Are evictions stopped in Arizona because of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Both Arizona and the U.S. government have instituted protections from evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Arizona, an eviction action may still be filed in the court but the enforcement of the eviction is delayed. The U.S. government passed the CARES Act which states that landlords/property owners may not file eviction actions or assess fees when rent has not been paid on properties with federally financed mortgages.

CARES Act – Eviction Filings & Fees
On March 27, 2020 Congress passed and the President signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stability (CARES) Act. Among the many provisions, the Act provides a moratorium on eviction filings for properties financed by certain federal loan programs, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The CARES Act went into effect immediately and is set to expire July 25, 2020. The CARES Act states:

§ 4024. Temporary moratorium on eviction filings.
. . .
(b) MORATORIUM.—During the 120-day period beginning on the date of enactment of
this Act, the lessor of a covered dwelling may not—
(1) make, or cause to be made, any filing with the court of jurisdiction to initiate
a legal action to recover possession of the covered dwelling from the
tenant for nonpayment of rent or other fees or charges; or
(2) charge fees, penalties, or other charges to the tenant related to such
nonpayment of rent.

This means that if the rental property is financed with a federally backed mortgage, the CARES Act states that legal action for eviction because of non-payment of rent may not be filed. In addition, the tenant may not be charged late fees, penalties or other charges related to the non-payment of rent. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has offered guidance on the application of this Act, making clear that actions may not be filed under the Act regardless of whether the tenant is directly affected by COVID or not.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, federal mortgage companies, offer websites that allow tenants and the public to search records and discover if a specific property is covered by their financing. To search whether a rental property is federally financed and subject to the CARES Act protections, visit: https://www.knowyouroptions.com/rentersresourcefinder with Fannie Mae and https://myhome.freddiemac.com/renting/lookup.html with Freddie Mac. The Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac search tools do not include all the federal financing covered by the CARES Act.

Arizona Delayed Enforcement of Eviction Actions
On March 24, 2020 Arizona Governor Ducey issued Executive Order 2020-14 to delay evictions for renters impacted by COVID-19.  The Executive Order is set to expire July 22nd, 2020. The Executive Order does not stop eviction actions. The Executive Order delays enforcement of eviction actions. This means that a landlord can still go to court to evict a tenant and a court can still grant an eviction order but law enforcement officers, such as a sheriff’s office or constable, must temporarily delay the enforcement of the eviction order from the court if the tenant notifies their landlord of any of the following:

  • The tenant has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and must be quarantined;
  • The tenant has been ordered to self-quarantine by a medical professional because of their symptoms as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC);
  • Someone in the tenant’s household has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and the tenant must be quarantined;
  • The tenant has a health condition, as defined by the CDC that makes them think they are more at risk for COVID-19 than the average person;
  • The tenant has suffered a substantial loss of income as a result of COVID-19, such as a job loss, reduced pay or compensation, the tenant’s workplace closed, an obligation to miss work to care for a home-bound school-age child or other circumstances.

Many thanks to Community Legal Services and David J. Newstone for their help.


Print   Email