State-by-state coronavirus eviction and rent relief measures
States and localities across the country are implementing emergency measures to support people and businesses affected by the coronavirus. Your location may determine the eviction or rent relief your practice is eligible for amid revenue-squeezing stay-in-place orders
How you pay rent or find relief will play into your practice business plan amid the coronavirus pandemic. Are you freeing up funds to invest elsewhere? Will you need to generate revenue to pay off a larger rent obligation when the outbreak ends?
Although lawmakers at the federal level have granted relief to small businesses, the CARES Act’s loan programs may not be enough to cover rent and other financial obligations such as payroll.
Seeking rent relief for your practice
Depending on your state you may have access to programs meant to ease your rent obligation or ensure you won’t get evicted for failure to pay rent. If that’s not the case you can still negotiate with your landlord for rent relief. But before you contact your landlord you should review what sort of emergency funds or assistance are available.
Additionally, make sure to further research your state’s approach to rent and evictions during this pandemic. Changes are frequent and language varies state-to-state—and even between certain localities in the same state!
For example, a moratorium on eviction proceedings means your landlord can still file a claim to evict you. Other states have paused both evictions and eviction claims. Furthermore, eviction moratoriums do not mean rent obligations are lifted. Check to make sure your state is offering rent relief, an eviction moratorium or both.
Below is a list of rent relief measures implemented by states and localities across the country:
Rent relief offered by states and localities
The state has not put an eviction moratorium or rent assistance in place.
All eviction proceedings in Alaska were suspended until May 1, 2020. Additionally, judges may find good cause to stay an outstanding eviction. There is no distinction for residential or commercial eviction proceedings in the order.
In Arizona, residential eviction proceedings have been suspended if the tenant meets one of a number of criteria. For businesses, the state’s largest utilities have agreed to stay power shut-offs through the coronavirus crisis. During this period no penalties or late fees will be assessed.
While Arkansas has made disaster loans available to small businesses, the state has not implemented eviction moratoriums or rent relief for businesses.
California will also extend a loan program to small businesses through the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank. Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order that gives localities control over how to treat evictions for renters. Under state law tenants must still pay rent and landlords may still recover it.
The city issued an order that prohibits landlords from evicting commercial tenants whose businesses are closed. That includes businesses that did so voluntarily and those that were forced too close.
Tenants will have to notify their landlord and provide documentation. After the emergency declaration is lifted tenants will have up to six months to pay back their rent obligation.
The city of Los Angeles’ executive order prohibiting evictions applies only to residential tenants. However, Los Angeles County has placed a moratorium on all commercial and residential evictions in unincorporated areas. The county recently extended its eviction moratorium to June 30.
The city of Oakland implemented an eviction moratorium that includes commercial tenants under certain conditions.
Evictions are prohibited “as an absolute defense” against commercial renters missing payments as a result of a substantial decrease in income [...] caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.” The bar on evictions also includes businesses closed via mitigation orders.
Renters must pay back rent. However, the time it takes may not be used as grounds for eviction.
In San Bernardino, a moratorium on evictions is in place for both residential and commercial tenants who are unable to pay rent due to COVID-19. In the case of commercial leases, the tenant must inform the landlord that they cannot pay some or all of their rent obligation as a result of the coronavirus or subsequent mitigation orders.
San Diego’s mayor has placed a temporary moratorium on evictions of businesses and residential tenants. This order does not absolve tenants of rent obligations in the future.
In San Francisco, the mayor implemented a moratorium on evictions for residential and small- and medium-sized business tenants. The moratorium applies to businesses in the city that have less than $25 million in annual gross receipts.
San Jose has in place a ban on commercial evictions for businesses that were affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
Santa Clara County
Santa Clara County, which includes San Jose, also adopted measures on commercial evictions. The county placed a hold on evictions for both residential and small business tenants.
Rancho Cucamonga’s city council passed a measure banning the eviction of residential or commercial tenants for failure to pay rent. The moratorium on evictions applies only to circumstances in which tenants cannot cover rent obligations due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Ventura County cities Oxnard, Camarillo, Moorpark and Simi Valley have all implemented moratoriums on evictions for nonpayment of rent for both residential and commercial tenants.
Residential and commercial evictions in Colorado have been suspended statewide through May.
Denver’s Sheriff’s Department is reallocating resources away from enforcing evictions amid the coronavirus emergency.
The state of Connecticut has placed a pause on all eviction proceedings. Landlords may still file eviction cases, though. There’s no mention of commercial tenants. However, there’s evidence a full residential and commercial eviction moratorium has been discussed.
The First State, as it’s called, issued a moratorium on evictions. However, the release did not specify whether this includes both commercial and residential evictions or just the latter.
Orange County has suspended all eviction activities.
Seminole and Brevard Counties
Nearly all court proceedings in these counties have been put on hold. That includes evictions and foreclosures.
At this time there is no statewide measure on evictions in Georgia. Atlanta has halted residential evictions.
The state adopted a moratorium on evictions. However, it appears to be specific to residential proceedings.
Idaho does not have a statewide proclamation on evictions. However, an order from 5th District Administrative Judge Eric Wildman suspended eviction hearings in Blaine County.
The state’s governor issued an executive order putting residential evictions on hold. However, the order doesn’t include language on commercial tenants.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot requested that landlords give their tenants “some grace.” The Circuit Court of Cook County, which handles the city’s eviction cases, had paused eviction proceedings. However, on April 15 Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans called for the court to begin regular activities again via teleconferencing.
