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Housing Rights During COVID-19

Eviction

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) enacted a nationwide halt on evictions for nonpayment of rent through June 30, 2021. This is called the CDC eviction moratorium. Governor Cooper issued an Executive Order that adds to the eviction moratorium. These protections delay evictions for nonpayment of rent until June 30,2021.

The moratorium only applies to evictions for nonpayment of rent or other fees. It does not apply to evictions based on breaches of lease agreements, criminal activity, or remaining in the home after the lease has ended. Tenants still owe rent during the moratorium period and must comply with lease rules. However, if you cannot pay rent during this time, your landlord cannot evict you based on that nonpayment.

Am I covered by the eviction moratorium?

The moratorium does not apply to all types of evictions – it only covers eviction for nonpayment of rent.

Have you received a summons for an eviction hearing? Look at Box #3 on the “Complaint in Summary Ejectment” page. Is the first box in Box #3 checked? If yes, the eviction moratorium protects you from eviction. If another box is checked, then you are not automatically protected by the moratorium.

A screen shot of the "Complaint in Summary Ejectment" page. A red square highlights the 3 box which describes the reason for the eviction hearing. The first box reads: "The defendent failed to pay the rent due on the above date and the plaintiff made demand for the rent and waited the 10-day grace period before filing the complaint.

How do I qualify for the eviction moratorium?

In order to prevent eviction, you must complete this form. By signing this form, you are certifying that you:

  • Meet the income restrictions,
  • You are unable to pay your full rent,
  • You are seeking government assistance to help you pay rent, and
  • That if you are evicted you are likely to become homeless.

The form is a sworn declaration. This means if you lie on the form, there could be penalties. Only sign the form if the statements on it are true to you.

What do I have to do?

Step 1: Complete this form and give it to your landlord. Only one adult per household needs to complete the form.

Step 2: Give your landlord the signed copy of the form. Keep at least one copy for yourself. The protections start once you give your landlord the signed form.

Step 3: Continue to follow your rental agreement. If you are able, make partial payments for rent. Remember that the moratorium only applies to nonpayment – you can still be evicted for other reasons, such as lease violations.

What if my landlord still tries to evict me after I give them the declaration?

Take a copy of the declaration form with you to the court hearing and show it to the magistrate. This should stop the eviction until June 30, 2021.

Under Governor Cooper’s Executive Order, landlords are required to give tenants a blank copy of the CDC declaration form when they try to evict the tenant. If your landlord did not give you a blank copy of the form, tell the magistrate. This may stop the eviction.

What if I submitted the form but the court evicted me anyways?

You have ten (10) days to file an appeal with the court. If you do not file an appeal in those ten days, your landlord can ask the sheriff to padlock your door. If you file an appeal, you may still be able to stop the eviction.

Rent and Utility Assistance

The North Carolina Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Eviction (HOPE) Program protects at-risk tenants from eviction. Through this program, the state directly pays landlords up to six months of rent (including overdue rent) on behalf of program applicants. In order to receive rent from the HOPE Program, landlords must agree to stop any eviction proceedings against the tenant and not to evict the tenant for nonpayment for the remainder of the tenant’s lease term.

The HOPE Program can also provide assistance with utility payments, including electricity, water, sewer, gas, or other bills.

To apply for the HOPE Program, complete an online application at nc211.org/hope. You can also call 2-1-1, but online applications may be processed faster. Learn more about the HOPE Program.

NOTE: The HOPE Program stopped accepting applications in November 2020, but is expected to reopen for new applications soon – check every day to see if applications are open. For more information on evictions, including video and audio explanations in English and Spanish, click here.

For more information on housing rights related to disability, including how to ask for housing accommodations, view our housing fact sheet.

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