The federal CARES Act (enacted March 27, 2020) imposed a temporary moratorium on eviction filings for residential properties financed by federally backed mortgage loans or participating in federal affordable housing programs. The CARES Act included a provision requiring landlords of covered properties to give tenants at least 30 days’ notice to vacate the premises in non-payment of rent evictions. Although most provisions of the CARES Act expired on July 31, 2021, the 30-Day Notice requirement remains in effect.
Specifically, Section 4024 of the CARES Act prohibits landlords from requiring tenants to vacate a rental property “before the date that is 30 days after the date … that the landlord provides the tenant with a notice to vacate.” This Notice is in addition to the 3 Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit that must be served on the tenant in such cases.
Which Properties Are Covered by CARES Act?
Any property with a “federally backed mortgage loan” will require service of a 30-Day Notice in addition to the 3 Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit. These loans include a loan owned, insured or guaranteed by any officer or agency of the Federal Government, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Department of Agriculture. In addition, the CARES Act covers a loan purchased or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, and properties subsidized by the federal government. The full list is described in 34 USC 12 12491(a) and 42 USC 1490r. You can find out whether your property is subject to this requirement by contacting your lender or servicer.
Which Types of Evictions Are Covered?
The 30-Day Notice requirement applies only to non-payment of rent evictions. It does not apply to evictions based on any other ground.
Does The Cares Act Give the Tenant 30 Additional Days to Pay Outstanding Rent?
One issue remaining unresolved by the Cares Act is whether the 30-Day Notice requirement gives the tenant an additional 30 days to pay outstanding rent. The plain language of the Cares Act suggests that the additional 30 days was intended only to give the tenant 30 more days to vacate the property after service of a valid 3 Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit. The Act does not expressly extend the time for payment of outstanding rent.
A Washington appellate court, however, has interpreted the Act to extend the time for payment of outstanding rent as well, giving the tenant the right to cure for a full 30-day period. Washington requires service of a 14 Day Notice in non-payment of rent cases. In Sherwood Auburn LLC v. Pinson, (2022) 521 P.3d 212, the Washington Court of Appeals held that landlords must alter the mandatory 14-day notice language to grant tenants 30 days to either pay or vacate, despite the absence of language in the CARES Act granting tenants any time to cure defaults.
California courts have not addressed the issue, and the Sherwood decision is not binding in California. California judges could, however, consider the Sherwood decision as persuasive authority and decide that the tenant is permitted a full 30 days to cure. In anticipation of this possible result, the California Apartment Association has revised its CARES Act termination notice forms to provide tenants 30 days to either cure their nonpayment violation or quit. Previously, CAA’s forms mandated that tenants resolve their nonpayment default within three days or vacate within 30 days.
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