The CARES Act is still protecting some tenants from eviction

Published: Jul. 3, 2020 at 4:41 PM AKDT
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After some of the measure of

ended on July 1, many Alaskans who haven't been able to pay their rent due to COVID-19 are facing eviction. However, because of the CARES Act, not all of them are.

President of Real Property Management, Kassandra Taggart explained some of the confusion many landlords and tenants are going through right now.

She said some folks who have been unable to pay will have until July 25 to figure something out, but it depends on the property they're living in.

"The people who are not allowed to get evicted are the tenants that are renting in properties that have government backed loans," she said, "because they're government regulated, they were able to say that they can't get their foreclosures or their evictions at this time. Which means any tenant renting a property that happens to have one of those, they've got a grace period until July 25."

These could be a number of different kinds of loans according to Taggart. She said these include Federal Housing Administration loans, Alaska housing loans and Housing and Urban Development loans.

Thus, if a tenant is living in a unit that the owner has paid off or is using non-government loans to finance and hasn't paid their rent, they could be evicted.

Taggart said not paying because of the CARES Act protections is risky for tenants because landlords do not have to disclose their loan information in Alaska.

So until July 25, tenants wouldn't be able to find out if they are about to be evicted until they get a notice.

Right now, Taggart said there is a 30 day notice rather than a week like it was before the pandemic.

There's more under the CARES Act that could extend how long tenants can catch a break, but with risks for both the landlord and tenant.

Taggart explained that the act allows the property owner to file for forbearance, or a request to make mortgage payments at a later date.

Like the tenants protected from eviction, property owners filing for forbearance have to pay that money back eventually.

Her advice for tenants and landlords during this time is communication and for tenants to pay what they can.

"The majority of landlords will see that the tenant is trying and will be more willing to give you payment plans and agreements and work with you," she said, "but if you flat out don't talk to your landlord and you ignore them and ghost them, you're going to get your notice and your eviction. They're going to be more aggressive with you versus the other tenants."

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