There is no doubt about it that the “Coronavirus recession” as it is being called, has significantly impacted every aspect of our lives…some more so than others… One area that is of significant concern is the reality of eviction.
Recession and the Current State of Evictions in the U.S.
While the Coronavirus lockdown has (and hopefully will continue) to make this devastating illness somewhat manageable, it has also created a number of big problems for the average working American. Those who fall below the status of “average working American”…well, things look much bleaker.
You see, most families across the nation depend on their income to make mortgage payments or to pay rent. So, when that income comes to a halt – bearing in mind that the average American household doesn’t have enough in savings to make it through an extended period of economic downturn – the ability to pay for housing becomes a significant problem. When rent or mortgages aren’t paid, evictions and foreclosures ensue.
With the economy on a serious downturn and more families in crisis when it comes to housing, cities, counties, and states have enacted various eviction moratoriums and tenant protections. These actions are intended to keep families and individuals in crisis in their homes for the time being while we do all we can to help our economy recover. The table below from NOLO includes current information for individual states as far as their COVID-19 policies and your rights as a tenant or homeowner.
|State (click on state name for its official COVID-19 website)||County or City||Hold On Evictions||Hold on Utility Shutoffs||Other Tenant Protections/Notes|
|Alabama||Yes||Likely (see notes)||-By order of the governor, law enforcement cannot proceed with any eviction orders.
– Public Service Commission states that it is confident no customers will experience interruption during crisis, and that after crisis period utilities will help with past-due accounts.
|Alaska||Yes||Yes||–Alaska State Legislature passed a bill placing a moratorium on utility shutoffs (set to expire on the earlier of November 15, 2020, or the end of the public health disaster emergency) and evictions (set to expire June 30, 2020) due to COVID-19 financial problems. Set to expire June 30, 2020.
-See Regulatory Commission of Alaska’s memo on utility shutoff moratorium.
-See Alaska Court System’s COVID-19 response page for information about courts, hearings, and alerts.
|Arizona||Yes||Yes (see notes)||–Governor issued executive order delaying evictions for 120 days (until 7/22/2020). Applies to tenants who can’t pay rent due to coronavirus-related issues.
-Arizona Corporation Commissioner released memo on information for utility customers
|Arkansas||Yes||-Arkansas Public Service Commission ordered a shutoff moratorium during state of emergency.|
|California (see this Nolo article for CA-specific information)||Over 120 local jurisdictions.||Yes||-Governor ordered hold on evictions through May 31, 2020, subject to guidelines stated in order.
–Utility shutoff moratorium for nonpayment during State of Emergency.
|Colorado||Yes||Yes||-By order of governor, no evictions for 30 days from April 30 (May 30, 2020).
-See Colorado statewide utility tracker for information about whether your utility provider has put a moratorium on shutoffs during the crisis.
|Denver||Yes||–Mayor issued a hold on evictions.|
|Connecticut||Yes||Yes||-By order of governor, landlords are prohibited from issuing a notice to quit or beginning eviction proceedings before July 1, 2020. For rent due in April 2020, landlords must grant tenants an automatic, 60-day grace period for payment. For rent due in May 2020, landlords must grant a 60-day grace period for payment upon request by tenant. Tenant can apply security deposit towards rent in some situations.|
|Delaware||Yes||Yes||–Delaware Housing Assistance Program will provide eligible households up to $1500 in assistance to pay rent or electric bills.
-By order of governor, all residential foreclosures and evictions during the state of emergency. Also, no utility shutoffs.
|District of Columbia||Yes||Yes||–No evictions during state of emergency. Lawmakers have suspended the filing of eviction complaints until 60 days after the end of the state of emergency.
-See D.C. Public Service Commission’s resources page for more information about utilities and assistance.
|Florida||Yes||-By governor’s order, all evictions (and foreclosures) are suspended for 45 days from the date of the order (until 5/17/2020).
–Courts have suspended eviction hearings until May 29, 2020.
