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Evictions in Indiana during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Evictions in Indiana during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The federal CARES Act eviction moratorium expired on July 24, 2020, and Indiana’s state eviction moratorium expired on August 14, 2020. However, the CDC issued its own moratorium on September 4, 2020, which is set to expire on December 31, 2020.

The 30-day eviction notice requirement implemented under the CARES Act is still in effect. Notice must be sent to tenants of covered properties listed under Section 4024(a)(2) of the CARES Act, as well as properties with a federally backed mortgage or federally backed multi-family mortgage before landlords may initiate eviction proceedings until the sooner of (1) the termination of the national emergency declared by the President or (2) December 31, 2020. Such notice must have been sent on or after July 26, 2020. This applies only to evictions solely for nonpayment of rent. Landlords may initiate eviction proceedings for other lease violations. In addition, landlords may not collect fees for late payment of rent during the moratorium.

Covered properties include properties which participate in, receive subsidy or benefit from, or have tenants participating in or receiving subsidies or benefits from a number of housing programs, including Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) Public Housing and Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program.

Properties with federally backed mortgages or federally backed multi-family mortgages include mortgages owned, issued, or guaranteed by:

  • Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
  • Department of Veteran Affairs (VA)
  • Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac

For owners of multifamily properties (five or more dwelling units) who have entered into loan forbearance provided in the CARES Act, no evictions may commence so long as the owner is receiving such assistance. Once the loan forbearance ends, a 30-day notice must be sent prior to a landlord’s initiation of any eviction proceeding within the multifamily property.

Tenants who satisfy the five requirements of the CDC moratorium cannot be evicted prior to December 31, 2020. Tenants who believe they qualify must present signed declarations stating that they meet the moratorium’s five requirements:

  1. Their income does not exceed $99,000;
  2. They used “best efforts” to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing;
  3. They used “best efforts” to make timely partial payments;
  4. They would likely become homeless or be forced into shared living quarters if evicted; and
  5. They are unable to pay full rent due to income loss or “extraordinary” out-of-pocket medical expenses.

While a false declaration could lead to criminal charges for perjury, some courts are handling disputes of the assertions in separate hearings. Other courts aren’t considering leases that have expired and are now month-to-month as being covered under the moratorium. Additionally, the moratorium does not waive rental debt or prevent landlords from collecting interest and late fees when it expires on December 31, 2020.

Counties across Indiana appear to be handling the CARES Act requirements and the CDC Moratorium in their own way. If you have questions about your rights and liabilities under these Orders, contact the attorneys at McNeelyLaw LLP at (317) 825-5110.

This McNeelyLaw LLP publication should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion of any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own lawyer on any specific legal questions you may have concerning your situation.

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