EXECUTIVE ORDER DELAYS EVICTIONS & PROVIDES GRACE PERIOD FOR RENTERS
On Friday, April 10, 2020 Governor Lamont issued his 24th Executive Order addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to assist residential renters the governor has prohibited any residential landlord from starting an eviction before July 1 for any reason except for “serious nuisance.” Serious nuisance generally means that that the tenant has committed or threatened violent acts against the landlord or other tenants, willfully destroyed property at the premises, or has engaged in illegal activity such as prostitution or illegal drug sales.
Under the Order tenants are automatically granted a 60-day grace period to pay their April 2020 rent. If a tenant provides notice to the landlord on or before the ninth day after the May 2020 rent is due that the tenant needs to delay their rent payment because they are fully or partially unemployed, a 60-day grace period is also applied to the May rent.
If a landlord is holding more than one month’s rent in security and the tenant is fully or partially unemployed, has suffered a significant loss in revenue, or an increase in expenses because of the pandemic, the tenant may request the landlord to withdraw whatever amount is being held in security in excess of one month’s rent. The funds can be applied to the rent due for April, May or June 2020. The landlord cannot request that the security deposit be restored to its original amount before the end of the public health emergency that has been declared by the governor.
The executive order does not forgive unpaid rent. It simply delays when a landlord can declare rent late, and postpones when a landlord can begin an eviction. Tenants are still ultimately responsible for whatever rent is due to the landlord.
If you are a landlord or a tenant and need guidance on your rights under this new Executive Order we can help.
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Cacace, Tusch & Santagata will continue to monitor the development of these programs and provide updates where applicable. As always, our firm is open and ready to help with personal or commercial needs. If we can be of any assistance, give our attorneys a call at (203) 327-2000.