-Most major utilities providers have said they will not shut off services. Check with your local provider.
|Georgia||Maybe (see notes)||State of Georgia has a COVID-19 hotline: (844) 442-2681.
-Check individual Georgia courts’ status here.
-Check the State of Georgia Public Service Commission’s website for a list of GA services that have suspended disconnections due to COVID.
|Atlanta||Limited||No water shutoffs||–No water shutoffs for 60 days (as of 3/11).
–No termination for nonpayment of rent, no late fees or other charges for late or unpaid rent for 60 days in certain properties.
|Hawai’i||Yes||Yes||-By order of governor, evictions for nonpayment of rent suspended until May 31.
–Hawaii Electric suspended service disconnections until June 30, 2020.
|Idaho||Remote hearings on landlord-tenant/eviction matters can resume on May 1, 2020.||-By order of Idaho Supreme Court, no jury trials in criminal cases before 8/3/2020, and no jury trials in civil cases until 10/5/2020. Remote hearings on all matters may resume on May 1, 2020.
-For financial and other assistance, the Idaho Public Utilities Commission has a county-specific resource guide.
|Illinois||Yes||Yes||-By governor’s order, no enforcement of residential eviction orders during duration of Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation.
–Illinois Commerce Commission ordered utilities to cease disconnections and suspend late fees until end of emergency. In place until May 1, 2020 (or the crisis has passed).
|Indiana||Yes||Yes||-By order of governor, no eviction or foreclosure actions can be initiated until state of emergency has terminated. Order currently in place until June 4, 2020.
-By order of governor, no discontinuation of utilities during public health emergency.
|Iowa||Yes||Yes||-By order of governor, landlords cannot terminate rental agreements or evict a tenant during the duration of the proclamation of disaster emergency. (Currently set to expire May 27, 2020.)
-By order of supreme court, no eviction proceedings until at least June 15, 2020.
–Iowa Utilities Board ordered restriction on utility disconnection during the public health emergency (until at least May 27, 2020).
|Kansas||Yes||Yes||-By governor’s order, business and residential evictions are suspended until May 31, 2020.|
|Kentucky||Yes||Yes||–Supreme Court of Kentucky suspended evictions until May 31, 2020.
–Kentucky Public Service Commission ordered utilities to cease disconnections for non-payment and late payment charges.
|Louisiana||Until at least May 15; check local courts||Yes||–Governor’s order suspended deadlines in all legal proceedings until May 15, 2020.
-Check your local court’s website to see status of hearings and trials.
-No utility service shutoffs statewide by order of the LA Public Service Commission.
-Louisiana Law Help is regularly updating its website with COVID-19 information for Louisiana residents.
|Maine||Yes||Yes||-By order of governor, no evictions until 30 days after the termination of the COVID-19 state of emergency. Maine Supreme Court has canceled most eviction hearings and proceedings until May 30, 2020 (in keeping with governor’s order).
–Maine Public Utilities Commission ordered that all utilities not disconnect customers until further notice.
-MaineHousing has created a $5 million COVID-19 Rent Relief Program.
|Maryland||Yes||Yes||-By governor’s order, no evictions statewide during emergency.
-By governor’s order, no utility can terminate service or collect a late fee until termination of the state of emergency (at least June 1, 2020).
|Massachusetts||Yes||Yes||–Legislative ban on evictions during COVID emergency.|
|Michigan||Yes||Yes, in some situations (see notes)||-Governor issued executive order suspending evictions until May 28, 2020.
-Many Michigan utility providers are agreeing to suspend shutoffs. Check the MPSC website for your carrier’s current policies.
|Minnesota||Yes||Maybe (see notes)||-Governor signed executive order to suspend evictions during emergency.
–Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has encouraged utilities to extend cold weather rule, and is providing information for consumers regarding utilities and assistance.
|Mississippi||Until June 1, then set to resume.||Yes||–Governor announced that evictions can resume on June 1, 2020.
