Some believe Covid-19 legislation, such as the CARES Act or the Arizona evictions moratorium, mean that landlords can’t evict tenants even if they don’t pay rent. It’s important to note that applicable regulations have specific requirements. These requirements and applicability don’t exonerate tenant’s obligations.
Why landlords need to know about the evictions moratorium
The spirit of the Arizona legislation is to prevent people from losing their home due to the pandemic. It is not to circumvent tenant obligations or limit landlord’s rights on a long term basis.
In Arizona, there are two laws to consider.
The federal eviction moratorium
The federal eviction moratorium, under the CARES Act, prevents the initiation of eviction proceeds for four months. This is ending this month (July 2020). Importantly, the federal act only applies to certain housing. Specifically federally backed rental programs and federal backed loans. Thus, the law is only applicable to very specific housing arrangements.
When it does apply, the federal moratorium only bars initiating eviction proceedings. It does not mean tenant’s don’t have to pay rent and it doesn’t mean late fees, for example, cannot accrue.
It means that landlords and lenders… specifically of government-backed housing… cannot evict people from their homes during this time period.
The Arizona eviction moratorium
In Arizona, the Governor has enacted an order that is broader in application. The order protects tenants from eviction under certain circumstances. These circumstances include proven substantial loss of income from the income… like losing their job or required quarantine.
Again the idea is the Governor wants to prevent people from losing their home because of the pandemic. But, this order simply prevents law enforcement officers from enforcing eviction orders.
This does not mean tenants do not have to pay rent or that other penalties like late fees do not apply.
Why is the Arizona eviction moratorium unique?
The caveat to Covid-19 laws and orders is there has been no judicial interpretation. Typically in law, there is a written law… then decades or longer of judicial interpretation of that law.
That is not the case with pandemic legislation, so everyone must do their best to interpret the law.
This unique circumstance applies to the Arizona eviction moratorium. Knowing your rights and legal obligations as a landlord in Arizona is crucial.
Bailey Law is here to help
If you are a landlord looking to navigate your rights under Covid-19 legislation, consult our knowledgeable attorneys on your rights and obligations.