NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – Evictions have been in question all pandemic as timelines for starting evictions continued to be pushed back.
Hearings resumed in Nashville on August 31st but a new order by the Center for Disease Control temporarily halted evictions again on September 2.
“It certainly was a surprise that the CDC has issued an order stopping all evictions,” says Zac Oswald, a managing attorney at the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee.
He explains the CDC issued their new order under President Trump’s executive authority, based on the public health crisis.
Freezing the eviction process only for non-payment of rent, however evictions based on any breaches of the lease or behavior will continue forward.
Oswald says, “Generally in Tennessee there’s no defense to non-payment of rent, you can be evicted immediately. So this CDC order is something that’s new for tenants.”
Tenants must first reach out to all government and community assistance available to them. If they still can’t pay, they need to fill out a declaration to show they’re protected and give it the their landlord.
“At that point, rent is not paused, it’s still due but the landlord is stopped from being able to evict them.”
Other requirements include making less than $99,000 a year as an individual or a couple making less that $198,000 a year, being unable to pay full rent but still paying what they can, and showing they’d either be homeless, in a shelter, or have to move in with someone to continue to live. “There by increasing the risk that if one of us gets COVID-19 everybody in that house is going to get COVID-19,” says Oswald.
This applies until the end of the year, December 31, 2020. The freeze on evictions will be in place on any step of the eviction process once the tenant gives their landlord the declaration.