The state adopted an order placing a pause on residential foreclosures and evictions. However, it did not mention commercial tenants.
The governor put in place a temporary pause on some evictions. Additionally, she put a hold on residential, commercial and agricultural foreclosure commencements and proceedings through executive order.
An executive order issued in The Sunflower State places evictions and foreclosures on hold for residential tenants and businesses.
In Kentucky residential evictions have been suspended. The order does not mention commercial tenants.
Evictions announced before March 18 were allowed to take place in Maine. However, the governor issued an executive order halting the commencement of any evictions except for unlawful circumstances.
The governor issued an executive order prohibiting evictions of commercial tenants adversely affected by the coronavirus or COVID-19 mitigation efforts.
Massachusetts enacted House Bill 4647, which places a moratorium on residential and small business evictions during the COVID-19 state of emergency.
The governor of Michigan signed an executive order allowing “tenants and mobile homeowners to remain in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.” The measure does not mention commercial tenants.
The state governor signed an executive order placing a moratorium on residential evictions. Additionally, the state legislature is considering it’s own bill suspending evictions.
There is currently no statewide rent relief or eviction moratorium in place in Mississippi.
Missouri does not have a statewide measure in place on eviction moratoriums or rent relief.
In Jackson County there is a hold on all eviction proceedings in court.
Montana has not implemented any statewide order on eviction moratoriums or rent relief.
There is no eviction moratorium or statewide rent relief in Nebraska at this time.
All evictions and foreclosures have been suspended in Nevada. The measure applies to both residential and commercial tenants.
New Hampshire’s governor implemented an executive order placing a moratorium on evictions of non-restricted and restricted property. The definition of the former includes property rented for non-residential purposes.
In the Garden State, the governor signed an executive order suspending enforcement of residential eviction and foreclosure proceedings. The measure does not mention commercial tenants.
In New Mexico there is currently no statewide eviction moratorium or rent relief.
The mayor of Santa Fe is prohibiting eviction of all commercial and residential tenants.
The “New York on PAUSE” executive order includes a suspension of all residential and commercial eviction proceedings. The moratorium on evictions in the state was recently extended to August 20th.
In North Carolina special proceedings before the court such as evictions and foreclosures are postponed.
A moratorium on evictions in North Dakota has been lifted and eviction proceedings are allowed to resume.
The governor signed an executive order placing a moratorium on small business commercial evictions. Additionally, he asked that all landlords suspend rent payments for 90 days for small business commercial tenants beginning in April. Lastly, the governor ordered that lenders offer borrowers the opportunity to put into forbearance any commercial real estate loan secured for properties located in Ohio.
In addition to the governor’s orders, Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley announced the city will pause eviction proceedings.
The state’s county court system has suspended eviction proceedings. However, landlords are still allowed to file eviction claims during this time.
Oregon’s governor signed an executive order implementing a moratorium on residential evictions. The measure applies to residential tenants.
In Pennsylvania, the state Supreme Court suspended court proceedings including evictions. The order specifies residential evictions, but commercial evictions are not included on a list of exceptions to the rule.The governor recently extended the stay on evictions through July 10.
The state of Rhode Island announced that it would halt commercial and residential eviction proceedings for 30 days. The governor later assured courts would be shuttered through mid-May.
The Supreme Court of South Carolina decreed that all eviction proceedings ordered or ongoing in the state shall be suspended until no earlier than May 1. The court also warned it would not accept “applications for ejectment, schedule hearings, issue writs or warrants of ejectment, or proceed in any other manner regarding evictions.”
There are no measures to halt evictions or offering rent relief in South Dakota at this time.
In Tennessee courts have remained open but in-court proceedings, including evictions, have been limited via emergency order. As of right now the order has been extended until May 31 but courts are encouraged to make arrangements to keep court activities going, such as video or audio communications.
In March, as Nashville was dealing with the aftermath of a tornado in addition to the coronavirus pandemic, Mayor John Cooper announced eviction proceedings would be suspended for individuals affected by either the tornado or virus.
In March the Supreme Court of Texas placed a moratorium on eviction proceedings. The court did note that new filings would be accepted. The order, which was set to expire in April, has been extended through mid-May.
There is no statewide eviction moratorium or rent relief in Utah at this time. However, the state’s chief judge directed peers across the state to begin hammering out plans to pause proceedings for those due in court. Additionally, the Utah Apartment Association released a rent deferral plan for April that it encouraged landlords to follow. However, the plan makes no mention of commercial tenants.
Right now there is no statewide rent relief or eviction moratorium in Vermont. However, the state Senate passed eviction moratorium legislation on April 10. The bill has been sent to the House, which just approved remote voting.
Virginia's state supreme court suspended eviction proceedings in March. That pause has been extended until May 17.
In April the state’s governor issued an executive order extending and expanding an existing moratorium on evictions. The addition to the measure included language speaking to commercial tenants. Landlords are prohibited from serving commercial tenants notices to vacate including evictions; seeking or enforcing eviction orders; or assessing late fees. They’re also prohibited from raising rents or deposits for residential and commercial tenants.
The court suspended all evictions of tenants and foreclosed homeowners in D.C. It is not clear whether this applies to commercial tenants.
There is no eviction or rent relief implemented statewide in West Virginia.
Wisconsin’s governor implemented an executive order placing a 60-day moratorium on evictions for failure to pay rent. The order makes no specifications regarding whether properties must be residential.
The state of Wyoming has not ordered statewide eviction or rent relief.