Fox & Moghul - Real Estate
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EVICTION MORATORIUM IN VIRGINIA BASED ON THE LATEST ORDER BY THE CDC

On September 4, 2020 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) entered an order temporarily halting residential evictions (hereinafter referred to as the “Order”) until December 31, 2020. For more information, please contact Stella Villalobos, Esq. at Fox & Moghul.

Whom Does the CDC Order Apply to?

The Order applies to any “landlord, owner of a residential property, or other person, with a legal right to pursue eviction or possessory action. . . [against a] covered person . . .” The CDC has defined “person” to include entities such as corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, etc.

Definition of Covered Person?

In order to be a “covered person” under the Order, the “tenant, lessee, or resident of a residential property” must provide to their “landlord, the owner of the residential property, or other person with a legal right to pursue eviction or a possessory action” a declaration (“Declaration”) under the penalty of perjury that:

  1. The individual has used best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing;
  2. The individual either (i) expects to earn no more than $99,000 in annual income for Calendar Year 2020 (or no more than $198,00 if filing a joint tax return), (ii) was not required to report any income in 2019 to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, or (iii) received an Economic Impact Payment (stimulus check) pursuant to Section 2201 of the CARES Act;
  3. The individual is unable to pay the full rent or make a full housing payment due to substantial loss of household income, loss of compensable hours of work or wages, a lay-off, or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses;
  4. The individual is 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; and
  5. Eviction would likely render the individual homeless o or force the individual to move into and live in close quarters in anew congregate or shared living setting – because the individual has no other available housing options.

Every adult listed in the lease agreement or housing contract must provide a Declaration swearing the above is true under penalty of perjury.

It is important to note that the Order does not absolve the covered person from their rent responsibilities. The covered person is still required to follow the terms of the lease agreement or housing contract. The Order also does not prevent landlords/owners from charging or collecting fees, penalties, or interest as a result of the failure to pay rent timely as dictated under their respective lease agreement or housing contract with the covered person.

Further, this moratorium is only limited to eviction proceedings due to rent-related issues. Landlords/owners may still evict a tenant for reasons outside of rent if the tenant (i) engages in criminal activity; (ii) is a threat to the health or safety of other residents; (iii) damages or poses an immediate and significant risk of damage to the property; (iv) violates any applicable building code, health ordinance, or similar regulation relating to health and safety; or (v) violates any other contractual obligation under the lease agreement or housing contract.

Criminal Penalties for Violations of the CDC Order.

It is imperative to note that there are criminal penalties if a person is found to have violated the Order. The penalties are as follows:

  • Violation by an Individual that did not result in death
    • Fine of no more than $100,000.00; or
    • One year in jail; or
    • Both
  • Violation by an Individual that did result in death:
    • Fine of no more than $250,000.00; or
    • One year in jail; or
    • Both; or
    • Other penalty provided by law.
  • Violation by an Entity that did not result in death:
    • Fine of no more than $200,00.00 per event
  • Violation by an Entity that did result in death:
    • Fine of no more than $500,000.00 per event; or
    • Other penalty provided by law.

The CDC has reserved the possibility of extending the moratorium depending on whether COVID-19 is still spreading through the United States. If you require specific guidance on your situation, then please call Ms. Stella Villalobos Esq at Fox & Moghul to schedule a consult.

Fox & Moghul - Real Estate

Fox & Moghul 3871 Plaza Drive Fairfax, VA 22030 Phone: 703-686-5406 Fax: 866-451-9531 Map & Directions

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