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Section 8 Housing Rights during COVID-19

House & Apartment

This article discusses Section 8 tenant rights during COVID-19.

You have new protections under the CARES Act recently passed by Congress. Until July 25, 2020, your landlord may not: 

  • Give you a notice to vacate for non-payment of rent or fees, 
  • File an eviction case against you for non-payment of rent or fees, or 
  • Charge you late fees. 

Am I still required to pay rent?

Yes, but if you do not, then your landlord cannot do any of the above, and must give you an additional 30-day notice to vacate, after July 25, 2020, before filing an eviction. 

What do I do if my household’s income decreases?

Report the change in income immediately and request a recertification. Submit requests in writing (and take a picture), or through e-mail and keep copies of everything!

What if they delay processing my recertification?

Processing may be delayed only until the new income is known. If your landlord chooses to delay your recertification, then they: 

  • can require you to pay the current rent amount, but 
  • cannot evict you for nonpayment of rent or charge you late fees until after July 25, 2020. 

What happens once my income is verified?

Your landlord must: 

  • Recertify you, 
  • Reduce your rent, effective the month following the loss of income, if you timely reported the loss of income, and 
  • Notify you in writing of any rent due. 

You must: 

  • Pay any past due amount by the 5th of the month, unless the landlord delayed processing your recertification because it confirmed that your income would be restored within two months. In that case, you would have 30 days from written notification to pay any rent due.