Tue, 28 Sep 2021

Impact of CDC Eviction Moratorium on Small Landlords

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25 Jul 2021, 05:24 GMT+10

The CDC's eviction moratorium that was set to end at the end of June has now been extended until July 31, leaving landlords wondering what they can do. Although it's intended to be the last extension of the eviction ban, landlords are continually being put in a tough position.

Per the CDC's eviction moratorium, there was a Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of Covid-19. However, for landlords, this still seems anything but temporary. Starting on September 4, 2020, with an end date of December 31, 2020, it's now been extended until July 31, 2021.

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Unfortunately, the eviction ban puts some landlords in a bind, especially those that rely on steady rental income to pay off their mortgage. While at the same time, throughout the pandemic, tenants have faced hardships like job loss and the risk of homelessness.

So, what does this mean for landlords? Is it possible for both landlords and tenants to stay satisfied during this time? Without much help from federal and state aid programs, both tenants and landlords are struggling.

What Is the CDC Eviction Moratorium?

On September 4, 2020, the CDC issued the eviction moratorium as a way to stop the spread of Covid-19 by keeping tenants in place.

The official order, Temporary Halt on Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of Covid-19, reads as follows:

  • 'The conditions that originally necessitated the original Order continue to exist and, in many jurisdictions, have significantly worsened. With the convergence of COVID-19, seasonal influenza, household crowding, and transmission, and the increased risk of individuals sheltering in close quarters in congregate settings such as homeless shelters, which may be unable to provide adequate social distancing as populations increase, extending the temporary halt on evictions, subject to further extension, modification, or rescission, is appropriate.'

With the order comes a lot of confusion from tenants, landlords, and industry professionals. A lot of things were left unclear, such as:

  • Who does the ban apply to?
  • Is every tenant protected by the ban?
  • Is there a way around the eviction ban for landlords?
  • When will the moratorium end for good?

In short, the ban doesn't apply to every tenant, and evictions are still possible for a multitude of reasons. One thing that should be clear for all parties is that the payment agreement between tenants and landlords is not affected by the eviction ban. Keep reading to learn more about the moratorium and its effect on tenants and landlords.

Does the Moratorium Protect All Tenants?

The first thing a tenant must do to be protected by the moratorium is immediately provide their landlord with written documentation that proves they meet the CDC's guidelines for protection during this time.

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Some of the qualifications include:

  • Tenant(s), in 2020 and 2021, earned or expect to earn less than $99,000 as an individual and less than $198,000 if filing jointly.
  • The individual was not required to report income to the IRS in 2020 and received an Economic Impact Payment in 2020 or 2021.
  • Tenant(s) made every effort to receive government assistance for housing.
  • Tenant(s) are unable to pay rent or make a full housing payment due to substantial loss of income, a job lay-off, work hours or wages being cut, or extraordinary out-of-poc
  • ket medical expenses.
  • Tenant(s) have done their best to make timely partial payments that are as close as possible to the full payment.
  • If evicted, the individual would have no other housing options and may be homeless or have to move in with others who live in close quarters.

With that said, recent studies have shown that U.S. jobless claims are reaching a new low, which may indicate good news for tenants and landlords, with some hope for the eviction ban to end when it is scheduled to on July 31, 2021.

What Does the Ban Mean For Small Landlords?

Although many individuals meet the CDC's requirements and guidelines for protection during the pandemic, that doesn't mean that people cannot be evicted during this time. Landlords still have the right to file for eviction cases, sue for monetary damages, and send notices for tenants to vacate.

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There are some legal reasons that a landlord should evict a tenant, including:

  • If the tenant is involved in criminal activity
  • The safety or health of others is in danger
  • Further property damage may arise if the tenant is not evicted
  • Tenant(s) are violating health regulations or building codes
  • Tenant(s) violated the lease agreement signed by both parties

With that, it may be difficult for these provisions to benefit landlords during this time. Unfortunately, some of these reasonable eviction rules may not apply in all renting situations.

Another way that landlords may be able to evict certain tenants is by issuing a notice of non-renewal. In this case, if the tenant is not out by the set date, they are technically 'holding over', which may be a justifiable reason for eviction.

Tips For Landlords

If you are a landlord struggling with the CDC's eviction ban, there are some things you can do to help your case. But first and foremost, it's vital to understand the rules and follow the law to avoid fines and other legal trouble.

A few things you should do are:

  • Know your rights
  • Communicate with your tenants
  • File for evictions if necessary
  • Get help from a property management company

As a landlord, the first thing you should do during these unprecedented times is begin to learn your rights as a rental property owner. It may be beneficial to hire a legal professional familiar with these laws to help provide guidance.

Along with that, it's just as important to communicate with your tenants. After all, they are struggling during the pandemic as well. Keeping a clear line of communication can benefit both the landlord and tenant if separate payment agreements are needed or other lease concerns happen to pop up during this time.

There may be other reasons for eviction, other than non-payment of rent. If the tenant violates the lease in other ways, the landlord may be able to file for eviction. Similarly, if a tenant does not pay the rent that they owe, the landlord may be able to sue instead of file for eviction.

Can a Property Management Company Help?

The longevity of the CDC eviction moratorium has impacted both tenants and landlords alike. Without much assistance to both parties, it's been hard to navigate rules and come to reasonable agreements that benefit both tenants and landlords. If you are a landlord struggling, you may benefit from a property management company.

Although some landlords may not be prioritizing extra costs like property management during this time, your local experts in Philadelphia are here to help you. Whether it's finding new prospective tenants, collecting rent payments, or keeping up with maintenance requests, they're here to help with it all.

If you are a landlord struggling with the effects of the CDC eviction moratorium, you should reach out to your local property management company in Philadelphia to get help from the experts.

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