By: James Moore

On March 27, 2020, the federal government stepped up to protect tenants/renters by passing the CARES Act, which imposes a 120-day moratorium on evictions from “covered property,” which is a defined term in the Act.

In a nutshell, between March 27 and July 24, 2020 (the 120-day period), owners of properties participating in covered housing programs (i.e. federally subsidized housing or properties with federally backed mortgage loans) may not:

  • Make, or cause to be made, any filing to recover possession from the tenant for nonpayment of rent or other fees/charges;
  • Charge fees, penalties, or other charges to the tenant related to such nonpayment of rent;
  • Require tenants to vacate sooner than 30 days after providing notice or issue a notice to vacate; or
  • Issue a notice to vacate until after the expiration of the moratorium period.

“Covered Property” includes properties identified and/or participating in the following programs:

  • Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Covered Housing Programs
    • Public housing (42 U.S.C. § 1437d)
    • Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program (42 U.S.C. § 1437f)
    • Section 8 project-based housing (42 U.S.C. § 1437f)
    • Section 202 housing for the elderly (12 U.S.C. § 1701q)
    • Section 811 housing for people with disabilities (42 U.S.C. § 8013)
    • Section 236 multifamily rental housing (12 U.S.C. § 1715z–1)
    • Section 221(d)(3) Below Market Interest Rate (BMIR) housing (12 U.S.C. § 17151(d))
    • HOME (42 U.S.C. § 12741 et seq.)
    • Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) (42 U.S.C. § 12901, et seq.)
    • McKinney-Vento Act homelessness programs (42 U.S.C. § 11360, et seq.)
  • Department of Agriculture
    • Section 515 Rural Rental Housing (42 U.S.C. § 1485)
    • Sections 514 and 516 Farm Labor Housing (42 U.S.C. §§ 1484, 1486)
    • Section 533 Housing Preservation Grants (42 U.S.C. § 1490m)
    • Section 538 multifamily rental housing (42 U.S.C. § 1490p-2)
  • Department of Treasury
    • Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) (26 U.S.C. § 42)
  • Participated in the Rural Housing Voucher Program under Section 542 of the Housing Act of 1949
  • Properties with Federally Backed Mortgage Loans (1-4 Units)
  • Properties with Federally Backed Multifamily Loans (5+ units)


It is important to note that the starting effective date means it does not affect evictions filed before the emergency declaration. However, landlords that receive forbearances of federally backed multifamily mortgage loans must respect identical renter protections for the duration of the forbearance as well.

If you have questions about the eviction moratorium or any personal or business problems as a result of the State of Emergency caused by the coronavirus, please do not hesitate to contact Shipman & Wright.

You can count on us to provide guidance and confidence in this unprecedented time. Once retained, we will be in your corner to assist you in this very fluid and unsettling time.