August 2, 2021: An Important Update Regarding the Expiration of the CDC Eviction Moratorium
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New Hampshire courts will now allow evictions against residential tenants to proceed, even against tenants formerly protected by COVID-19-related eviction moratoria.
Review of COVID-19 Eviction Restrictions
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government, states, and local municipalities, by legislation, executive action, and regulation, created a variety of restrictions on residential evictions. Congress initially created a 120-day eviction moratorium as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) that applied to any rental properties receiving federal assistance. In New Hampshire, Governor Sununu created a local eviction moratorium by executive order that expired on July 1, 2020. After Governor Sununu’s moratorium ended, but before any eviction actions proceeded to trial, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention created a nation-wide regulatory ban on most residential evictions for non-payment of rent.
CDC Moratorium Has Ended
The CDC’s eviction ban, effective September 4, 2020, has now expired as of July 31, 2021. Congressional lawmakers were unable to agree on how (or whether) to extend a federal-level moratorium after several federal courts decided that the CDC regulation was unconstitutional or beyond the agency’s statutory authority. The United States Supreme Court also recently signaled that a majority of its justices would not allow the CDC moratorium to extend beyond the latest expiration date.
Financial Assistance is Available to Tenants
Although eviction protection has ended, resources are available in New Hampshire for tenants who require assistance with past-due and future rent payments. The New Hampshire Emergency Rental Assistance Program (NHERAP) provides assistance to eligible residents who cannot pay their rent or utilities due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. With a tenant’s permission, a landlord can assist a tenant with the application for rent assistance.
We're Ready to Help!
The landscape of legislation, regulations, and executive orders that have affected landlords’ ability to remove non-paying tenants has changed several times since early 2020 and remains complex today. Our attorneys have continually monitored these legal developments and welcome all opportunities to discuss landlord-tenant issues with the community.