All through the United States, many areas have placed a moratorium on all evictions, except those that may be necessary to protect other tenants or the rental property. This protection — which keeps getting extended — was offered to tenants as a COVID-19 relief measure.
Who Is Eligible for the Moratorium in Lake Charles?
The COVID moratorium applies to the following:
- Mobile homeowners who are renting the lot their mobile home is in
- Tenants in transitional housing arrangements such as hotels, motels, or an Airbnb
- Tenants in camping areas
- Tenants renting a room from their roommate
- People living in commercial properties as a security personnel or caregiver
The protection does not extend to those who are living in emergency shelters or locations where their stay depends on their participation in support services.
Are There Any Exceptions to the Moratorium?
The protection covers all evictions, except when they’re done in the following cases:
- The tenant poses an immediate and substantial risk to safety, health, or property.
- The landlord plans to move into the property. It has to be the landlord themselves who’ll move into the rental property, and not one of their friends or family members.
- The landlord plans to sell the property. They must then serve the tenant a 60-day notice.
The moratorium also doesn’t apply to tenants whose names are not on the rental agreement.
What Are Landlords Prohibited From Doing?
It’s important to note that the moratorium does not affect the amount of rent that is due. Tenants are still obligated to pay the rent when the protection is lifted. The moratorium also won’t stop the landlord from pursuing an eviction action in court — it’ll only stop them from enforcing removals or lockouts.
During this time, landlords are prohibited from doing any of the following:
- Raising the rent or the deposit
- Giving a notice to pay or vacate
- Serving court-issued eviction orders
- Forcing the tenant to move out due to an expired or expiring rental contract
- Forcing the tenant to move to a smaller property
- Charging late fees for the period when the moratorium is in effect
- Reporting a rental debt with the credit agencies
- Refusing emergency repairs or maintenance
Any tenant who has been forcibly removed from a property in Lake Charles while the moratorium is in place can call the police, who will then help them regain possession of the home.
What Should Landlords Do for Tenants Who Are Behind in Rent?
If a tenant is struggling to pay the rent, the landlord should offer them a reasonable payment plan, which is specifically designed for their personal circumstances. Offering the same payment plan for all the tenants won’t do. The landlord has to propose a payment plan that works for the tenant in question.
Know Your Landlord Rights
If you’re a Lake Charles landlord struggling to pay your mortgage because of the COVID-19 moratorium or if you’re planning to sell your property soon, contact Bayou Property Partners to request a cash offer on your home. We can help you understand your options and guide you through the process.