Impact of Covid-19 on Evictions – Article by Dennis Morgan
February 11, 2021
Back in the Spring of 2020, New Hampshire’s Governor issued Emergency Order #4 regarding a temporary prohibition on evictions and foreclosures. Landlords were prohibited from starting an eviction proceeding during the State of Emergency. This has since expired however, between the CARES Act and CDC (Centers for Disease Control) moratoriums, most evictions have now been prohibited through the end of March, 2021. This is almost a full year of prohibitions on most evictions. The pandemic’s impact on jobs has been great but there has also been a significant impact on landlords as well.
As it stands now, the CDC Order applies to “covered persons” and residential property. A Covered Person is a tenant of residential property who provides their landlord a declaration that says (1) the tenant has used their best efforts to obtain all government assistance for rent our housing; (2) the tenant earned less than $99,000 in taxable income for 2020 ($198,000 for joint filers); (3) the tenant is unable to pay the full rent or make a housing payment due to substantial loss of income, hours, wages, a layoff or extraordinary medical expenses; (4) the tenant is making best efforts to make timely partial payments; and (5) eviction would likely render the tenant homeless.
The CDC Order applies to any property leased for residential purposes, including any house, building, mobile home and or land in a mobile home park, or similar dwelling. It does not apply to hotel/motel rooms, guest house rentals on a temporary or seasonal basis.
If a tenant qualifies as a Covered Person and completes the CDC declaration, they must provide it to their landlord. If there is more than one person on a lease, each must sign the declaration and provide it to their landlord. Once the tenant completes the declaration, this will cause an eviction proceeding for non-payment of rent to terminate, even up until the point of a writ of possession being served to require a tenant to vacate the leased premises. Evictions that were completed prior to Sept. 4, 2020 are not subject to the CDC Order.
For landlords, this does not mean that there is no way to evict a tenant while the CDC moratorium is in effect. There are 5 exceptions to the moratorium which are: (1) tenant(s) engaging in criminal activity on the rental premises; (2) threatening the health or safety of other tenants; (3) damaging or posing an immediate and significant risk of damage to property; (4) violating applicable building codes, health ordinances or similar health/safety regulation; or (5) violating any other contractual obligation of a tenant’s lease, other than timely payment of rent.
Tenants have an obligation to pay their rent up to the full amount due if able. The moratorium does not suspend or cancel a tenant’s obligation to pay rent. If a tenant is unable to pay their rent and is a “Covered Person”, they cannot be evicted once they submit their CDC declaration to their landlord, but once the CDC Order expires, all unpaid or past due rent will then be due, which will then be a basis for an eviction. This includes not only the past rent but any late fees, penalties, or interest resulting from a tenant’s failure to pay rent during the period of the Order. Best practice would be for tenants to pay their rent if they can afford to do so and for Landlords to know that if they attempt an eviction during the CDC Order there can be serious consequences. Violating the CDC Order can result in fines up to $100,000 and/or a year in jail.
As difficult as the pandemic has been for both tenants and landlords, there are resources available to help. The CARES Act has set aside billions of dollars in grants for the purposes of assisting people with support for rent and housing during the pandemic. Both tenants and landlords would be advised to contact the HUD as well as state and local authorities to find out what is available in their community. This is in the best interest of both the landlords and tenants. Tenants should take full advantage of any federal, state or local rental assistance programs available. The US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has Covid-19 resources on their website (www.hud.gov).
Dennis L. Morgan, Esq.
Cooper Cargill Chant, PA – Legal Counsel to a Great Community for 40 Years
February 6, 2018
The law firm of Cooper Cargill Chant, PA. is pleased to announce it is celebrating 40 years of providing legal services to individuals, businesses and organizations throughout northern New Hampshire and western Maine.
Today, as the largest law firm in Northern New Hampshire, Cooper Cargill Chant reflects on 40 years of service to its communities. The firm’s history began when Robert Dickson, Peter Fauver and Randall Cooper combined their practices to form the firm of Dickson, Fauver and Cooper.
Steady growth followed and in the early 1980s resulted in expansion of the firm’s Pine Street office, nearly doubling its size. During the 1980s Robert B. Dickson was appointed as a Superior Court Judge and Dorcas “Penny” Deans became a partner of the firm. In the 1990s, Peter Fauver was also appointed as a Superior Court Judge. Ken Cargill and Paul Chant became partners of the firm.
