BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Centers for Disease Control will use its quarantine authority to prevent renters from being evicted from their homes through the end of the year.
Financial advisor for the Welch Group, Reagan White, said the CDC is able to exercise this power because it has the authority to do whatever is necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and it’s making the argument that evictions are a health threat.
The CDC said evictions will lead to homelessness which could cause people to crowd into places where they’re more likely to be exposed to and spread COVID-19.
“This was an executive order, essentially, to help out renters,” White said.
“The CARES Act had these similar protections that ran out at the end of July. And so, this was them stepping up to prevent a lot of people who have back rent and have landlords looking to file those eviction notices,” White explained.
But not everyone qualifies for this protection.
Renters must prove they are unable to make their monthly payments or would become homeless if they were kicked out of their homes.
You’ll also have to sign a document declaring you have a COVID hardship, as well as prove that you’ve sought government assistance to help make those rent payments.
“If you received a stimulus check, then you fall under those income thresholds. It’s $198,000 for married couples and $99,000 for single-filing taxpayers,” White said.
And renters should beware, this relief comes at a premium.
“The one thing you’ll need to realize is it doesn’t prevent landlords from charging late fees for missing rent payments. So, you’re still gonna have those fees associated and those are just going to continue to build up, and once we get beyond this, you’re still going to have to pay back your landlord for all the missed rent payments,” White said.
Obviously, that can be a lot of money if you’ve been unable to make rent payments for several months.
Financial advisors recommend paying as much as you can toward your rent to avoid more debt down the road.