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Protections for renters in federally subsidized housing

If you live in a building with five or more units, or you receive a HUD tenant-based voucher, you may have more federal protections.

You may have the right to a 30-day notice

How you're protected:

You have the right to a CARES Act 30-day notice before your landlord can ask you to leave or file an eviction. This can mean more time for you to find rental assistance or legal advice before your landlord starts an eviction.

This applies if:

  1. You or your landlord receive a federal subsidy or
  2. You live in a building with 5 or more units and your building has a federally insured mortgage

You may be protected from evictions and late fees

How you're protected:

Your landlord is not allowed to:

  • Start an eviction or evict you because you haven’t paid rent or late fees
  • Charge you late fees or other penalties for making late rent payments, or
  • Demand that you pay all the rent you owe in one lump sum

Once their forbearance ends, a landlord must give you at least 30 days’ notice before they can start an eviction. This is called a 30-day notice to vacate.

This applies if:

  1. You live in a building with 5 or more units and
  2. Your landlord is getting mortgage help (forbearance) on a mortgage insured by
    • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (FHFA) or
    • Federal Housing Administration (FHA)

They are also supposed to tell you about these rights while they are getting mortgage help.

You may be protected from certain late fees from last year

How you're protected:

Most CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act protections expired at the end of 2020. If you live in CARES Act covered housing:

  • Your landlord is not allowed to charge late fees or other penalties because you paid rent late, between March 27 and July 24, 2020, and
  • Because these fees or penalties are not allowed, they can’t evict you just because you didn’t pay them

Your landlord can still sue or evict you to collect late fees and penalties from before March 27, 2020 or after July 24, 2020.

This applies if:

  1. You or your landlord receives a federal subsidy or
  2. Your landlord got CARES Act mortgage help last year, on a mortgage insured by the federal government

Find out if your housing is covered

You can ask your landlord if they are getting forbearance. Or talk with a lawyer who can help you find out.

Contact your local bar association or legal aid office

Find out if your housing is covered

This includes:

  • Public housing
  • Section 236 or 538 multifamily housing
  • Section 8 project-based housing
  • Section 8 housing choice vouchers
  • McKinney-Vento homeless assistance grants
  • Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA)
  • Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program (LIHTC) for landlords
  • Section 8 moderate rehabilitation
  • Section 811 housing for people with disabilities
  • Section 202 housing for the elderly
  • Below Market Interest Rate (BMIR) housing
  • Rural Development multifamily housing programs, grants, or vouchers

If you’re not sure:

This includes:

  • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (FHFA)
  • Federal Housing Administration (FHA)
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and
  • Veterans Administration (VA)

Use these tools to find out.

To find out if HUD insures the mortgage on your building:

To find out if Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac (FHFA) insure the mortgage on your building:

Legal help

If your landlord is threatening to evict you, or you need help understanding your rights, talk to a lawyer. You may qualify for free legal aid, based on your income.

Contact your local bar association or legal aid office

More eviction help

What to do if you're worried about eviction

We have information to help you understand your rights, based on your situation right now.

Get help with rent and utilities

You can apply to state or local organizations for federal money to cover rent, utilities, and other housing costs.