The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 was signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021. It contains a number of provisions regarding residential evictions and relief to be provided to those who are unable to pay rent. But getting those funds to those who are unable to pay rent for a COVID-19 reason will take time.
In the meantime, under mandate from Nevada Governor Sisolak in Directive 036, the current moratorium on residential evictions remains in effect until March 31, 2021 (unless it is further
extended). This is a brief summary of Directive 036 and is not advice on whether the ban applies in a particular situation or what steps a tenant or landlord should take.
The ban is not automatic and a tenant must give the landlord a declaration that effectively mirrors the federal CDC declaration. Here is what needs to be in the declaration: (1) tenant is unable to pay rent for a COVID-19 related reasons; (2) tenant expects to make less than $99,000 in 2020 ($198,000 if filing jointly; and (3) tenant is likely to become homeless or forced into a group living situation if evicted. If tenant has already provided landlord with a CDC declaration, that is sufficient. The ban includes evictions for failure to pay rent, staying on the property after a lease expires, and “no cause” evictions. The ban does not prevent evictions for nuisances, for lease violations unrelated to rent or fees or “at will” tenants, or certain evictions relating to rental in a mobile home park.
The declaration form can be found at https://www.lacsn.org/covid-19 or www.lacsn.org/declarationpacket. If tenant qualifies, there is no reason to wait – provide the declaration to landlord now. If tenant is sued for eviction, tenant can still bring the declaration to the hearing or file it with the tenant’s answer or attach it to a motion to stay the eviction. The declaration must be “provided to” the landlord: this is what makes it effective. These and any are other steps are matters about which tenant should seek legal advice.
Even if tenant qualifies for the existing moratorium, this does not mean that rent is not ultimately owed. The existing moratorium is not a debt forgiveness directive.