The CDC has now extended the eviction moratorium until June 30, 2021. The impacts of the moratorium are very adverse to landlords and their ability to evict non-paying tenants. Several landlords have tenants who have not paid since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and have been occupying spaces without paying rent. Many of these tenants have no money to pay rent even if a judgment is granted against them and most landlords will never recover the unpaid rent. To address this issue, aid landlords, and reduce evictions, the Texas Department of Housing Community Affairs (“Housing Department”) has launched the statewide Texas Eviction Diversion Program (“TEDP”).
The TEDP program is designed to pay up to 15 months of rental assistance to qualifying tenants. This includes up to 12 months of past due rent, as far back as March 13, 2020, and 3 additional months of current and/or future rent. The state set aside $1.3 billion to fund the TEDP. All funds in the program must be allocated by September 30, 2021. The only caveat to the program is that the landlord must waive fees, penalties, and court costs which would normally be charged to a tenant.
Any eviction filed currently, requires landlords to attest that they have reviewed the details about the TEDP program and the judge in whose court eviction is filed or heard is required to inform the parties about the TEDP program as well. If the landlord and tenant choose to participate in the program, the case is abated for 60 days and both parties are directed to complete the application. If the completed application is accepted, the funds will be released within 14 days and the past due rent will be sent to the landlord in a lump sum. The eviction lawsuit will then be dismissed and sealed from public disclosure. The TEDP program is an opportunity for landlords to offset the losses incurred as a result of COVID-19 and allow them to survive these unprecedented times.
For further questions, please check our website or contact one of our Attorneys, at PLGLitigation@patellegal.com