CDC Order: Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19

The Cleveland Heights Municipal Court is a neutral party, and it does not provide legal advice; the Court does have an obligation to promote the public understanding of and confidence in the administration of jus6ce. To that end, below is some information on the CDC’s Order concerning the halt in evictions. Please note, the halt in evictions is not automatic, and it does not apply in all eviction cases. You can find a complete copy of the Order here, and if you have any questions, you should consult an attorney.

The Order provides that effective September 4, 2020, through December 31, 2020, a landlord cannot evict any covered person from any residential property for non-payment of rent. During that period, if an eviction action is filed, the Court will shall set the matter for hearing, and all parties should appear.

This Order does not relieve any individual of any obligation to pay rent, make a housing payment, or comply with any other obligation that the individual may have under a tenancy, lease, or similar contract. Nothing in the Order precludes the charging or collecting of fees, penalties, or interest as a result of the failure to pay rent or other housing payments on a timely basis.

To invoke the CDC’s Order, a tenant (and all other adults residing at the premises under the rental agreement) must provide an executed copy of the declaration form (or a similar declaration under penalty of perjury) to their landlord. A sample of that declaration can be found below.

"Covered person" means any tenant, lessee, or resident of a residential property who provides to their landlord, the owner of the residential property, or other person with a legal right to pursue eviction or a possessory ac6on, a declaration under penalty of perjury indicating that:

  1. The individual has used best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing;
  2. The individual either (i) expects to earn no more than $99,000 in annual income for Calendar Year 2020 (or no more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax return), (ii) was not required to report any income in 2019 to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, or (iii) received an Economic Impact Payment (stimulus check) pursuant to Sec6on 2201 of the CARES Act;
  3. the individual is unable to pay the full rent or make a full housing payment due to substantial loss of household income, loss of compensable hours of work or wages, a lay-off, or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses;
  4. the individual is using best efforts to make timely partial payments that are as close to the full payment as the individual’s circumstances may permit, taking into account other nondiscretionary expenses; and
  5. eviction would likely render the individual homeless—or force the individual to move into and live in close quarters in a new congregate or shared living setting—because the individual has no other available housing options.

The above information must be submitted by sworn statement. This Court may hold a hearing for the landlord or the Court to verify that information.

Finally, there are perjury penalties for false statements and additional criminal penalties for violations of the Order by either the landlord or the tenant.

Funding may be available to assist with rental payments. Both landlords and tenants may wish to start here to determine if funds are available. They can also go to the Court’s page with a list of recourses and emergency relief agencies that can be found here.