Residential Eviction Moratorium Expanded to End of August; CARES Relief for Renters and Homeowners Having Financial Difficulty

By Salene Mazur Kraemer, Esq.
Partner, Bernstein-Burkley

One of the major issues resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic has been what landlords and property owners should do about evictions and foreclosures for occupants having difficulty making payments and what kind of accommodations should be made.

In Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Wolf extended the statewide moratorium on foreclosures and evictions to August 31, providing renters with what he describes as more breathing room. Originally, the moratorium was set to expire on Friday, July 10.

According to Gov. Wolf’s press release, he says: “I am taking this action to help families know they will have a roof over their heads and a place to live while all of us fight the COVID-19 pandemic. It takes one more burden off of people who are struggling and ensures that families can remain in their homes so they can protect their health and well-being.”

Because Pennsylvania has seen an increase in COVID cases recently, especially in Allegheny County, Wolf and his administration also justified extending the moratorium so people could stay in their homes and limit the spread of the virus.

However, while most tenants and dwellers are covered for nonpayment of rent or overstaying a lease under the moratorium, one thing that it does not cover is if the tenant damages property or breaks the law or lease in some manner.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is utilizing $175 million of the relief money it received to assist tenants and homeowners with payments, which includes a rental relief program that offers $750 per month to renters and homeowners having financial difficulty. Applications for this CARES assistance for renters and homeowners became available as of June 29.

The revised executive order does not apply to landlords who take part in the state’s rent relief program, since the program already has protection for renters. The order also doesn’t apply to renters living in a building that’s covered by a federal moratorium on evictions and foreclosures.

Note: The CARES funding for renters must be completely distributed by November 30, 2020.

To access the CARES Rent Relief Program application, click here.

For more information about renter rights or landlord rights, please reach out to Bernstein-Burkley at info@bernsteinlaw.com or call (412) 456-8100.

Written by Bernstein- Burkley, P.C. on July 10, 2020

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