Evictions during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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Yes, evictions are allowed to happen. When COVID-19 first began, state and federal law stopped landlords from evicting people for not paying rent. Then ,the CDC issued orders suspending evictions. All have expired or been vacated by federal courts so evictions can be filed for any valid reason.
See Housing Issues for more information about the eviction process.
CARES Act: Most eviction protection in the CARES Act expired on December 31, 2020. If a landlord is evicting a tenant for not paying rent, Section 4024 requires that landlords give tenants 30 days’ notice to vacate before evicting them from “covered housing.” This section did not have an expiration date.
A property is “covered housing” if:
The property owner has the following type of mortgage or assistance:
- federal assistance from Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of Agriculture (USDA), or the Treasury (through housing built using the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program);
- a federally-backed mortgage loan from HUD, FHA, USDA, the VA, Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac.
The housing falls under one of the following housing programs:
- Public housing;
- Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program;
- Section 8 project-based housing;
- Section 202 housing for the elderly;
- Section 811 housing for people with disabilities;
- Section 236 multifamily rental housing;
- Section 221(d)(3) Below Market Interest Rate (BMIR) housing;
- Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA);
- McKinney-Vento Act homelessness programs;
- Section 515 Rural Rental Housing;
- Sections 514 and 516 Farm Labor Housing;
- Section 533 Housing Preservation Grants;
- Section 538 multifamily rental housing;
- Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) housing; and
- Rural housing voucher program under section 542 of the Housing Act of 1949.
- The property owner has the following type of mortgage or assistance:
- CDC Moratorium: There are no longer any protections against evictions in Alaska from the CDC moratorium. The US Supreme Court issued an opinion on August 26 that ended the CDC moratorium.
Other Protections: The Federal Housing Finance Agency limits evictions in some situations. A landlord cannot evict a tenant for not paying rent if all of the following are true:
- the rental unit has five or more units,
- the owner has a federally-backed mortgage such as Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, and
- the owner is currently receiving a mortgage forbearance because the owner is having financial problems related to COVID-19.
Do any of the laws that expired forgive a tenant from owing rent that was not paid while the laws were in effect?
No, none of the past eviction moratoriums forgive rental payments. In most cases, tenants are responsible for any rent not paid while the eviction moratoriums were in effect although some landlords may provide certain rent relief.
Renters who are struggling to pay their rent or utility bills may be eligible for assistance. Alaska Housing Finance Corporation is overseeing distributing these funds. There have been two application periods. You can learn more about future funds at Alaska Housing Finance Corporation Information and Assistance for Renters or by calling (833) 440-0420.
- If you filled out an application for rent relief, see Applied for Rent Relief? What Happens Now?
- Or use AHFC’s check your status page .
Tenants can write to their landlords as soon as possible to explain their circumstances and try to work out an arrangement. Providing documentation that shows financial hardship might also be helpful, such as a note from an employer or a copy of an unemployment insurance application. Any arrangement or agreement reached between a tenant and their landlord should be documented in writing, and tenants should read the agreement carefully to make sure they fully understand the terms of the agreement before signing. See information on how to request a rental agreement modification due to COVID-19.
If a tenant is in the process of applying for rental assistance, let the landlord know. If a tenant receives a certification letter from AHFC, give the landlord a copy.
- Alaska Housing Finance Corporation Information and Assistance for Renters
- Alaska Housing Finance Corporation Information and Assistance for Landlords
Alaska Legal Services Corporation’s Landlord/Tenant Helpline provides free assistance to both tenants and landlords. Volunteer attorneys take incoming calls and will answer general questions from callers statewide about their particular housing situation.
Hours: Monday through Thursday from 6:00 – 8:00 pm.
In Anchorage call: 743-1000
Outside Anchorage call: (855) 743-1001
- Hours: Monday through Thursday from 6:00 – 8:00 pm.
- Anchorage residents that are limited English proficient can get help from the Alaska Literacy Program’s COVID-19 Peer Leader Navigators (CPLNs) using the CPLN request form , calling 907-290-3639, or emailing email@example.com.
- Read AHFC's FAQs about rent relief
- Other relief and resources
- Landlords and tenants may also want to talk to a lawyer about their options.
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If you cannot pay your rent because you or your roommates have been furloughed or laid off, or for another reason related to the COVID-19 pandemic, you can use the Rental Agreement Modification Due to COVID-19 form to ask your landlord to make a temporary change. The legal word for a change to a lease is a "modification."
If you use this form, write down why you cannot pay your rent and how it is related to COVID-19. Be honest because you must swear or affirm that the reason you write down is true. If more than one person is on the lease for a rental unit, each person on the lease must initial and sign the form.
If you give your landlord a copy of this form, be sure to keep a copy for yourself. If your landlord agrees to what you are asking, be sure to get a copy with your landlord’s signature.
A lease can be changed if everyone who signed the original lease signs a modification. So, if more than one person is on your lease, each person on the lease must initial and sign this form. If your landlord accepts this agreement, the landlord must also sign this form.
This form does not mean you do not owe your rent. It just makes a new payment plan, or asks your landlord if you can pay later. You should talk to your landlord and try to work out a plan together as soon as you know you will have problems paying.
Your landlord is not required to accept this form or agree to the terms.