The Iowa Supreme Court has signed an order allowing the state to enforce a federal order halting evictions of residents who cannot pay their rent during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention enacted the order Sept. 4, citing the “historic threat to public health” because of the virus.
“Evicted renters must move, which leads to multiple outcomes that increase the risk of COVID-19 spread,” the order said. “Specifically, many evicted renters move into close quarters in shared housing or other congregate settings.”
The order applies to individuals earning $99,000 or less annually or couples making $198,000 or less annually who would be homeless if evicted. If someone has to move within close quarters with family or friends, that also counts.
Renters are required to make “best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing” and attempt to make partial payments.
Someone in danger of being evicted must present an “eviction declaration” form, which is available on the CDC’s website, to the landlord to avoid being evicted.
Tenants are still responsible to make rent payments, and landlords can charge fees for late rent as well. Landlords also can evict tenants for non-financial reasons.
The order does not protect against foreclosures on home mortgages.
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Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds had a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures in the state earlier in the pandemic, but she did not extend the moratorium when it expired in late May.
The CDC’s order is in effect through Dec. 31.
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