I’m living in a motel right now. Does the order apply to those properties?
No. The order specifically excludes hotels and motels.
What about Airbnb rentals and other similar properties?
The order excludes any “guesthouse rented to a temporary guest or seasonal tenant as defined under the laws of the state, territorial, tribal or local jurisdiction.”
What if my landlord sends me an eviction notice anyway?
Seek counsel. You can search for a low- or no-cost legal assistance office near you via the Legal Services Corporation’s online map. Just Shelter, a tenant advocacy group, also offers information on local organizations that can help renters.
A lawyer can also help if a landlord tries a different approach. For instance, a landlord might try to sue in small claims court over partial payments, without filing an eviction notice that might be illegal under the order, Mr. Dunn said.
Does the order specify the size of the penalties that landlords may be subject to?
Yes. An individual landlord could be subject to a fine up to $100,000 if no death (say from someone getting sick after eviction) results from the violation, or one year in jail, or both. If a death occurs, the fine rises to no more than $250,000. If it’s an organization in violation, the fines are $200,000 or $500,000.
Is the order legal?
The White House and the C.D.C. think so. It is possible that landlord industry groups or others will sue to stop it, in which case it will be up to the courts to decide.
Could some local housing judges simply ignore the order?
Lawyers on the ground say they would not be surprised to see that in smaller jurisdictions. “Then it would be up to the tenant to scrape together enough resources to try to file in federal court or seek an injunction from another authority in their state’s judicial system,” said Rebecca Maurer, a lawyer in Cleveland.