People who can't afford to pay rent are protected by CDC Declaration Form

Posted at 5:43 PM, Oct 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-06 21:13:32-04

TUCSON, Ariz.  — There are state and federal moratoriums on evictions. But hundreds of people in Pima County have been forced out of their homes over the last few months anyway.

Some of them might have been able to qualify for an eviction delay. Pima County’s Presiding Constable says she’s even noticed an uptick in landlords filing for evictions. If you can’t pay your rent right now there are options.

“Depending on your situation make sure you have both medical and financial supporting documents,” said Attorney Adam Weisman.

Weisman says if you get a notice of eviction you should answer as soon as possible.

"I would file an answer saying I’m not eligible to be evicted for these reasons and I would attach those documents.”

The state’s moratorium on eviction ends this month, but the federal eviction moratorium is in effect right now and continues until the end of the year. Constable Kristen Randall says in many cases it offers more protection for renters.

"Once you hand over that letter, we are ordered not to do the eviction,” said Randall. “We cannot proceed with the eviction if we get that CDC letter.”

Randall says the CDC Declaration Form does not make you prove your hardships are caused by the coronavirus, but you must swear you meet several criteria. Criteria includes: making less than $99,000 a year, you have had a substantial loss of income, eviction would cause you to become homeless, you are trying to make partial payments, and you understand your rent is not forgiven and you could be evicted when the moratorium ends.

“A warning, you are signing your name swearing these things are true,” said Randall. “If someone believes you signed your name to something and it isn’t true you can be charged with perjury.”

Randall says people who turn in the in the CDC letter to their landlord should keep proof of that exchange. They may be able to avoid having to go to court or getting an eviction on their record.

“Wherever in the process the tenant gives the landlord the CDC letter that’s where the process ends,” she said.