Per Chief Justice Beatty’s April 30, 2020 Order, all evictions currently ordered and scheduled statewide in South Carolina will resume May 15, 2020. The magistrate courts will also begin accepting new evictions at that time. However, in a follow-up May 6, 2020 Order, Chief Justice Beatty clarified any party pursuing an eviction in South Carolina must submit a signed, original Certification of Compliance with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act. So, in order to ensure compliance, what does the CARES Act provide for in the eviction context that a landlord should be aware of?

Signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020, the CARES Act imposes on landlords a 120-day tenant eviction moratorium per its Section 4024. This moratorium applies only as to residential tenants of a “Covered Dwelling.” Covered Dwelling is further specified as follows, but generally encompasses a rental property that is receiving federal subsidies or has a federally backed mortgage:

    • Public housing;
    • Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers;
    • Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance;
    • Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly;
    • Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities;
    • Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA);
    • McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance grants;
    • Section 236 Preservation program;
    • HOME investment partnerships;
    • Rural Development multifamily housing (Section 516 Farm Labor Housing Grants, Section 542 Rural Development Vouchers, Section 521 Rural Rental Assistance, Section 533 Housing Preservation grants); and
    • Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program.

It also includes rental property with a single-family or multifamily mortgage that is:

    • purchased or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac;
    • insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA);
    • guaranteed, directly provided by, or insured by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA);
    • guaranteed, directly provided by, or insured by the Department of Agriculture (USDA); and
    • guaranteed under HUD’s Native American or Native Hawaiian Home Loan Guarantee programs.

If a landlord or tenant is not sure whether a rental property is included, they can search the National Housing Preservation Database, which includes most of the Covered Dwellings, but not all.

The additional key provisions are as follows:

    • A landlord of a Covered Dwelling cannot file a new eviction proceeding for nonpayment of rent for 120 days beginning on March 27, 2020. However, this does not preclude a landlord from filing an eviction proceeding for a reason other than nonpayment of rent.
    • Eviction proceedings that have already been filed are not affected.
    • During the 120-day moratorium period, landlords may not charge fees, penalties, or other charges for nonpayment of rent.
    • After the 120-day moratorium period, the landlord may not evict a tenant unless the landlord provides 30 days’ notice.

Wyche will continue to follow COVID-19 real estate developments.  Please contact us if we can assist you or your business.