Tide of evictions on hold in Idaho

October 28, 2020

A COVID-19 induced moratorium has protected Americans from eviction litigation since September, but without further action by Congress, millions of dollars in unpaid rent will be due Jan. 1.

Effective Sept. 4, the moratorium halted residential evictions for eligible renters for the nonpayment of rent and other fees until Dec. 31. The order was an attempt by the Centers for Disease Control to quell the further spread of the novel coronavirus.

Statewide there have been over 800 eviction cases filed between March and October this year. Based on the data obtained by Idaho Legal Aid Services, Kootenai County has seen 104 filings since May.

When Idaho entered mandated isolation, courts were hearing only emergency matters, stopping eviction cases until May when the state reopened. At that time, the CARES Act was still in effect, Idaho Legal Aid Services statewide advocacy attorney Martin Hendrickson said, which contained provisions prohibiting the eviction of renters who possessed some kind of federal support.

"We were successful in asserting that as a defense in numerous matters," Hendrickson said. "In doing so, we were able to help a number of tenants to work out more favorable agreements and have more time to find opportunities to have a living situation."

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