hide my visit

How to Find Out if the CARES Act Protects You from Eviction

This list tells you what steps to take to see if the CARES Act protects you from eviction.

Hide Checklist

Step 1: Find Out the Reason for Your Eviction

The CARES Act only protects people being evicted for not paying rent. If you are being evicted because your lease has ended, you violated your lease, or for some other reason other than nonpayment, the CARES Act does not protect you from eviction. 

Your Notice to Vacate or the Petition for Eviction should list the reason for eviction. 

Step 2: Look Up Your Property

There are a number of tools you can use to look up your property to see if it is part of a program covered by the CARES Act. However, please be aware that not all properties are included in the results. If the property is listed, then your landlord probably cannot evict you for unpaid rent. If your property is not listed, you may still be protected. This is especially true for smaller buildings or single-family homes, which are less likely to show up in the tool.

To look up your property: 

 

Step 3: Review the CARES Act Programs

Below is a list of federal programs that trigger CARES Act tenant protections. If your property participates in any of these programs, your landlord should not be able to evict you for unpaid rent. 

It may or may not be obvious if your property participates in a program. If you are a Section 8 tenant, for example, you know that your property participates in a Section 8 program. But other programs are more obscure or hard for a tenant to determine.

Programs that trigger CARES Act tenant protections are:

  • Public housing 
  • Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program 
  • Section 8 project-based housing 
  • Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program
  • Section 202 housing for the elderly 
  • Section 811 housing for people with disabilities 
  • Section 236 multifamily rental housing 
  • Section 221(d)(3) Below Market Interest Rate (BMIR) housing 
  • HOME 
  • Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) 
  • McKinney-Vento Act homelessness programs 
  • Section 515 Rural Rental Housing 
  • Sections 514 and 516 Farm Labor Housing
  • Section 533 Housing Preservation Grants 
  • Section 538 multifamily rental housing
  • USDA Rural Housing Choice Voucher program
  • The CARES Act also protects tenants if Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac have a financial interest in the property.
Step 4: Discovery

If the first three steps did not help you find out if the CARES Act protects you, you can try to get the information through discovery. Discovery is where the other side has to give you information as part of a court case. 

To get the information through discovery, the tenant may ask the court to require the landlord to answer questions by following these four steps:

1. Write a list of questions, called “interrogatories,” that ask the landlord for the following information:

  • Is the property backed by a federal mortgage loan or a federal multifamily mortgage loan?
  • What is the name of the mortgage lender and loan servicer for the property, if any?
  • Does the property participate in any of the following federal housing programs?
    • Public housing 
    • Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program 
    • Section 8 project-based housing 
    • Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program
    • Section 202 housing for the elderly 
    • Section 811 housing for people with disabilities 
    • Section 236 multifamily rental housing 
    • Section 221(d)(3) Below Market Interest Rate (BMIR) housing 
    • HOME 
    • Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) 
    • McKinney-Vento Act homelessness programs 
    • Section 515 Rural Rental Housing 
    • Sections 514 and 516 Farm Labor Housing
    • Section 533 Housing Preservation Grants 
    • Section 538 multifamily rental housing
    • USDA Rural Housing Choice Voucher program.

2. File a Motion for Expedited Discovery that asks the justice court to make the landlord answer your interrogatories under oath. Attach the list of interrogatories to the motion when filing. Note: TexasLawHelp does not currently have Motion for Expedited Discovery forms. We will post forms when or if they become available.

 3. After filing the Motion for Expedited Discovery, serve the landlord a copy of the motion and the proposed interrogatories. One can serve by mail, fax, hand delivery, or email if the landlord has consented to email service.

4. If the court grants the Motion for Expedited Discovery, serve the interrogatories on the landlord by mail, fax, hand delivery, or email if the landlord has consented to email service.

The court will use the landlord’s answers to these interrogatory questions to decide whether the CARES Act protects the tenant from eviction.

Step 5: CARES Act Sworn Statement

The CARES Act may provide some indirect protection as well. Texas requires landlords to swear that the CARES Act does not apply to the property. This sworn statement should appear in the Petition for Eviction (also called a Complaint for Eviction). 

If the Petition for Eviction does not say that the CARES Act does not apply to the property, you should include this information in your Answer and tell the judge during your hearing.