In 2002 the firm moved to its current location on White Mountain Highway in North Conway and later in the decade the firm added a second office located in downtown Berlin. Through the years, the firm continued to grow and evolve. A mainstay through it all has been a strong commitment to clients and community. The firm sought and brought the highest caliber personnel to join its practice. Over the years, Dennis Morgan, Chris Meier and Leslie Leonard grew from associates to become partners in the firm. Associates Deborah Fauver, Tyler Ray and Andy Dean add to the breadth and depth of the firm’s knowledge and ability.
The firm’s partners, associates and staff have always been committed to giving back to the community through pro bono work, charitable gifts, donations and sponsorships as well as dedicated involvement in community and civic organizations.
As the firm reflects on the last 40 years, partner Paul Chant stated “We are humbled by the dedication of our employees and the loyalty of our clients, as well as the opportunity to represent and make a difference for so many local companies and organizations. We are proud to give back to and be involved in our communities through service and philanthropy”.
Cooper Cargill Chant, PA looks forward to many more years of service and extends heart-felt appreciation to the many people that have contributed to the firm’s success.
Cooper Cargill Chant is the largest law firm in Northern New Hampshire with office in North Conway and Berlin. Its attorneys represent a wide range of individuals, businesses and organizations in central and northern New Hampshire and western Maine. Practice areas include: personal injury; real estate; business and corporate; planning; zoning and municipal; civil litigation; family law, bankruptcy, employment law, criminal defense and DWI.
For more information about firm, call (603) 345-5439 or visit the website at www.CooperCargillChant.com.
Cooper Cargill Chant Attorney Dennis Morgan Admitted to Vermont Bar
July 27, 2017
Cooper Cargill Chant Attorney Dennis Morgan was recently admitted into the Vermont State Bar.
May Lunch & Learn Seminar – “Landlord/Tenant Law”, presented by Dennis Morgan, Esq.
May 3, 2017
Join us for Cooper Cargill Chant and Mt Washington Valley Chamber Of Commerce’s next free Lunch & Learn seminar. The final seminar of this series, is “Landlord/Tenant Law” presented by Attorney Dennis Morgan. Attorney Morgan’s focus will be on New Hampshire landlord/tenant laws from the landlord’s perspective. Along with the ins and outs of the eviction process, Attorney Morgan will discuss security deposits, how to avoid wrongful eviction lawsuits and more.
| Date/Time: May 11, 2017, 12pm-1pm | Location: North Conway Water Precinct|
| BRING YOUR OWN LUNCH | RSVP: Lisa 356-5701 ext. 300|
Click here for Facebook Event Details.
Cooper Cargill Chant Attorney Dennis Morgan Volunteers on the KHS Scoreboard Project Committee
January 25, 2017
Kennett High School Scoreboard Project Closing In On Fundraising Goal
The Kennett High School Scoreboard Committee has announced the receipt of a donation by the Zeb’s Charitable Fund in the amount of $1,500. This grant will be a welcome addition to the monies already raised for the purchase and installation of two electronic scoreboards for the girls and boys field hockey/lacrosse/soccer fields. “These scoreboards will be a tremendous enhancement to the spectator experience and give our athletes a sense of pride in their school when competing on the athletic fields,” commented Neal Weaver, Kennett High School Athletic Director.
The Scoreboard Committee, partnering with the Gary Millen Foundation on the project, is closing in on the amount needed for the scoreboards. “We are over 50% towards the fundraising needed for this project.” commented scoreboard committee member Dennis Morgan, “and very much appreciate everyone’s support. We are so close and hope the community will put us over the top as we schedule future fund raising events.” The first such event will be a “Dine To Donate” fund raising event on January 26th from 5:30 pm – 9 pm at Black Cap Cafe. A large fund raising event will take place later on in April.
If interested in making a contribution, checks can be sent to Kennett High School Athletic Department (re: Scoreboard Project), 409 Eagles Way, North Conway, NH 03860. For further information, contact Neal Weaver at 356-4335. Information on Zeb’s Charitable fund may be found at www.zebs.com.