By: Steven M. Williams and Anthony H. Chwastyk
In a move that has effectively ended the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s eviction moratorium, the United States Supreme Court has allowed the D.C. District Court’s judgment vacating the moratorium to be enforced. In a 6-3 opinion, the Justices determined that the power of the CDC under the Public Health Services Act did not extend to the imposition of eviction relief. Therefore, the CDC’s moratorium is no longer enforceable.
There are two key takeaways from the court’s opinion that landlords and their counsel should consider. First, the court noted that congressional action may provide the proper legal authority to block evictions nationally. The court also acknowledged that regulation of landlord/tenant law was primarily a function of state law. Therefore, landlords need to know whether state laws or local ordinances will replace the protections afforded by the now-defunct CDC moratorium. President Biden issued a call to “all entities that can prevent evictions—from cities and states to local courts, landlords and cabinet agencies—to urgently act to prevent evictions.” Given the White House’s plea, landlords should consult with counsel to ensure that there are no state or local impediments to filing eviction actions. Additionally, landlords should consider pursuing or assisting their tenants in recovering funds from the $46.5 billion in the Emergency Rental Assistance fund.
Cohen Seglias has experienced counsel who can help landlords navigate these challenging times.
Steven M. Williams provides a full range of legal services to landlords, property managers, and other housing providers. He can be reached at 717.234.5530 and email@example.com.
Anthony H. Chwastyk is senior counsel in the Real Estate Group at Cohen Seglias. He can be reached at 267.238.4723 and firstname.lastname@example.org.