A federal eviction moratorium expired a few days ago, and housing attorneys are concerned about a potential surge in evictions across Texas during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, prevented landlords from taking new eviction actions against renters who haven’t paid their rent on certain federally backed properties through Friday. This includes affordable housing supported by federal government programs, including Section 8, the Low Income Housing Tax Credit and Housing Choice Vouchers.

Evictions are already resuming in many parts of Texas, leaving unemployed renters with few options and undocumented immigrants with even fewer in a system that housing attorneys and some eviction judges say is already stacked against tenants.

Here is what you need to know:

The best way is to verify with your landlord. To do so, you can use this letter template created by Texas Housers.  They have also created this map to help you determine whether your multifamily residence is covered under the federal moratorium. The map does not include single-family properties and smaller residences with one to four units.  Even if your residence is not listed on this map, it could be covered by the CARES Act.

If your residence is covered by the CARES Act, beginning Saturday, your landlord may serve you with a notice to vacate your residence for not paying rent, file a nonpayment of rent eviction case or charge you a late fee for nonpayment of rent.

Will I get additional time to move out of my residence?

Yes. Landlords must provide renters living in properties covered by the moratorium with a 30-day notice to vacate before formally filing an eviction for any reason. So a landlord cannot initiate legal proceedings until Aug. 25.

Do some parts of Texas have local moratoriums on evictions?

Some local jurisdictions in Texas have their own moratoriums. Check with Amarillo City Hall or county to see if it has implemented an extended moratorium. You can also visit this webpage from the University Of Texas School Of Law to see a list of measures local jurisdictions have taken to protect tenants.

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