The LARC Advocate
“We stand alone, together.”
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Issue 12 | FEBRUARY 2021
"will you be my Valentine?"
In this issue:
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) extended its moratorium on nonpayment of rent evictions to March 31, 2021. The moratorium also arguably applies to evictions based on no fault or wrongdoing of the tenant (like removal to sell the property or to do renovations).
The purpose of the CDC Moratorium is to allow tenants to remain quarantined to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
A tenant enjoys protection under the CDC Moratorium only when certain requirements are first met, and if a CDC declaration is then delivered to the landlord. The declaration notifies the landlord of both the tenant's financial hardship and the tenant's best efforts to obtain rental assistance. Here's a tenant's step-by-step guide for securing protection against eviction under the CDC Moratorium:
1. Must not earn more than $99,000 in annual income for calendar year 2020, or no more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax return.
2. If behind in rent, must apply for rental assistance at Town/City Welfare Office & Community Action Program (CAP).
3. All adult household members must sign & date the declaration. * Tenants should note that the CDC declaration is signed under penalty of perjury.
4. Deliver the declaration to the landlord (hand delivery, 1st class mail, certified mail, attached as a picture to a text message or email)
5. Continue to pay the landlord whatever portion of the rent the tenant's circumstances permit.
See the CDC Declaration form. Until the CDC updates the form, cross out "January 31, 2021" and write "March 31, 2021."
Tenants are urged to contact LARC at 800-639-5290 or 603-224-3333 if they have any questions about the CDC Moratorium.
Weekly - Online
Beginning January 20, 2021, New Hampshire Legal Assistance (NHLA) and the Legal Advice and Referral Center (LARC) will hold free online weekly help sessions for tenants facing eviction.
During these Eviction Clinics, legal aid attorneys and paralegals will explain tenants’ rights during an eviction and answer questions. They cannot provide legal advice for specific cases at the clinics.
The sessions will be recorded and available on NHLA’s YouTube channel.
NO SIGN UP NECESSARY
When: every Wednesday, from 7-8:30 PM
every other Wednesday, from 2-3:30 PM
More information: call 603-224-3333 or 1-800-639-5290.
LARC and its partner in NH legal aid, New Hampshire Legal Assistance, have been reaching out to the media to educate renters about their tenant rights during the pandemic. Click onto these links to read recent articles:
- From the Laconia Daily Sun
- From the from the Valley News
Question: I lost my eviction hearing based on nonpayment of rent. The judge granted my motion requesting the eviction be halted until the CDC moratorium ended on January 31st. Now that the moratorium has been extended to March 31st, do I need to file a new motion asking the court to continue the halt on eviction until March 31st?
Answer: If a court ruled that the nonpayment eviction was halted only until a specific date, like January 31st, it would be wise to file a new motion asking that the eviction be halted until March 31st, or until such time as the CDC moratorium on nonpayment evictions may be extended beyond March 31, 2021.
There are no walk-in free tax services available in New Hampshire this year. If you would like someone from NH Tax Help to contact you, please submit a request for help, and a volunteer will contact you. Because they anticipate a high volume, it may take up to 14 days for a volunteer to reach you.
Ask for help from NH Tax Help.
Learn more from the IRS about free tax preparation.
“Jim” was a 50-year-old man who lived in central NH with his wife and two minor children. Jim lost an eviction for nonpayment of rent at his local district court in September of 2020. Jim disagreed with the decision and appealed the eviction. He continued to pay rent into court, as the appeal process required, while he worked on his appeal to the NH Supreme Court. In January of 2021, the Supreme Court rejected his case. Short on cash, Jim and his family suddenly found themselves just days from a sheriff’s lockout. That is when Jim called the Legal Advice & Referral Center (LARC) for help.
LARC advised Jim that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) ordered a stop on nonpayment evictions to slow the spread of the pandemic. LARC explained that to receive protection under the CDC order, he first needed to apply immediately for rental assistance at his town welfare office. Next, Jim and his wife were advised to sign and date a CDC declaration and deliver it to their landlord. And finally, LARC drafted a motion which informed the district court of Jim’s protection under the CDC order and asked that he not be evicted until the order expired on March 31, 2020. The judge immediately granted the motion.
Jim reported to LARC in late January that he and his family would be moving into a great new apartment within a couple weeks. He expressed what LARC’s services meant to him and his family: "It's great that tenants have a place like this to call, where they can speak to professionals who know what they're talking about and who want to help people like us."
If you know someone who had a good outcome in a legal case due to LARC’s help, please share that Good Client Story with us! We would love to share it with our readers. LARC will never use a client’s real name or any facts that could reveal who that client is. Send your Good Client Stories to: firstname.lastname@example.org and put “Good Client Story” in the subject line.
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