1 1 (April 7, 2020)

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               Researh Sevice

CARES Act Eviction Moratorium

April 7, 2020
The COVID- 19 pandemic has disrupted business operations nationwide, leading to dramatic job losses
that threaten the ability of many to meet their financial obligations, including housing rental payments. To
aid individuals and businesses harmed by the pandemic, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief,
and Economic Security (CARES) Act (P.L. 116-136).
Section 4024 of the CARES Act provides a temporary moratorium on eviction filings as well as other
protections for tenants in certain rental properties with federal assistance or federally related financing.
These protections are designed to alleviate the economic and public health consequences of tenant
displacement during the COVID- 19 outbreak. They supplement temporary eviction moratoria and rent
freezes implemented in states and cities by governors and local officials using emergency powers. While
Section 4024's tenant protections are narrower in scope than those proposed by some lawmakers, called
for by some tenant-advocates, or enacted in some other countries, they represent arguably unprecedented
action by the federal government in an area of law that, largely, states and localities traditionally govern.
Thus, questions remain about the law's effects on tenants, landlords, and rental markets.

Eviction and Rental Payment Protections

CARES Act Section 4024(b) prohibits landlords of certain rental covered dwellings from initiating
eviction proceedings or charg[ing] fees, penalties, or other charges against a tenantfor the nonpayment
of rent. These protections extend for 120 days from enactment (March 27, 2020).
Section 4024(c) requires landlords of the same properties to provide tenants at least 30 days-notice before
they must vacate the property. It also bars those landlords from issuing a notice to vacate during the 120-
day period. In contrast to the eviction and late fee protections of Section 4024(b), which are expressly
limited to nonpayment, Section 4024(c) does not expressly tie the notice to vacate requirement to a
particular cause. Thus, Section 4024(c) arguably prohibits landlords from being able to force a tenant to
vacate a covered dwelling for nonpayment or any other reason until August 23, 2020 (i.e., 120 days after
enactment, plus 30 days after notice is provided).
Section 4024(b)'s and (c)'s protections, however, do not absolve tenants of their legal responsibilities to
pay rent. Tenants who do not pay rent during the eviction grace period may still face financial and legal
liabilities, including eviction, after the moratorium ends.

                                                                  Congressional Research Service

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