HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM EVICTION UNDER THE CDC ORDER
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) issued an Order stopping evictions based on nonpayment of rent. This Order is effective on September 4, 2020 and protects tenants from eviction until December 31, 2020 unless it is extended. This Order protects you if you rent the place where you live. This includes a house, apartment unit, mobile home, or land in a mobile home park. It does not protect you if you live in a hotel, motel, or other guest house rented to you as a temporary guest.
TO BE PROTECTED A TENANT MUST COMPLETE AND GIVE TO THEIR LANDLORD THE ATTACHED DECLARATION
- To be protected from eviction under the CDC’s Order you must sign and date the attached Declaration and give it to your landlord, the owner of the property where you live, or the property manager. Check your lease if you are unsure who owns the property you rent. Be sure to keep proof that you provided the Declaration to your landlord. Keep a copy of the Declaration for yourself.
- Every adult listed on the lease, must sign and complete a Declaration and provide it to a landlord. If you do not have a written lease, every adult living in the household should sign and complete a Declaration and give it to the landlord.
- You are still required to follow all the other terms of your lease and rules of the place where you live. The CDC’s Order only protects tenants from eviction because of the nonpayment of rent. A tenant is not protected from eviction for a lease violation.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE DECLARATION
It is important that you read the Declaration and understand it. By signing the Declaration, you are swearing that every statement in it is true. If you make any false or misleading statements or omissions, you can be prosecuted, go to jail, or required to pay a fine.
- In the Declaration, you (the person signing) will state that “I have used best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing.” This means that you have tried to get help to pay your rent by contacting and filing applications with agencies that provide money to help pay rent using State or Federal money. Keep a record of the organizations you contact, the date, and what they said. Keep a copy for your records.
- In the Declaration you (the person signing) will state that one of the following is true:
- You expect to earn no more than $99,000 in annual income for Calendar Year 2020 (or no more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax return),
- You were not required to report any income in 2019 to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, OR
- You received an Economic Impact Payment (stimulus check) pursuant to Section 2201 of the CARES Act.
- In the Declaration you (the person signing) will state that you are unable to pay the full amount of your rent because your household has less income because one of the following is true:
- A source of income stopped – someone in the household lost their job, their hours at work were cut significantly, or their benefits, such as unemployment payments, stopped.
- Someone in the household is working but are earning less than they once did, OR
- You have had to pay medical bills that are likely to exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income for the year.
If any of the above is true, you can sign the Declaration that states you are “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.”
- By signing the Declaration you are stating that the following are true:
- You are doing your best to make timely partial rent payments, and
- You have no other housing options and, if evicted, you would likely become homeless, need to move into a homeless shelter, or need to move in with another household that would then be crowded.
If you have any questions, contact an attorney. The Georgia Legal Service Program provides free legal assistance to eligible persons with income up to 200% of the federal poverty level and limited assets. We serve US Citizens and persons with certain legal immigration statuses. We provide free interpretation. Apply for legal assistance at www.glsp.org or call at 833-GLSP-LAW. If you live in Fulton, Clayton, Cobb, Dekalb, or Gwinnet, you should contact the Atlanta Legal Aid Society at 404-524-5811.
- Complete the attached Declaration with the date, your landlord’s contact information, and your contact information. The Declaration must be signed by each adult on the lease. Keep a copy for your records.
- Send the Tenant’s Declaration to your landlord by regular mail, certified mail with return receipt requested, and by email. Keep a copy of any response from your landlord.
- Continue to pay as much rent as you can when it is due. Keep a copy of your receipt. If your landlord refuses to accept a partial payment, make a record of your attempt to pay and your landlord’s response.
- Be prepared to pay all past due rent and fees when the eviction moratorium expires, or you may be evicted.
- If you are served with an eviction notice contact an attorney. If you are eligible you may be able to receive free legal assistance from Atlanta Legal Aid (404-524-5811) if you live in the 5 county metro Atlanta area or Georgia Legal Services (1-833-GLSPLAW) if you live outside of metro-Atlanta. Go to https://www.georgialegalaid.org/resource/covid-19-resource-list for additional information.