–Supreme Court of Mississippi issued order stating that certain counties may resume sending jury summonses on or after May 18, 2020; gives judges discretion on many cases.
-Mississippi Public Service Commission ordered a temporary suspension of disconnection by any public utility in the state. (Until May 14, 2020.)
-Check the Mississippi Judiciary’s website for information about evictions, trials, and court access.
|Missouri||Depends (see notes)||Some (see notes)||–Missouri’s governor’s COVID-19 announcements.
–Supreme Court of Missouri has directed courts to exercise discretion regarding cases (effective May 16, 2020) and appearances subject to certain Operational Directives. Whether or not your case will be held is left to discretion of judge.
-Check Missouri Public Service Commission’s website for information about utility shutoffs.
|Jackson County||Yes||-Jury trials are suspended through July 5, 2020.
-Issuance of writs and execution of pending writs suspended through May 18, 2020.
|Kansas City||See notes||–KC Water suspended shutoffs.
-Visit KCMO.gov/coronavirus for more information.
|St. Louis||Yes||No water shutoffs through May 15.|
|Montana||Yes||Yes||-By order of governor, no termination or eviction actions for the duration of the order (through May 24, 2020). Also, landlords cannot refuse to renew or extend the terms of a tenancy, charge late fees or other amounts due to nonpayment or rent, increase rent, or take certain other measures for nonpayment of rent.
-By order of governor, no business or political subdivision of the state can disconnect utilities for nonpayment, or charge late fees.
-Visit the Montana Public Service Commission’s website to locate your utility service provider’s website and find out about status.
|Nebraska||Yes||See notes||-By order of governor, no evictions through May 31, 2020.
-Visit Nebraska Public Service Commission’s website to see list of utility providers who have agreed to not shutoff service.
-Nebraska Public Service Commission is allowing utility carriers to seek reimbursement for providing service to low-income families.
|Nevada||Yes||Yes||-By order of governor, evictions are suspended during the state of emergency.
-NV Energy suspended disconnections for nonpayment; check the State of Nevada Public Utilities Commission’s website.
|New Hampshire||Yes||Yes||-Governor’s order prohibits initiation of eviction proceedings and orders of eviction during the state of emergency.
-By governor’s order, prohibition on disconnection of electric, gas, water, and telephone service.
|New Jersey||Yes||Yes||-Governor’s order prohibits removal of tenants from residential properties, and postpones enforcement of all judgments for possessions, warrants of removal, and writs of possession.|
|New Mexico||Yes, but see notes||Yes||-See New Mexico’s website on the utilities’ response to COVID-19.
–NM courts have placed a temporary moratorium on eviction. You must provide the court with evidence of current inability to pay rent at your hearing on the eviction petition. Eviction hearings will be held by video or phone, unless parties file a motion for in-person hearing.
–New Mexico Public Regulation Commission ordered suspension of residential customer utility service during public health emergency.
|New York||Yes||Yes||–Governor ordered moratorium on evictions until August 20, 2020. Order also includes direction regarding landlord’s use of security deposit to cover unpaid rent, collecting late fees, and repaying unpaid rent.
-No water shutoffs, most utilities have agreed to not shut off during the outbreak.
|North Carolina||Yes||Yes||-By order of Chief Justice, no hearings on most matters until June 1, 2020–check courts.|
|North Dakota||**Evictions have resumed***||See notes||-By order of supreme court, evictions have resumed as of April 22, 2020.
-A North Dakota COVID-19 Community and Nonprofit Response Fund was established.
|Ohio||Probably (see notes)||Yes||–Governor requested landlords to not evict tenants.
–Ohio Supreme Court has advised all lower courts to continue eviction-related matters. Not a requirement, so check with local court.
|Oklahoma||Maybe||Yes||–Oklahoma Chief Justice has ordered closure of courts, cancellation of trials, and extensions of deadlines.
