By Claire Maguire, Legal Intern, SALA Housing Unit
What is the Governor’s order on evictions and how could it protect you?
If you lost income due to COVID-19, and your landlord evicts you for not paying rent, the Governor’s order 2020-49 may let you remain in your home until October 31, 2020, if you give your landlord the necessary notice and supporting documents.
The Governor’s order prevents an eviction from being enforced against you. It does not prevent your landlord from filing an eviction against you or the court from entering an eviction judgment against you. Remember that you owe rent for all the time you remain in the residence. But, if you meet the requirements and take the right steps, you may not be physically required to leave your residence until October 31, 2020.
If your landlord wants to evict you for reasons other than non-payment of rent, then the Governor’s order does not protect you. However, your landlord cannot evict you simply because you or someone in your household has COVID-19 or because you told your landlord that you have a COVID-related hardship.
What do I need to do so I am not required to leave my residence until October 31?
You must do the following things to delay your eviction:
- Give your landlord notice in writing that you have an ongoing COVID-related financial hardship. This could be, for example, that you lost your job, your hours or wages were cut at your job, your place of employment was closed, or you had to give up work to care for school-age children. This notice should state that you know the terms of your lease still apply. You can use this form to give notice.
- Give your landlord proof of your financial hardship. This could be, for example, a letter of termination from your employer.
- Ask your landlord in writing for a payment plan to pay rent. You can use this form to work out a payment plan with your landlord.
- Apply for rental assistance and give your landlord a copy of the completed application. You do not need to have been approved for rental assistance. You can apply for rental assistance here.
You can deliver the written notice, proof of financial hardship, written request for payment plan, and copy of rental assistance application to your landlord in person, via mail, via email or via text message. Be sure to save copies of any emails or text messages you send.
What happens if I gave all the right documents to my landlord, but the constable still comes to evict me?
You should keep copies of everything you give to your landlord. If you gave all the right documents to your landlord, but a constable (a law enforcement officer charged with enforcing evictions) still comes to your home and attempts to make you move out of your home, you should show the constable all the documents you gave to your landlord. If the constable still forces you to move out, contact SALA at (520) 623-9461.
I went to a court hearing, and the judge entered an eviction judgement against me. I gave my landlord all the right documents to delay the eviction. Now I have gotten another notice from the court saying my landlord filed a “motion to compel.” What is going on?
Even if you provide your landlord with all the proper documentation, your landlord could still ask the court to require the constable to enforce the eviction. The landlord would have to file a “motion to compel.” If that happens, you should file an answer to the motion with the court and attach copies of all the documents you gave your landlord. You can call the court to find out how to submit your answer (if you are in Pima County, you can call the Pima County Consolidated Justice Court at (520) 724-3171). If the court sets a hearing, you should attend and bring all the documents you gave to your landlord to court to show the judge. If the judge rules in your favor, you can stay in your home until October 31, 2020. If the judge rules against you, you will have five days to move out. More information on motions to compel can be found here.
Links mentioned in this article:
Text of the Governor’s order: https://azgovernor.gov/sites/default/files/eo2020-49.pdf
Fillable form that satisfies the the Governor’s order’s notice requirement: https://clsaz.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/2020-0820-notice-for-postponement-of-eviction-english.pdf
Payment plan agreement: https://clsaz.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/2020-0727-payment-plan-english.pdf
Information on rental assistance: https://housing.az.gov/general-public/eviction-prevention-assistance
Information on motions to compel: https://clsaz.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/2020-0727-tips-for-tenants-motion-to-compel-english.pdf
For questions or comments about this blog, please contact us at: Connections@sazlegalaid.org