Understanding COVID Assistance For Landlords and TenantsMarch 29, 2021
The impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic has reached individuals far and wide. With countless Americans unable to pay their bills, the American government has been working hard to provide relief across the country. A critical area of relief provides COVID assistance for landlords and tenants.
As Lancaster eviction lawyers, we are frequently asked about the laws pertaining to landlords and tenants in 2021. With changes to current legal orders and a new relief plan, staying on top of the latest COVID-related assistance, statutes, and regulations can be challenging.
Here’s a breakdown of COVID assistance for landlords and tenants as of March 2021.
How Does the COVID Eviction Protection Program Impact Lancaster Landlords?
When the CARES Act was signed into federal law on March 27th, 2020, 120 days of eviction relief was awarded to tenants living in multifamily rental housing. Under the CARES Act, a moratorium, or temporary halt on evictions, protected millions of Americans from receiving an eviction notice for nonpayment of rent before July 25th, 2020.
Additionally, landlords were prohibited from charging late fees or penalties for any late rent during the 120 days. While this did not relieve tenants from paying their rent, it forbids landlords from evicting tenants during that period.
Since the CARES Act was signed into Congress, extensions and revisions have been made as we continue to fight against the financial impact of COVID-19. Additionally, financial support has been provided for Americans based on their family status and financial income. With several resources available and frequent changes, you may wonder about the current status of assistance for landlords and tenants in Lancaster?
American Rescue Plan Provides Additional Assistance to Landlords and Tenants
Last month, newly-elected President Joe Biden introduced the American Rescue Plan. The plan extends the eviction moratorium to September 30th, 2021. It also continues applications for forbearance on federally-grants mortgages through the same date. There’s hope for landlords and tenants for the next few months, with unemployment already extended until September under the new American Rescue Plan.
As mentioned earlier, the moratorium does not relieve tenants from paying their rent. The good news is that President Biden’s new plan also allocates $25 billion in rental and utility assistance for rental relief to low- and moderate-income households. These funds will be awarded to individuals who have “lost jobs or are out of the labor market” and can go towards up to 12 months of eligible renters’ expenses.
So, how will this help landlords? If you’ve been patiently waiting for back rent payments from your tenants, they may be on their way. Since this tenant assistance can also be used towards up to 12 months of future rent payments, it’s what Biden calls a “bridge to economic recovery for countless mom and pop landlords.”
How Can a Lancaster Eviction Attorney Help with Landlord Assistance?
As we continue to work through this new relief package, landlords and tenants are encouraged to apply for and receive the assistance they need to get through this pandemic. With talks of a third plan already circulating, it’s essential to talk to your real estate attorney about what landlord assistance programs you’re eligible for and how they can help. For all your American Rescue Plan questions, Derryberry & Associates’ Lancaster probate, business, and real estate firm is here to help!