News | Business | Personal Finance: Most evictions in the U.S. are now banned. What you need to know
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What does the ban do?
You’ll also need to confirm that you tried to get any available government housing assistance, that you’re unable to make rent due to “substantial loss of household income,” a lay-off or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses, that being evicted would require you to double up with others or become homeless and that you promise to make partial payments to the best of your ability.
It doesn’t appear that documentation will be required.
What do I have to do?
“If a tenant cannot pay the rent, they should provide the declaration to their property owner as soon as possible,” said Emily Benfer, an eviction expert and visiting professor of law at Wake Forest University.
What if my landlord ignores it?
Sometimes the paperwork you receive with your hearing date will have the contact information for legal services in your area. If not, you should be able to find your agency online, said Alexis Erkert, a lawyer at Southeast Louisiana Legal Services.
You can find low-cost or free legal help regarding an eviction in your state at Lawhelp.org.
What if I’m in the process of being evicted?
Therefore, if you’re in the process of being evicted for that reason, you should now be able to stay in your home through the end of the year.
What if my state already has an eviction moratorium in place?
The nationwide action doesn’t change your local laws, Benfer said. Those are still in place.
For example, while the CDC’s moratorium doesn’t prevent landlords from charging late fees, that practice is prohibited in New York. The CDC’s policy doesn’t stop property owners from reporting your non-payment to the credit scoring companies, but a statewide rule in Connecticut does.
You can find out what local policies apply to you on the Eviction Lab’s website.
Should I still pay my rent?
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You want to try your hardest to keep up with your bills during the pandemic to avoid racking up debt and being evicted come January.
At Justshelter.org, you can search for community resources for people struggling to pay their rent.
Some states and cities have funds allocated to help people stay in their homes. Arizona earmarked $5 million for that purpose. Residents in Delaware can apply for up to $1,500 in rental assistance. Similar relief measures were made available to those in Montana, Ohio, Iowa and New York.
Look for and apply for any available assistance in your area.
Meanwhile, many landlords are showing a willingness to work with tenants who ask for payment plans, experts say.