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CDC Eviction Moratorium

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Created November, 2020

If you qualify for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) eviction moratorium, your landlord is not allowed to evict you until after Dec. 31, 2020.

See Covid-19 and Housing

If you qualify, a CDC Declaration can keep you in your home. See How can I use the Declaration now?

 

Questions about the CDC moratorium

What if my "best efforts" to pay full rent means I cannot pay my rent?

Does my CDC Declaration cover everyone in my household?

Does my financial hardship need to be related to COVID-19?

Do I need to have proof of the things I swear to in my CDC Declaration?

What if my landlord already started to evict me?

Does the CDC moratorium cover all evictions for tenants who qualify?

I qualify for the CDC eviction moratorium and I gave my landlord my Declaration, but they are trying to evict me anyway

Can my landlord evict me when the CDC eviction moratorium expires?

 What if my "best efforts" to pay full rent means I cannot pay my rent?

Pay as much rent as you can, while keeping enough money to pay for your family's basic needs.

Keep a record of everything you pay towards rent. Include any rental assistance you get. 

Keep all your rent receipts. 

When the moratorium expires on December 31, 2020, you will owe your landlord any rent you did not pay.

Does my CDC Declaration cover everyone in my household?

No. Every adult in your household should sign and provide their own Declaration to your landlord.

Does my financial hardship need to be related to COVID-19?

No. The CDC order does not require that your financial hardship be related to COVID-19.

Do I need to have proof of the things I swear to in my CDC Declaration?

No, you do not need to give your landlord any proof that the things you swear to in your Declaration are true. You only need to give your landlord your Declaration.

But keep any proof you have or you can get, in case your landlord tells a court they believe you do not qualify. 

Some examples of proof are bank statements, termination letters from your employer, medical bills or applications to rental assistance programs.

What if my landlord already started to evict me?

You can give your landlord a signed CDC Declaration at any time during the eviction process. If the CDC eviction moratorium applies to you, your landlord will not be able to move you out until after Dec. 31, 2020. The court may provide other protections as well.

  • Call your local legal aid program.
  • Prepare an Answer:
    • Use MADE, Massachusetts Defense to Eviction program, to help you prepare your Answer or
    • use the Answer Booklet.
  • Watch your mail for notices from the court:
    1. Serve your landlord with a copy of your Answer and file your Answer with the court.
      Include a copy of the CDC Declaration you gave your landlord. Make sure the judge has a copy of your Declaration and the date you sent it to your landlord.
    2. Attend the hearing on the date the court tells you to.
  • You may want to file a Motion.

Does the CDC moratorium cover all evictions for tenants who qualify?

It does not protect you if your landlord is evicting you for:

  • conducting criminal activity on the property, 
  • threatening the health or safety of other residents,
  • damaging or posing an immediate and significant risk of damage to the property,
  • violating building codes, health ordinances, or other regulations related to health and safety, or
  • breaking any rental agreements you have with your landlord that are not about money you owe them.

If your landlord is trying to evict you for something you did not do

If the CDC eviction moratorium applies to you, your landlord will not be able to move you out until after Dec. 31, 2020. The court may provide other protections as well.

  • Call your local legal aid program.
  • Prepare a Motion to Dismiss.
  • Prepare an Answer:
    • Use MADE, MAssachusetts Defense to Eviction program, to help you prepare your Answer or
    • use the Answer Booklet.
  • Watch your mail for notices from the court:
    1. Serve your landlord with a copy of your motion and your Answer, and
    2. File your motion and Answer with the court.
      If you gave your landlord a CDC Declaration, include a copy with your Answer.  Make sure the judge has a copy of your Declaration and the date you sent it to your landlord.
    3. Attend the hearing on the date the court tells you to.

I qualify for the CDC eviction moratorium and I gave my landlord my Declaration, but they are trying to evict me anyway

If the CDC eviction moratorium applies to you, your landlord will not be able to move you out until after Dec. 31, 2020. The court may provide other protections as well.

  • Call your local legal aid program.
  • Prepare an Answer:
    • Use MADE, Massachusetts Defense to Eviction program, to help you prepare your Answer or
    • use the Answer Booklet.
  • Watch your mail for notices from the court:
    1. Prepare a Motion.
    2. Serve your landlord with a copy of your Answer and Motion.
    3. File your Answer and Motion with the court.
      Include a copy of the CDC Declaration you gave your landlord that shows the date you sent it to them. Make sure the judge has a copy of your Declaration and the date you sent it to your landlord
    4. Attend the hearing on the date the court tells you to. 

A landlord who violates the CDC order can be fined between $100,000 and $250,000, or go to jail for a year.

Can my landlord evict me when the CDC eviction moratorium expires?

Yes.  Right now, you can be evicted when the CDC national moratorium ends on December 31, 2020.

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