Federal eviction moratorium extended to March 31 amid pandemic

A federal order which protects tenants from eviction based on nonpayment of rent will now run through March 31 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It was set to expire on Jan. 31.

Lara Sutherlin, Administrator of DATCP’s Division of Trade and Consumer Protection, issued the following statement in a news release:

"Wisconsin renters should know that they are not automatically entitled to protections under the CDC order. We encourage Wisconsin tenants who are struggling to make rent payments to seek this important relief by submitting their request in writing to their landlord."

To invoke the moratorium, tenants, lessees, or residents of residential properties must provide a signed copy of the declaration form provided by the CDC (or a similar declaration) to their landlord or residential property owner. Each adult listed on the lease, rental agreement, or housing contract must provide their own separate declaration.

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The federal eviction moratorium does not exempt tenants from their obligations to pay rent and follow the terms of their lease. Tenants are still required to pay their rent and may still be evicted for reasons other than not paying rent. Landlords may still charge and collect late fees, penalties, or interest. The order also does not change Wisconsin law that prohibits housing discrimination. The news release says if you believe you have been a victim of housing discrimination, contact the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development’s (DWD) Equal Rights Division.

Detailed information on the declaration and eligibility requirements for this relief can be found at datcp.wi.gov under Landlord Tenant COVID-19 FAQs

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