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- CDC extends eviction moratorium - On Jan. 20, at the request of President Joe Biden, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) extended its eviction moratorium through March 31 without any substantive changes. However, it has been reported that the incoming CDC director will consider making substantive changes to the moratorium after receiving input from the rental housing industry and renters' rights activists. It appears the timing of the moratorium extension is intended to allow time for Congress to consider another Covid stimulus package proposed by the Biden Administration. On Jan. 14, President Biden proposed an eviction moratorium extension through Sept. 30 as part of his… Read more.
- Missouri establishes emergency rental arrears program (ERAP) - The Missouri Housing Development Commission (MHDC) has announced the launch of the Missouri Emergency Rental Arrears Program (ERAP). The program is intended to provide relief to property owners and tenants impacted by COVID-19 and prevent eviction of tenants for non-payment of rent. It will use funds provided by the federal pandemic relief law enacted in December. ERAP will offer assistance in the form of a one-time payment for up to six (6) months of past-due rent dating back to April 1, 2020, directly to landlords on behalf of qualified tenants. In exchange for this payment, landlords must agree not to… Read more.
- New federal law extends eviction moratorium and provides rental assistance - On Dec. 27, President Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 that was passed by Congress on Dec. 21. The law includes the first coronavirus relief package since the CARES Act last March. The new law includes two major provisions affecting landlords and property managers: The CDC moratorium on evictions for nonpayment of rent that was to expire Dec. 31, 2020 has been extended to Jan. 31, 2020. $25 billion was allocated for dedicated rental assistance. Regarding the eviction moratorium, our local court will deny issuance of eviction orders to the sheriff for nonpayment of rent until after Jan.… Read more.
- Court changes docket schedule for landlord-tenant cases - Effective in January 2021, the Boone County Circuit Court is changing the docket schedule for landlord-tenant cases. Beginning Jan. 7, initial appearances and trials in landlord-tenant cases will take place on Thursday mornings and afternoons. Formerly most initial appearances and trials took place only on Monday mornings. The change is designed to allow more time to hear the growing number of landlord-tenant cases. Associate Circuit Judge Tracy Gonzalez will continue to be the primary judge assigned to hear landlord-tenant cases. Read more.
- CDC orders delay of evictions for nonpayment of rent - Published Sept. 2, 2020. Updated Sept. 3, 2020 to include "Practical tips for landlords." Updated Sept. 4, 2020 to include guidance document from National Apartment Association under "Practical tips for landlords." Updated Sept. 23, 2020 to include our local court's response under "Practical tips for landlords." Updated Nov. 13, 2020 to reflect CDC's clarification of its order. Contents: Introduction How tenants can qualify for delayed eviction Penalties for violations by landlords Rationale for order Practical tips for landlords Commentary Introduction On September 1, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), acting under statutory authority to prevent the spread of disease,… Read more.
- Tenant bankruptcy information for landlords and property managers - Contents Preliminary notes Types of bankruptcies Automatic "stay" Debts that are discharged Tenant options to reject or assume lease Preliminary notes The following information applies to bankruptcies filed by residential tenants. There are additional issues to be considered if a bankruptcy is filed by a commercial tenant - consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney is recommended. We thank Casey Elliott, a bankruptcy practitioner at the Van Matre Law Firm, for her review of the following information to ensure accuracy. Types of bankruptcies There are two types of bankruptcies that can be filed by tenants: Chapter 7 - This is a… Read more.
- Validity of collection fees clauses in leases - A question sometimes asked by landlords is whether a lease may include a clause saying that collection fees will be added to the amount due under the lease. Our opinion is that such a clause is legal. However, there is a distinction between collection fees that can be charged before a lawsuit is filed and after a judgment is entered in a lawsuit. Read more.
- Assistance and service animals - In recent years landlords and property managers have experienced a surge of requests by tenants to keep "emotional support animals" even when animals are not usually permitted. In the law the correct legal term for such animals is "assistance animal." There is another legal category called "service animal." For both categories, the law prohibits charging a pet deposit or pet fee. This post explains the law on assistance and service animals and how to evaluate tenant requests to keep them. Read more.
- Using criminal records to screen rental applicants - Landlords who routinely request criminal background checks on prospective tenants and use the results to decide whether or not to lease to particular individuals may face a discrimination claim by a rejected applicant. Blanket refusal to lease to a person with any kind of criminal history is particularly problematic. This post explores the relevant law and suggests how to avoid such discrimination claims. Read more.
- Security deposit issues - A 2015 court decision makes it clear that language in a lease cannot override the provisions of the Missouri security deposit statute. This post covers how this ruling may affect landlords and property managers. See our Security Deposits page for general information about deposits. Read more.