What The Eviction Ban Means For Homeowners and Tenants in Virginia, Maryland, and D.C.

Due to ongoing hardships impacting a large portion of the population of the United States, the Centers for Disease Control, or CDC, reissued a moratorium on evictions, with the extension going into effect September 4, 2020, and ending December 31, 2020. It’s helpful to understand any possible ramifications that may apply to you by examining what the eviction ban means for homeowners and tenants in Virginia, Maryland, and D.C..

Who Is Protected by the Eviction Ban?

The CDC enacted the ban to assist those impacted or financially strained due to COVID-19 with maintaining their current residential status to help stem the spread of the virus.

The moratorium requires a tenant, lessee, or resident to provide their landlord or lender with proper notification of their status. Income guidelines in the eviction ban dictate a maximum annual income of $99,000 for individuals or $198,000 for 2019 joint tax returns.

If you received a stimulus check from the CARES Act, signed in the spring of 2020, you are also already part of this group. The eviction ban is set to expire on December 31 but may need to be extended further depending on the circumstances at that time.

The possibility for an extension is built into the wording of the existing eviction ban to help make it clear to everyone that this is a temporary order that may be needed into the foreseeable future for the sake of public health and safety.

Why Is This Action Necessary?

Simply put: the eviction ban prohibits a lender or landlord from evicting tenants or residents if the tenant or resident makes a reasonable claim that they are unable to pay their mortgage or rent.

By doing so, the CDC is helping to ensure that those living in the United States have safe places to live and, if necessary, self-isolate throughout this global pandemic. If evictions were to continue alongside the vast expansion of financial difficulties for the average American, there would likely be a massive increase in COVID-19 cases due to a spike in the homeless population. With a catastrophic uptick in the homeless comes both the possibility of higher physical mobility for the sake of survival along with the possibility of higher population density in shelters.

Either of these factors could further show the weaknesses in the United States’ healthcare and social support systems and lead to a more painful and deadly COVID-19 recovery.

What Should I Do If I Think I Qualify for Protection?

If you qualify for protections under the CDC’s eviction ban and feel you are in a position where you need to take advantage of these protections, notify your landlord or lender immediately.

Some landlords or lenders may take your word at face value and require no further communication on your part, where others may require proof of loss of income and even want to establish a payment plan that goes into effect once the eviction ban is lifted.

It’s important to note that any unpaid rent or loan balance and accrued interest from the unpaid rent or loan balance is still fully in effect, and can be collected by the landlord or lender at their discretion following the eviction ban.

The major purpose and goal of the eviction ban is just as its name described: ban evictions for the benefit of public safety and health.

These are trying times for everyone, but those affected financially are finding themselves in an especially vulnerable position. If you or someone you know needs help understanding what the eviction ban means for their living situation, contact us today at 703-782-4422!

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