Pennsylvania Extends Eviction Moratorium

eviction notice with a medical mask sitting on top

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf extended the eviction moratorium through August 31 to help tenants who were struggling to make rent as a result of the end of the additional unemployment benefits and an unclear start of when an additional round of stimulus funding will be ready. However, to benefit from the extension, tenants must provide proof of unemployment or loss of income.

According to the announcement, to be eligible for the program, funded by the CARES Act, tenants must show that since March 1, they either filed for unemployment or lost at least 30% of their annual income.

Tenants are still required to make rental payments that are due to property damage, as the moratorium only applies to evictions for nonpayment of rent.

In addition to Pennsylvania’s orders, President Donald Trump issued an executive order on August 8 to provide assistance to renters and homeowners.

The executive order includes the following:

  • Consideration of “whether any measures temporarily halting residential evictions of any tenants for failure to pay rent are reasonably necessary to prevent the further spread of COVID-19”;
  • Identification of “any and all available Federal funds to provide temporary financial assistance to renters and homeowners who, as a result of the financial hardships caused by COVID-19, are struggling to meet their monthly rental or mortgage obligations”;
  • “Promote the ability of renters and homeowners to avoid eviction or foreclosure resulting from financial hardships caused by COVID-19. Such action may include encouraging and providing assistance to public housing authorities, affordable housing owners, landlords, and recipients of Federal grant funds in minimizing evictions and foreclosures”; and
  • “Review all existing authorities and resources that may be used to prevent evictions and foreclosures for renters and homeowners resulting from hardships caused by COVID-19.”

Without Congress passing another round of stimulus relief for COVID-19 and uncertainty of when the executive action by President Trump which purports an additional $400 a week in unemployment benefits will come into effect, the fear of losing one’s home or being evicted is becoming more and more likely.

But you have options–and Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano can help.

Evicted For Nonpayment in COVID-19 Era: Know Your Rights – Eviction Moratorium

Though courts have taken their own interpretations of the Pennsylvania moratorium to mean all evictions are not permissible at this time, some tenants will likely still face legal repercussions for nonpayment issues, even though the eviction moratorium was extended through August 31.

If this happens to you, know that you need to provide proof of the eviction as well as your unemployment or loss wages status.

This includes nonpayments for lost income due to COVID-19 job loss, that you tried to file for unemployment since March 1, and that the eviction was due to nonpayment, and not due to property damage or relevant issue.

Remember, under the Landlord/Tenant Act, your landlord must give you a written eviction notice 10 days prior to the eviction for nonpayment of rent, or 15 days if the eviction is for breach of the lease or end of lease term.

Failure to provide such a timeline can result in further legal action in addition to being wrongfully evicted during a global pandemic.

Call Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano Today For a Free Consultation

We depend on those in power in Washington and Harrisburg to protect and provide for the Commonwealth–and obviously that isn’t happening as so many families are slipping through the cracks, being forced out of their homes when the likelihood of contagion is high. But our staff will not stand for it.

The attorneys of Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano will review any current legal action to see what protections you qualify for to contest your eviction.

Contact the Scranton real estate attorneys at Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano today for a free consultation. Serving clients in Lackawanna and Luzerne counties, Wayne County, Monroe County, and Pike County.

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