Is the Moratorium Madness Over Yet for Landlords & Property Managers?

Posted on:
August 12, 2021
2 MIN READ

On September 1, 2020 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an Agency Order titled “Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19” which finally expired on July 31, 2021.

The eviction moratorium has been in place under various measures since late March 2020. The eviction ban went into effect in the fall of 2020 to control the spread of COVID-19 and prevent homelessness during the pandemic. It has since then been extended multiple times, most recently until Saturday. In June, the CDC said it would not issue further extensions.

However, it was landlords and property managers who took the biggest hit as the Order left their lease agreements futile. Landlord groups have opposed the moratorium, as most of them have struggled to keep up with the mortgage, tax, and insurance payments on properties without rental income.

More than 15 million people in 6.5 million U.S. households are currently behind on rental payments, according to a study by the Aspen Institute and the COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project, collectively owing more than $20 billion to landlords.

The administration made a last-ditch, failed appeal to extend the moratorium to buy more time for states to distribute rental aid. It is worth noting that out of $46.5 billion in rental relief previously approved by Congress, only $3 billion has been distributed to renters across the country.

Some states like California and New York have chosen to extend eviction moratoriums beyond July 31. While in some places, judges, aware of the potential for a mass wave of displacement, have said they would slow-walk cases and make greater use of eviction diversion programs.

On Friday, several government agencies, including the Federal Housing Finance Agency, along with the Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, and Veterans Affairs Departments, announced that they would extend their eviction moratoriums until Sept. 30.

How will the lifting of ban impact renters?

If renters have missed out on any rent payment or were late on rent, they will have to pay back the missed payments along with a late fee, depending on your agreement. Although some states have removed the charges for late fees so you need to verify from your state laws. Landlords and property managers are still supposed to continue paying for the utilities as per the lease agreements.

Unless the State laws specify for moratorium extension, landlords are free to begin the eviction process with a notice. The moratorium only provides protection against non-payment of rent. Other reasons such as breach of lease agreement or no renewal of lease are not given immunity with the new enforcement.

With the rise in Delta variant cases, property managers and landlords might have to brace for another extension soon. Regardless, there is a massive potential for a rush of eviction filings beginning next week.

UPDATE

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday, Aug. 3, issued a new 60-day moratorium on residential evictions in areas with high levels of COVID-19 infections due to the rising Delta variant even though they rejected an earlier push by the White House.

The extension is expected to cover over 90% of the U.S. population and all counties with substantial or high COVID-19 community transmission rates. In addition, the CDC said it would expand the protections to additional counties if they see a rise in COVID-19 cases. This new CDC order is slightly more limited than the nationwide moratorium that expired last Saturday at midnight and will likely face many legal challenges. The new moratorium will last until Oct. 3.

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