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Is the Eviction Moratorium Fair to Landlords?

by Editor | ezLandlordForms
Eviction Moratorium landlords

Now that the CDC’s eviction moratorium, initially ordered on September 1, 2020, has been extended until March 31, 2021, many landlords are becoming increasingly frustrated and concerned about being able to continue making all necessary payments to maintain their properties. 

The moratorium has the important goal of reducing the spread of the COVID-19 virus by helping to ensure that individuals that have lost their income don’t also find themselves without stable housing. While helping to keep unemployed workers from becoming homeless is obviously an important objective, there are some flaws in the eviction moratorium that put an undue burden on landlords, especially small, or “mom-and-pop,” landlords.

Problems with the Eviction Moratorium

There are a couple of key problems with how the federal government has dealt with eviction moratorium that has led to disproportionate and unfair impacts on landlords.

The first is that there is no relief provided for landlords. While tenants are given a respite from payments, landlords are not provided the same protections. They are still responsible for paying maintenance costs, taxes, insurance, and mortgages. Without any sort of relief or support, this can leave many landlords, especially smaller ones, struggling to maintain their property.

It’s worth noting that the stimulus package that is currently before Congress includes $25 billion in rental assistance, which, if passed, could help to provide some support for both tenants and landlords. However, many critics argue that this relief will be both too little and too late to provide meaningful relief for struggling tenants and landlords.

The second major problem with the eviction moratorium is that it’s a one-size-fits-all solution that doesn’t take into account the impacts on individual landlords. While the moratorium might not have much of an impact on large real estate firms or hedge fund investors, for smaller landlords it can be disastrous.

The reality is that many landlords are going to have to use their retirement savings, go into debt, or sell their property to make it through this crisis. While everyone has been impacted by the pandemic, the eviction moratorium, as it currently stands, seems to place a disproportionate burden on landlords.

What Landlords Can Do About the Eviction Moratorium

Despite the flaws in the eviction moratorium, it is here to stay until at least March 31, 2021. For landlords that are being impacted by the moratorium, there are some things that can be done to help weather this storm. 

First, remember that the moratorium only bans evictions of tenants that are making their best efforts to pay but are unable to do so because of a substantial income loss. It does not ban evictions of tenants that breach the lease for any other reason.

Second, the moratorium does not relieve tenants of the responsibility of paying rent. That said, the reality is that when the moratorium is lifted, it’s unlikely that tenants will have a lump sum of cash to pay all of the back rent that is owed. To help with this issue, landlords should work with tenants to come up with payment plans that ensure that tenants are staying as current on rent as possible. Additionally, in some states, landlords can sue tenants for rent in small claims court. This means that they’ll have a judgment against the tenant for unpaid rent and have a better chance of recouping missed rent once the tenant is working again.

Third, it’s important that landlords stay up to date on the current state and federal laws as well as any opportunities for relief. Doing so ensures that landlords are complying with all relevant laws while also ensuring they’re taking advantage of all favorable provisions or relief measures.

ezLandlordForms offers resources to help landlords deal with the unique issues that have arisen due to the pandemic. Plus, ezLandlordForms gives landlords access to local attorneys that can help property owners stay informed and up-to-date on ever-changing regulations. Contact the ezLandlordForms team or visit the resource page to get started.

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Richard T Redano
Richard T Redano
1 year ago

On Feb. 25 a federal judge in Tyler TX ruled that this eviction moratorium was UNCONSTITUTIONAL. It appears from the above March 1 article that EZ Landlord was unaware of this ruling.

Lawrence Maiolo
Lawrence Maiolo
1 year ago

This moratorium is a joke, especially in tenant friendly Massachusetts. Landlords are getting screwed big time. There are a lot of dirtbags who are taking advantage of this to live rent free for as long as possible, and there’s nothing the landlord can do about it. It is causing a huge financial burden on landlords and they have zero recourse. They will never see any back rent and there is no way that they can sell their property because nobody in their right mind would buy a multifamily with tenants. And there is no way you can evict them now, even if it is to sell the property. The only way for the landlords get the tenants out is to do it the old fashioned way.

Dennis Ceccarelli
Dennis Ceccarelli
1 year ago

As a small landlord in Western PA I handle 8 units. I have been very fortunate that all of my tenants are current with their rent. I had one tenant that could not pay rent last April and we agreed to a repayment plan over ten months (their rent is high). I think that doing a good job with risk assessment (especially with the three new tenants this last year) that I have been able to get good solid rent paying tenants. I do a comprehensive background and credit check (the prospective tenant pays for it and gets a copy) that really helps me to determine the risk. I actually prefer to have a unit vacant than select a marginal tenant. I am not in this business to give away free lodging to anyone. I really feel for landlords that are stuck with tenants that are behind on rent. Good communication is very critical, even more so with the Pandemic. Unfortunately, there will be a wave of evictions when the moratorium is lifted and a sharp rise in homeless numbers. Some rentals will be converted to for sale units and some properties will be foreclosed, resulting in higher rents. I do not see how tenants (some that are still working) will be able to pay all the back rent. Some may be able to work out a repayment plan with their landlords. While the intention is good to help prevent the spread of the virus the moratoriums are really hurting the small landlords the most. It’s almost like government taking of private property.

Maureen
Maureen
6 months ago

Yes, that is exactly what seems to be happening.

CYNTHIA BYRD fiorella
CYNTHIA BYRD fiorella
1 year ago

I dont believe that its fair to landlords the tenants are just waiting for the government to pay
to let them stay in the units.
we need to survive as well we are smaller units and we live on that.
the mortgage companies are not giving us a break. we had to sell a property because we could not make it.

CYNTHIA BYRD fiorella
CYNTHIA BYRD fiorella
1 year ago

I paid for credit check on a new tenant how do I get it.

Clyde Morgan
Clyde Morgan
1 year ago

Though I have not been a renter in 25 years and was never a landlord, the eviction moratorium has given me much food for thought. I grew up reading fairy tales and most of them featured a villian; either an evil stepmother, a wicked witch, or a landlord, AKA, the wolf at the door. Growing up under an overly controlling and punitive biological mother, she earned two nicknames; Landlady and Stepmother. I finally realized that while the witches and stepmothers of the world probably deserved the bad rap, perhaps the landlords have been unfairly maligned over the past few centuries. A rental property is a business investment; not some hobby or something done out of the goodness of one’s heart. A landlord is providing shelter for someone and is entitled to be paid for his/her services.

Maureen
Maureen
6 months ago
Reply to  Clyde Morgan

Yes. It is a mutual contract entered into between landlord and tenant. The rent is the consideration. The State of CA has – I assume under the “emergency powers” – put the unbelievable burden of providing “affordable housing” on landlords. I can’t help but wonder how many renters exploited this “opportunity” to not pay rent for as long as they could get away with it. I am not a landlord nor do I own property, but the State is so wrong to be – essentially- taking control over others’ properties. It will no doubt cause financial ruin for many. I guess the State will manage to get a hold of the properties at the county tax sales. Ruthless.

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