The information on this page summarizes current state or federal eviction moratoriums, helps renters understand their responsibilities as tenants, and clarifies the eviction process. You'll find out how to determine if you qualify for eviction protection and how to declare your eligibility to your landlord. There is also information for those who do not qualify — such as rent relief and repayment plans — and resources for prioritizing paying your rent in the future.
Please click on the links below for specific guidance and important information for:
Federal Moratorium on Evictions Through December 31, 2020
The Trump administration issued an order which is intended to temporarily halt residential evictions as a result of COVID-19. This eviction moratorium was enacted through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday, September 4, 2020 to prevent further spread of COVID-19. The order makes it illegal to evict any individual who qualifies, and allows tenants to stay in their housing through the end of the year. Tenants will still be required to pay rent owed per the terms of their lease, and may be subject to fees, penalties, or interest in accordance with their rent or lease agreement.
In order to qualify for the eviction protection, you must declare that:
- Your expected 2020 income will fall below the threshold set out in the order, which is less than $99,000, or $198,000 as a joint-filing couple;
- You have sought all potential sources of federal housing aid;
- You cannot afford to pay rent due to a pandemic-related job loss or expense despite best efforts to do so;
- You have been making your best effort to pay rental payments as your circumstances allow;
- An eviction would likely lead to homelessness and/or a housing situation that would put you or others at risk of spreading COVID-19.
There are exceptions. You may be evicted for reasons other than not paying rent or making a housing payment. You can review the full order from the CDC here.
Contact Your Landlord to Declare Eligibility
If you meet the above qualifications, you need to contact your landlord directly to declare your eligibility. Landlords are not required to make their tenants aware of the Order and Declaration, but they must otherwise comply with all requirements of the Order.
Write your declaration. Every adult who is on the lease should draft and sign their own declaration. The CDC provides a sample declaration, which you can download here.
- Email, mail, or hand your declaration(s) to the landlord in a way that allows you to get proof that the landlord received them. Make sure you keep a copy for yourself.
what happens after your declare your eligibility
You may not be evicted for non-payment of rent solely on the basis of the failure to pay rent or similar charges at any time during the effective period of the Order. Landlords may continue to charge rent and accept partial payments from tenants during this time. Landlords may also agree to a repayment schedule with tenants for back rent payments that have accumulated during this time. Tenants retain all existing rights and protections against eviction under applicable state law, however, the Order does not preclude a landlord from challenging the truthfulness of a tenant’s declaration in court.
What to Do If You're Not Eligible for Eviction Protection
If you don't meet the eligibility requirements for this eviction ban, you may still have options! There are many resources available to you, such as rent relief and financial assistance for other expenses. We also encourage you to contact your landlord to request a repayment agreement, and to prioritize paying your rent.
If you are struggling to pay your rent, and do not qualify under the new eviction ban, you should contact your landlord before your next rent payment is due. With tenants unable to pay rent due to reduced income or other factors, many landlords or property management offices are allowing a repayment agreement. Repayment agreements outline a plan for the tenant to come back into compliance with the terms of their tenancy, and ensure that families may continue to be housed.
Contacting Your Landlord to Discuss a Plan for Repayment
- Be candid about your situation. If you’re impacted by COVID-19 or other difficulties, share how your income has been affected.
- Consider mentioning any resources and assistance options you’ve found.
- Explain how your family would be impacted by a loss of housing.
- Ask about payment arrangements. Establish a plan that works for you and do not agree to payment amounts or schedules that you are unable to support.
- Keep any email and text conversations and make notes of when you spoke in person.
- Keep in mind that your landlord is likely experiencing challenges as well. Communicate clearly and calmly.
- If you are nervous or need help with the details, ask someone to be with you during the conversation, or get free legal advice.
Resources for Talking with Your Landlord
- Prepare what you'll say before contacting your landlord. Download this Sample Script for Requesting a Rental Repayment Plan.
- Your landlord will likely ask you for some additional information. Download this List of Questions/Documents Your Landlord May Request.
- Make sure that you know your rights and what information you are — and are not — required to provide under the Fair Housing Act.
- Get to know what a repayment agreement looks like so that you are familiar with the details, or if your landlord asks you to provide one. Download sample agreements here and here.
It’s important to note that even if you qualify for this new eviction moratorium, this does not relieve you of your obligation to pay your rent. It merely prevents your landlord from evicting you during this period for late payment. Review your finances and develop a plan to keep your housing secure. To learn more about making a budget, how to reduce your expenses in other areas, and immediate financial assistance, visit Other Resources.
What You Need to Know About the Likelihood of Eviction
If you have not been able to pay your rent since the COVID-19 pandemic began, you may benefit from the temporary eviction moratorium now in place. However, if you are still struggling to pay rent once the moratorium is lifted — or if you are not eligible under the current eviction ban — your landlord may have the legal right to implement eviction proceedings.
- Any evictions for nonpayment of rent that may have been initiated before September 4, 2020, and have yet to be completed, will be subject to the Order. Any tenant who qualifies as a covered person and is still present in a rental unit is entitled to protections under the Order.
- Any eviction that occurred before September 4, 2020, is not subject to the Order.
- The Order does not prevent you from being evicted for: engaging in criminal activity while on the premises; threatening the health or safety of other residents; damaging or posing an immediate and significant risk of damage to property; violating any applicable building code, health ordinance, or similar regulation relating to health and safety; or violating any other contractual obligation of a tenant’s lease, other than the timely payment of rent or similar housing-related payment (including nonpayment or late payment of any fees, penalties, or interest).
- Individuals who are confirmed to have, have been exposed to, or might have COVID-19 and take reasonable precautions to not spread the disease should not be evicted on the ground that they may pose a health or safety threat to other residents. Individuals who might have COVID-19 are advised to self-isolate except to get medical care. Click here for more information.
- A landlord is allowed to evict a tenant for failing to pay rent on time.
- In Alaska, rent is considered late the day after it’s due. Grace periods (if any) are addressed in the rental agreement/lease.
- Once rent is past due, the landlord must provide tenants with a "7-Day Notice to Pay" if the landlord wants to file an eviction action with the court. This notice gives the tenant the option to pay the past due amount in full within seven days (or move out) in order to avoid eviction.
- If the tenant does not pay the rent due by the end of the notice period and remains on the property, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.
- Under federal law, your landlord cannot discriminate based on race, ethnicity, family status, disability, or other factors. Some localities and states also prohibit unequal treatment based on the tenant’s source of income (housing assistance, child support, disability payments, etc).
- If your landlord has a federally backed mortgage, they may be getting temporary relief from making their mortgage payments. Although some landlords are required to inform all residents of the prohibition against eviction solely for nonpayment of rent, you may not know if your landlord is getting this relief unless you ask them directly. If your landlord is getting mortgage payment relief, then you may be protected from eviction for a longer period of time.
- Learn More About the Eviction Process in Alaska
- Learn More About Your Rights as a Renter