-Oklahoma COVID-19 call center: 877-215-8336
|Oregon||Yes||Yes||-Governor ordered 90-day moratorium (starting 4/1/2020) on evictions for nonpayment of rent.
–Governor updated order, clarifying that landlords may not take any action relating to evictions, including charging late fees or filing eviction papers.
|Pennsylvania||Yes||Yes||-By order of governor, eviction proceedings cannot begin until July 10, 2020.|
|Rhode Island||Yes||Yes||-By order of supreme court, no eviction filings or hearings until after May 17, 2020.
–Rhode Island and Providence Plantations Public Utilities Commission ordered halt on termination of service for nonpayment through May 8, 2020 for residential accounts.
|South Carolina||Evictions resume May 15, 2020||Yes||-Supreme Court of South Carolina ordered all currently ordered and scheduled evictions to resume May 15, 2020. Court will accept applications for evictions as of May 15, 2020, as well.
-Any party pursuing an eviction must submit to court a signed, original Certification of Compliance with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.
–Public Service Commission of South Carolina ordered that all regulated utilities suspend disconnection for nonpayment during state of emergency.
|South Dakota||-Check South Dakota Unified Judicial System for status of cases.
-Check South Dakota PUC website for resources related to utilities.
|Tennessee||Yes||Yes||-Tennessee Supreme Court ordered that no officials may take action to evict or displace someone from a residence for nonpayment except under extraordinary circumstances. (Through May 31, 2020.)
-By order of Tennessee Public Utility Commission, no utility shutoffs during state of emergency.
|Texas||Yes||Yes||-Texas Supreme Court put a hold on evictions and hearings until May 18, 2020.
–Texas Public Utility Commission approved an order banning disconnections of water and power service for those affected by COVID-19. Ends May 15, 2020.
-TXU Energy is offering customer support resources.
|Austin||Yes||-By order of mayor, landlords cannot issue notices to vacate tenants until July 25, 2020. The earliest tenants can be physically evicted is August 24, 2020.|
|Utah||Yes, but see notes||-By order of governor, there is a moratorium on residential evictions for tenants who have been directly impacted by COVID-19. (Until May 15, 2020.) See order for qualifications.|
|Vermont||Yes||Yes||–State of Vermont Supreme Court suspended all non-emergency court hearings (only emergency landlord-tenant hearings will be held, at discretion of the judge). Check with local court to confirm.|
|Virginia||Yes||Yes||-Supreme Court of Virginia has ordered the suspension all nonessential proceedings. Extended until June 7, 2020.
–Governor ordered that all relevant state agencies work to create strategies to help Virginians avoid evictions or foreclosures.
|Washington||Yes||See notes||-Governor ordered statewide ban on residential evictions until June 4, 2020. Also, landlords cannot assess late fees or other charges for non-payment or rent.|
|Seattle||Yes||–Seattle City Council voted to extend moratorium on residential evictions for six months after the statewide moratorium ends.|
|West Virginia||**Court operations to resume as of May 16, 2020**||-By order of supreme court of appeals, judicial state of emergency expires May 15, 2020. See courts for information on status.|
|Wisconsin||Yes||Yes||-By order of governor, no evictions for 60 days (until May 26, 2020) for nonpayment of rent.
-PSC of Wisconsin launched a customer service phone line for internet and phone service.
|Wyoming||See notes||See notes||-Wyoming Supreme Court ordered suspension of all in-person proceedings (with certain exceptions) until May 31, 2020, stating that good cause exists to continue most matters. Check court for status.
-Check Wyoming’s COVID-19 website for more information.
–Wyoming Public Service Commission authorized utilities to not cut service and charge fees (i.e., leaves decisions regarding shutoffs to the discretion of the utility).
Has the Recession Resulted in Your Eviction Despite Security Measures?
If you have been evicted or are facing eviction as a result of the recession despite security measures put in place to prevent your eviction, Weidner Law would like to hear from you. Feel free to leave a comment below or contact us through our live chat feature or via our online contact page.