1. In any designated eviction proceeding, the tenant may, at any point in the proceeding, claim as an affirmative defense that:
(b)The landlord has refused to:
(1)Participate in the application process for rental assistance; or
(2)Accept rental assistance on behalf of the tenant.
2. If an affirmative defense described in subsection 1 is asserted by the tenant:
(a)Except as otherwise provided in subsection 6, the court shall stay the designated eviction proceeding until the applicable time described in subsection 4;and
(b)The landlord may file a motion to rebut the affirmative defense asserted by the tenant.
3. If a landlord files the motion described in subsection2, the court may:
(a)Refer the designated eviction proceeding to mediation;
(b)Schedule a hearing on the motion; or
(c)Maintain the stay until the applicable time described in subsection 4.
4. The stay of the designated eviction proceeding must be maintained by the court:
(a)Until the designated eviction proceeding is referred to mediation, if applicable;
(b)If the affirmative defense asserted was that described in paragraph (a) of subsection 1, until such time as a determination is made on the pending application for rental assistance, and if the application for rental assistance is granted, the court must dismiss the designated eviction proceeding at the time that the rental assistance is received by the landlord; or
(c)If the affirmative defense asserted was that described in paragraph (b) of subsection 1, until such time as the tenant proves the validity of the claim, in which case the court:
(1)Must deny the eviction; and
(2)May award damages to the tenant.