A new law making it tougher for landlords to evict tenants took effect on November 9, 2020. Among the tenant protections in the Fairness in Renting Emergency Amendment Act, is a requirement that landlords have a current housing basic business license in order to access the courts and file an eviction case. This is a change from the Superior Court’s existing precedent, which allowed even unlicensed owners to pursue eviction.
On October 14, 2020 a new law is set to go into effect further restricting landlords’ from preventing harm to tenants and buildings. The law does two things: prohibits a housing provider from issuing a notice to vacate to a tenant; and use any alternative means, such as decreasing services, to constructively evict a tenant. Notably, the second piece is redundant, as constructive eviction has been illegal for decades.
While the eviction moratorium and rent freeze get all of the attention, housing providers have additional obligations under the Coronavirus laws. Recently, DCRA published an emergency rulemaking which sets out in detail certain cleaning requirements for landlords.
On July 23, 2020, D.C. filed 8 Source Of Income Discrimination cases against landlords. A growing number of jurisdictions have Source Of Income Discrimination Laws.
On June 8, 2020, the DC Council adopted the latest amendments to the emergency Coronavirus law. However, the amendments did not actually go into effect until July 17, 2020. The changes impact landlord obligations to tenants as outlined below.
In New York and Texas landlords have filed federal lawsuits, claiming that laws denying them access to the courts to pursue evictions violate their constitutional property and contractual rights.
On May 19, 2020, the DC Council further specified landlords’ obligations to offer payment plans under the Coronavirus Support Emergency Act. Two weeks ago the Council approved a law requiring, among other things, that certain landlords enter into payment plans with tenants’ whose ability to pay rent has been impacted by the public health emergency. However, the original law was vague as to specific rights and obligations. This week the Council approved new legislation to clarify several aspects of the law.
The DC Council’s third emergency Coronavirus law requires landlords to give payment plans for missed rent payments during the public health emergency and for a year thereafter. While the law is fairly clear about who it applies to it contains few details about the required contents of a payment plan. Notwithstanding the gaping holes in this legislation, here are the details that we have now.
Over the last month, an increasing number of tenants have been moving-out of their apartments early to live with family for the duration of the global health crisis. When this happens, landlords often do not know what to do. Below is a brief outline of the steps to take when a tenant abandons a rental unit.
The COVID-19 Response Supplemental Emergency law. provides mortgage deferment, rent freezes, stops notices to vacate and protects consumers from certain debt collection activities. Obviously, the law was hastily drafted and it is not completely clear how it will be applied. This post will be updated as additional information becomes available.