Evictions during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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Yes, a landlord can evict a tenant for reasons other than not paying rent related to COVID-19, such as certain criminal activity or causing damage to the rental property.
After previous state and federal orders that stopped landlords from evicting people for not paying rent expired, the CDC issued a new, more limited order on August 3 preventing evictions under certain circumstances in areas with substantial or high levels of COVID-19.
See Housing Issues for more information about the eviction process.
The new CDC order prevents evictions for non-payment of rent under certain circumstances in areas with substantial or high levels of COVID-19. The CDC Tracker shows the COVID-19 level by community in each state. (Select your state and community on the drop-down menus.)
If the rental unit in in an area with “high” or “substantial” levels of COVID, the tenant cannot be evicted if the tenant provides a written declaration under penalty of perjury stating all of the following are true:
- the tenant used their best efforts to get all available government assistance to pay their rent;
the tenant’s income qualifies because one or more of the following are true:
- the tenant filed an individual tax return in 2020 with an income of $99,000 or less;
- the tenant filed a joint tax return with their spouse in 2020 with a combined income of $198,000 or less;
- the tenant will file an individual tax return in 2021 and expects their income will be $99,000 or less;
- the tenant will file a joint tax return with their spouse in 2021 and expects their combined income will be $198,000 or less;
- the tenant was not required to report any income to the IRS in 2020;
- the tenant received a stimulus check from the federal government in 2020 or 2021; or
- the tenant receives Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, sometimes called Food Stamps), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
the tenant can’t pay rent because one or more of the following facts is true:
- the tenant’s household had a substantial loss of income,
- the tenant lost work hours or their hourly pay went down,
- the tenant lost their job, or
- the tenant had a lot of uncovered medical expenses that did not leave enough money to pay for things like food and my rent (usually 7.5% of the tenant’s adjusted gross income for the year or higher).
- the tenant tried their best to pay as much rent as they could on time; and
- if the tenant is evicted, they will probably become homeless, have to move into a shelter, or have to move in with someone who doesn’t have enough room for them.
You do not have to file a new declaration if:
- you live in a community with “high” or “substantial” levels of COVID-19 (check the CDC Tracker)
- your prior declaration contained information showing all the facts listed in the last FAQ, and
- those facts are still true.
Does this CDC order or the expired CDC moratorium prevent landlords from charging late fees and penalties?
No. The protections from the CDC only affect evictions. A landlord can still charge and collect late fees, penalties, or interest that result from the tenant’s failure to pay rent on time under the terms of the lease or other applicable contract.
No. 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 and have been financially impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for up to 12 months of rent and utility assistance using federal funds administered through Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC).
- Although the first period to apply closed March 5, 2021, AHFC may open up another application period.
- Sign up for announcements about future relief funding.
- read about future applications at the AHFC homepage.
- Check Your Eligibility for Future Rent Relieve Assistance and be Added to the Waitlist.
- Read a publication that shows you steps to apply for rent relief assistance.
- Read AHFC's FAQs about rent relief.
- 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.