By: Alisa N. Carr, Esq.
Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC“) issued a new moratorium on evictions that only applies to U.S. counties experiencing substantial or high levels of COVID community transmission as of August 3, 2021. If a county that is not covered by this Order as of August 3, 2021 later experiences substantial or high levels of community transmission while this Order is in effect, that county will become subject to today’s Order.
A copy of the Order can be found here.
If a county that is covered by the Order no longer experiences substantial or high levels of community transmission for 14 consecutive days, the Order will no longer apply in that county, unless and until the county again experiences substantial or high levels of community transmission while this Order is in effect.
The entire Order will expire for all counties on October 3, 2021.
To determine if a county falls within the category of substantial or high levels of community transmission, the CDC maintains the following website.
As of August 3, 2021 CDC Order applies to the following counties in Pennsylvania deemed either “high” or “substantial” (including metropolitan Pittsburgh, Harrisburg & Philadelphia):
- the tenant has used best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing
- the tenant earned no more than $99,000 (or $198,000 if filing jointly) in calendar year 2020 or expects to earn less in calendar year 2021
- the tenant is unable to pay the full rent
- the tenant is using best efforts to make timely partial rent payments
- eviction would likely render the tenant homeless, or the tenant would be required to move into close quarters or shared living
- the tenant resides in a county experiencing substantial or high rated of COVID community transmission
- 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 regulations relation to health and safety or
- violation any other contractual obligation, other than the timely payment of rent or similar housing-related payments.
Any evictions for non-payment of rent initiated prior to August 3, 2021 but not yet completed, are subject to this order. Tenants remain responsible for rent and late fees.
In Allegheny County, some Magisterial Courts have been accepting Complaints and will issue eviction orders if the tenant is not meeting the definition of a ‘covered person.” In addition, the City of Pittsburgh Human Relations Commission will review applications for “good cause,” which would authorize evictions. Fifth Judicial District President Judge The Honorable Kim Berkeley Clark is anticipated to issue an administrative Order later this week.
While this alert is specific to affected counties in Pennsylvania, the CDC eviction moratorium is effective nationwide. If you have any questions regarding this order, or wish to discuss specific cases, please contact Alisa N. Carr. Alisa is a Partner with Leech Tishman and a member of the Litigation Practice Group, where she leads the ADA Title III Defense Group and co-leads the Real Estate Litigation Group. She is also a member of the Real Estate Practice Group, where she co-leads the Assessments and Appeals Group and the Permitting and Zoning Group. Alisa is based in the Pittsburgh office and can be reached at 412.261.1600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Leech Tishman Fuscaldo & Lampl is a full-service law firm dedicated to assisting individuals, businesses, and institutions. Leech Tishman offers legal services in business restructuring & insolvency, corporate matters, employment & labor, estates & trusts, intellectual property, litigation & alternative dispute resolution, and real estate. In addition, the firm offers a wide range of legal services to clients in the aviation & aerospace, cannabis, construction, energy & natural resources, healthcare, and hospitality industries. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, Leech Tishman also has offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Sarasota, Washington, D.C. and Wilmington, DE.