Well, the rental industry got an unexpected bit of good news today when the Kentucky Supreme Court issued a new order allowing all evictions to proceed as of August 1, under the following terms:
- All properties covered by the CARES Act must first issue a 30-day notice to vacate. If you’re not sure if your property is covered, make sure to read this post. I’ve also included multiple searchable databases on the front page of the site at the bottom that will help you make that determination.
- All eviction filings must have a Verification of Compliance form attached to them. That document does not seem to be ready and available just yet, but I’ll provide a link once it’s available. (UPDATE: here's a link to the form.)
You can read the entire Order here. The eviction section starts on Page Five.
Now, there is plenty to be excited about. But it’s always best in these situations to step back, take a minute, and breathe a bit. When we get in a hurry, mistakes get made. While this new order is certainly good news, there’s still a bit of murkiness out there and there’s still potential for everything to change quickly.
Here’s what’s murky. The Governor’s Executive Order suspending evictions remains in place. That’s less important in that the Court has issued a new order that effectively trumps that Order, at least in their eyes.
But, part of the Governor’s Order is that law enforcement officials (Constables, Sheriffs, etc.) are still prohibited from enforcing eviction judgments and Writs of Possession. Law enforcement is clearly a part of the Executive Branch. Will they follow the Governor’s Order or not? It remains to be seen.
The good news is that I expect the Governor to agree to revise his order significantly on Thursday. If you’ve been following my posts, you know that there’s a mediation (or a settlement conference) on Thursday, July 30, in Covington in the lawsuit between the Northern KY Apartment Association and the Governor. The Governor likely knows he’s in trouble on this issue, and I expect he will agree to settle the matter by making significant revisions to his order prohibiting evictions. I expect that agreement to allow many nonpayment evictions to move forward statewide and to allow law enforcement to enforce those orders. But we’ll know more later in the week.
The other thing to keep in mind is that Congress is working on the next COVID Relief Package. That legislation may very well include another eviction moratorium at federally-backed properties. So, property owners with federally backed mortgages or who participate in federal programs should expect the worst on that front.
So, where does that leave us?
- Everyone should be giving out their Notices to Pay or Vacate unless they’ve already done so in July. Those at CARES Act properties must give 30-day notices. Those at conventional properties may give a shorter notice if your lease or the law in your area laws (such as the URLTA).
- If you have a non-payment case leftover from March, you should contact the court or your attorney and have that case put back on the docket ASAP beginning August 1.
- If you have a non-renewal situation based on failure to pay rent, you should be ready to file on August 1, assuming your notice has expired and you have not accepted any money after the notice has expired.
Remember, all of this is subject to change. I do not expect this to be the only news we get on this issue this week. Expect more news from the Northern KY lawsuit and from Congress. I’ll update you as soon as I’m able.
I’m going on vacation for a week beginning Friday. But I’ll update you from the beach if necessary. In the meantime, once your notices have been given and you’re ready to file, reach out to your friendly neighborhood attorney’s office and they’ll get filed.
We’ll talk soon. Have a great week.
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- Tags: Covid-19, evictions, Governor Beshear, Kentucky Supreme Court, lawsuit against Governor Beshear, nonpayment of rent