IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING COVID-19 & NLS
NLS LOCATIONS & CONTACT INFORMATION
UPDATED: JULY 7, 2020
Due to the ongoing concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19, NLS offices are open for business, but we are asking everyone to practice social distancing and everyone entering our offices is required to wear a mask. Please contact us by phone or email for further assistance – click on the link below to be taken to our contact page. You can also complete an intake online. Click on Online Intake in the Menu. We encourage everyone to reach out if they have a legal issue we might be able to help with but we ask that you do not go to our offices. Instead, please continue to call or email one of our local offices for further assistance. We will do our best to respond to everyone as quickly as we are able to do so. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this time.
UPDATE ON MEDIATION PROGRAM FOR SUMMARY EVICTION ACTIONS
UPDATED: OCTOBER 8, 2020
The Supreme Court has promulgated new rules governing the statewide mediation program for non-payment of rent actions after the state moratorium expires on October 15, 2020. See the Eviction Mediation Rules. In order to request mediation, a tenant may do so by including a request in the Tenant's Affidavit filed to contest the non-payment of rent eviction notice. For a form Tenant's Affidavit, see our Know Your Rights/Housing/Forms section of our website. There is no cost to request mediation.
In order to request mediation a tenant must make the request in the Tenant's Affidavit and also include:
- The preferred method for the mediation: in person, telephonic, or by video
- Identify each tenant participating in mediation, and provide contact information including address, phone number, and email address
- You must also include a request for an interpreter if you require one and the language needed
- Include a statement whether you applied for rental assistance and identify the agencies and the status of all applications.
- Include a statement whether or not you executed a payment plan with your landlord
A landlord may make a similar request in its complaint but also must include information regarding the preferred method of for mediation, identify the person with authority to negotiate a settlement and provide contact information for that person in the complaint.
Non-payment of rent eviction notices must also now include statements describing the availability of the eviction mediation program, any rental assistance programs, and any electronic option for the tenant to file the Tenant's Affidavit.
UPDATE ON EVICTION MORATORIUMS
UPDATED: September 8, 2020
With the Governor's Declaration of Emergency Directive 025, the moratorium on evictions was set to end on August 31, 2020. While most evictions are now allowed to proceed in court, Directive 031 extends the moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent through October 14, 2020. For more information on how to contest an eviction, please visit our Know Your Rights/Housing page.
Then on Tuesday, September 1, the federal government announced a moratorium on evictions from September 4 through December 31, 2020. The CDC's Order was published in the Federal Register on September 4 and protects tenants from most evictions, including non-payment of rent and no cause evictions, except in 5 circumstances. See the Federal Register Notice - CDC Moratorium Order. In order to invoke the protections of the CDC moratorium, tenants must complete and deliver an Affidavit to their landlord declaring the following:
1) The individual has used best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing;
2) The individual either (i) expects to earn no more than $99,000 in annual income for Calendar Year 2020 (or no more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax return),(ii) was not required to report any income in 2019 to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, or (iii) received an Economic Impact Payment (stimulus check) pursuant to Section 2201 of the CARES Act;
3) the individual is unable to pay the full rent or make a full housing payment due to substantial loss of household income, loss of compensable hours of work or wages, a lay-off, or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses;
4) the individual is using best efforts to make timely partial payments that are as close to the full payment as the individual’s circumstances may permit, taking into account other nondiscretionary expenses; and
5) eviction would likely render the individual homeless— or force the individual to move into and live in close quarters in a new congregate or shared living setting— because the individual has no other available housing options.
Landlords who fail to abide by the CDC's moratorium face criminal penalties and fines of $100,000 or more.
A sample Declaration for tenants to fill out and serve on their landlord is available here: CDC Moratorium Declaration. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has also posted translations of the CDC moratorium. For other languages, click here.
Finally, HUD also announced a moratorium on evictions in housing covered by an FHA loan. This moratorium is on all evictions, not just non-payment of rent, and also ends on December 31, 2020.