projected to cover 90% of American renters.

Evictions were supposed to be suspended until October 3rd, 2021, but this was opposed by landlords, trade associations, and real estate companies. In issuing its ruling, the conservative majority on the Supreme court argued that the federal government did not have the authority to extend the ban and the CDC had exceeded its authority in this matter. At least 11 million renters had fallen behind on their rent and approximately 3.6 million renters face evictions in the coming months. So who’s affected by the decision to continue with these evictions? Millions of renters who have fallen behind on their rent payments could face evictions in the coming months. A study in the spring by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development found that 14% of the 44 million renters were behind on their rent payments and nearly 10% had zero confidence that they were going to be able to make next month’s rent. About one third of the US population are renters, and many of those were protected by the CARES Act that was enacted by Congress back in 2020.

Are there any rental assistance, or rental protections, that are in place now?
Some states and local governments have temporary eviction moratoriums in place right now. For example, LA County has banned evictions for both residential and commercial through September 30th, 2021. One purpose of the eviction moratorium was so that states and cities would have more time to get relief payments out, which would help people get caught up on back rent and avoid eviction, but the amount of money that has actually gone out and reach people in need is a very small fraction of the $46.5 billion that was in place for emergency aid. One study shows that several states haven’t even managed to get 5% out to those renters in need. According to the Washington Post, a combination of difficult applications, technical glitches, and lack of information has made it difficult for people to apply for ERA assistance. That has meant money has not been dispersed.

Are there other financial resources for people facing financial hardship at this time?
If you’re in need of immediate shelter or emergency housing, HUD maintains a state-by-state list of organizations that can help. Select your state from the dropdown menu for a list of resources that are near you. In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, many states and cities have expanded their financial assistance programs to those that are in need and can’t pay rent. To see what programs might be available for you, find your state on the list of “Rent Relief Programs” maintained by the National Low Income Housing Association. connects those that are in need of help with the Central Community Services that has a specific portal for pandemic assistance. If you’re having trouble with your food budget or paying bills, you can use, online tools, or dial 211 to talk to somebody that can help. is a nonprofit that helps put tenants facing evictions in touch with local organizations that can help them stay in their homes, or in worst-case scenarios, find emergency housing.
The online legal services chatbot at has a coronavirus relief tool that it says will identify which laws, ordinances, and measures covering rent and evictions apply to you based on where your location is. If you’re delinquent on payments or you believe you’re soon going to be delinquent on payments or behind in rent, best to contact a lawyer, so you can know which of the rules and regulations apply to you. Legal Aid provides attorneys free of charge to qualified clients who need advice on civil matters, such as evictions.

Can renters ask for a reduction or an extension from their landlords?
In almost all instances, it’s always best to try and work out an arrangement for a rent reduction or extension directly with your rental agency or landlord. Although some landlords have reacted to the pandemic by putting more pressure on tenants to pay up, other landlords have negotiated rent and even gone as far as to stop collecting payments, rent payments, for a period of time. Now, it may be worth approaching a landlord to see if you can pay less rent, or if you can spread some of those rental payments out over the next year, but be wary of those landlords who are making excessive demands, and don’t agree to unreasonable conditions or terms that you’re just not going to be able to meet, especially if your city or state is in active protections against such arrangements.

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