CDC Moratorium Extension – October 3, 2021

On August 3, 2021, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) issued an extension of their existing temporary ban on Landlords taking action against residential Tenants for nonpayment of any charges through October 3, 2021. As a federal requirement, this applies in all states.

As a reminder, the CDC Moratorium prohibits landlords from evicting any “covered persons” for nonpayment during the covered period (currently through October 3, 2021). A “covered person” is a residential Tenant who provides their Landlord with a declaration containing several statements. If you have received a CDC declaration from a tenant at any time, you may not evict a tenant for rent, utilities, late fees, or other amounts incurred related to use of the premises. This applies even if you issued a notice for nonpayment but have not yet evicted the tenant. If you have already initiated an eviction action and then receive the declaration, you may not proceed in the action, although you are not required to dismiss the case. While there is a standardized CDC form that tenants can use, the tenant need not use it as they may instead provide a signed statement with all of the required elements or simply state that they meet the definition of a “covered person.”

Persons who violate the CDC moratorium may be subject to a fine of up to $100,000 and/or one year in jail if the violation does not result in death, or a fine of up to $250,000 and/or one year in jail if the violation results in death. An organization, such as a property management company, who violates the CDC moratorium may be subject to a fine of up to $200,000 per event if the violation does not result in death and $500,000 per event if the violation results in death. For these reasons, we strongly encourage members to implement procedures and safeguards to ensure all declarations received from tenants are flagged and highlighted in the tenant file.

While the CDC order only applies in counties experiencing “substantial” or “high” levels of community transmission of COVID-19, in Oregon and Washington that currently applies to nearly every county and over 99.9% of tenants. The following link to the CDC risk tool identifies the counties and their respective levels of community transmission:

If you have any doubt about whether a tenant has provided you with documentation that triggers the CDC protections, we highly recommend that you seek legal advice to resolve the issue.

This article is not intended as legal advice. Please obtain advice of an attorney for any policy change or decisions regarding residential and commercial Landlord-Tenant matters.