Can I still evict tenants during the moratorium? Are evictions still legal during COVID moratorium?

Being a landlord during and after the Covid moratorium requires that you are fully aware of the legal ins and out about evictions.  Here’s what I learned while asking our legal team (BigReia.com/people) about evicting tenants while dealing with the moratorium. 

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Can I still evict tenants during the moratorium? Are evictions still legal during COVID moratorium?

Indy Anna explains: 

  • Can still evict during this time

  • What your grounds for legal eviction may be

  • One bonus  pre-court checklist for landlords  

So this is a pretty hot topic right now for many real estate investors, and with good cause. Recently we’ve been asked about this by numerous folks and we asked a few people on our legal team for their suggestions.

Remember you can get help and see our “Good People” list at BigReia.com/people.

This is what some of them had to say about evictions during the moratorium;

So, before we get into the eviction process, and if you can- I wanted to say this general idea was put into place to help those who needed help the most as COVID-19 swept the Nation. It was meant for those who were truly affected by job loss and had little to no savings to keep them housed during a very uncertain time. 

Like with anything else in life, there are those that have taken advantage of the moratorium guidelines and abused the benefit of not paying to simply do just that- live rent free. This has become another issue altogether, costing landlords combined millions in revenue.

That doesn’t help all landlords.  

While there may be some help available to landlords, many of them simply want to begin or follow up with the eviction process for nonpayment and either get new tenants in place that they assume can pay the rent, or sell and get out of the property altogether. 

Now these laws are changing day by day, hour to hour in some States, so we can only go off of a rough outline here based on what we were told, and the best plan is to follow up with legal counsel in your area- very State specific on this one!

Again you MUST check your legal team for this if you’re outside of Indiana.

So, to the overall idea of the eviction process during the COVID moratorium; no, you cannot evict for non payment. Now your tenants do need to fill out a form, and I will include that link- and this is supposed to be the official declaration for renters to go about this legitimately. 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/EvictionDeclare_d508.pdf

This is to say that tenants are supposed to make partial payments if possible, and that payments will be due when the moratorium ends in some States. If this has not been filled out, landlords may challenge this and falsified or incomplete documents may be punishable under perjury – but realistically courts will be so backed up with these it seems unlikely in most cases. 

Now onto what you can evict for (again, verify with a  local professional legal council on this!) 

In some States you can still proceed  formally which allows evictions for specific immediate and serious injury, or loss or damage to property -subject to Federal law changes. If there are other breaches of the rental agreement (i.e. engaging in criminal activity while on premises, threatening health or safety of other residents, damaging or posing an immediate and significant risk of damage to property, other violations of the rental contract, etc.), an eviction may still take place. 

Now in most cases you will be able to enter the property under pre-COVID guidelines, with tenants rights still applying- under proper notice/agreed upon time.

You can enter the property for:

  • Maintenance 

  • Inspection

  • Repairs 

If it were noted in one of these visits about immediate and serious injury, or loss or damage to the property you would still (depending on your State) be able to proceed with the eviction process. 

To be clear, if your tenant refuses to comply with an agreed upon time (unless of course they are truly and physically able to comply- seek council on this part) they may be in breach of lease contract. 

You need to have this documented.

This is where having documentation of your attempts to notify the tenant will be needed when seeking council. It can be requested by the landlord to prove the validity of the declaration as well- so bring this up as you seek guidance. 

We more than strongly encourage landlords to go about this the formal and legal way as there are stiff penalties for those that do not comply. To help with this and as promised, here is a checklist from the Indy site- and check your State for a State specific one before proceeding to court. 

https://www.in.gov/courts/files/lttf-checklist-evidentary-hearing-dispute-declaration.pdf

So to recap, YES you can still evict during the COVID moratorium in some cases.

We also covered reasons this could be possible and a checklist to give you an idea before you proceed to court in what may be asked of you as a landlord. 

As I explained in a previous video, since so many people have asked me to help them with deals outside of Indy, I’m open to that in the right situations.  So if you want help doing real estate deals in Indy or outside please text or email me and I promise I’ll do everything in power to take care of you and make sure WIN.

Email: Love (at) BigReia.com

Phone: 317-969-5619 (Yes that’s my real number so please text me first)

And as always,

Make the universe SMILE =  )

~ Indy Anna 

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Thanks so much!  = )

Make the Universe Smile.

~ Indy Anna
Love (at) BigReia.com
317-969-5619 (YES that's my actual Direct Line and I really do answer lol, so please text me first Thx!)

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