Landlords Beware: CARES Act Impact On Leases

The CARES Act includes a number of provisions affecting properties with federally backed loans (e.g., Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, HUD, Section 8, VA and USDA). Specifically, a moratorium is in place preventing evictions of residential tenants. The key provisions include the following:

  • There is a 120-day period beginning on March 27, 2020 (the “Moratorium Period”), where the landlord of a “covered dwelling” cannot (A) make, or cause to be made, any filing to initiate a legal action to recover possession of the covered dwelling from the tenant for nonpayment of rent; (B) impose any late fees, penalties or other charges on a tenant for late payment of rent; and (C) mail or post any notices to pay rent or quit (not limited to nonpayment) during the 120 day period.
  • During the Moratorium Period the landlord of a covered dwelling cannot: (A) require a tenant to vacate a dwelling unit located in an applicable property before the date that is 30 days after the date the tenant is provided a notice to vacate; and (B) may not issue a notice to vacate until after the expiration of the Moratorium Period.
  • An “applicable property” includes one that has a Federally backed mortgage loan or a Federally backed multifamily mortgage loan.
  • A “covered dwelling” is (A) a dwelling that is occupied by a tenant pursuant to a residential lease or without a lease or with a lease that is terminable under State law and (B) is in or on a covered property.
  • A “dwelling” includes apartment buildings, mobile homes, trailer parks, condominiums and certain single-family homes.
  • A “Federally backed mortgage loan” is any loan that is secured by a first or subordinate lien on real property (including individual units of condominiums or cooperatives) designed principally for the occupancy of from one to four families that is (A) insured by the Federal Housing Administration or the National Housing Act, (B) guaranteed under Housing and Community Development Act, the Department of Veterans Affairs, or the Department of Agriculture, or (C) purchased or securitized by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation or the Federal National Mortgage Association.
  • The “covered period” is the period commencing on March 27, 2020 and ending on the first to occur of (A) the termination date of the national emergency concerning the coronavirus disease outbreak declared by the President on March 13, 2020 and (B) December 31, 2020.
  • This moratorium is not limited to tenants affected by COVID-19, but appears to apply to all tenants regardless of their situation.
  • Nearly half of the nation’s mortgages are owned or backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have easy loan look-up websites to determine if they own a mortgage. To look up online whether a mortgage is owned or backed by Fannie or Freddie, click these links:
  • The CARES Act authorizes criminal penalties, under existing law, for fraud or other misconduct, and creates an Office of the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery within the US Department of the Treasury to coordinate the auditing and investigation of the management and spending of funds under any program established under the CARES Act.
  • Finally, the CARES Act protections are in addition to any state or county limitations on evictions. Here is a link to the current emergency orders in place for Oklahoma.


3 responses to “Landlords Beware: CARES Act Impact On Leases”

  1. The NHPD can help you check whether your home is assisted by a rental housing subsidy program and is protected by the federal eviction moratorium. Please note that the NHPD does not include all housing programs eligible for federal eviction protection through the CARES Act. Here is the link:

  2. Here is a link to a downloadable Microsoft Excel that lists all active HUD Multifamily insured mortgages. The data is as of March 31, 2020 and is updated monthly:

  3. Here is a link to a searchable database and map of multifamily properties covered under the federal eviction moratorium:

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