The Covid-19 Pandemic has hit everyone very hard and forced us all to adjust and adapt. This is especially true for renters and landlords who have both seen declines in income.
Sadly, many people lost their jobs since the start of the pandemic making it hard for them to keep up with monthly bills and rent. Because of this the CDC ordered a ban on evictions for late or missed rent payments back in September 2020.
Although this order was set to expire at the end of 2020 it was clear that people still needed assistance so it was extended to January 31st. President Job Biden quickly called on the CDC to extend that date to March 31st to buy people more time to find work and a steady source of income.
As March 31st approached and job numbers still weren’t improving at the desired rate, the CDC extended the eviction ban yet again. The ban is currently set to expire on June 30th.
While this ban has had a profound impact on renters, landlords are being hit particularly hard. Some landlords haven’t received income from their rental properties in a year.
So, what does all this mean for renters and landlords?
Why was the Ban Enacted?
The first thing to note is that the ban should not be confused with rent relief. Once the ban is lifted, renters will own landlords all the back-rent. So, there’s hope for worried landlords who haven’t seen payments in many months.
The eviction ban was put in place for several reasons. Most prominently to minimize the spread of Covid-19 and protect public safety. By allowing people to keep their homes it reduced the risk of the virus spreading should there be a sudden influx of people seeking assistance from shelters or living on the streets.
The other reason this order was deemed necessary was that renters were unable to afford payments due to the increased rates of job loss that occurred over the course of the pandemic. The ban ensured that people could still have a place to live while they looked for new work.
Impact on Landlords:
There’s no doubt that this eviction ban coupled with the loss of rent payments has had a profound impact on landlords. As a landlord, you’ve been put in an impossible position. While you don’t want to evict your tenants, you still have financial responsibilities of your own that need to be met.
Without the rental income, property managers are finding it difficult to keep up with monthly property upkeep costs. Landlords are still responsible for repairs, mortgage payments, property taxes, and their personal finances.
This loss of income means that landlords might not be able to meet all their tenant’s needs due to insufficient funds. Even with the current rent assistance being provided by the government through stimulus checks and rent relief, there is still an estimated $20 billion in rent relief that isn’t accounted for.
To be eligible for a temporary eviction ban and delayed rent payments renters must provide their landlords with a waiver. This document states that renter in question:
- Had used all available means to obtain financial and government assistance to help manage their rent and housing expenses.
- Is making less than $990,000 annually for the year 2020-2021 or less than $198,000 when filing a joint tax return.
- Is unable to pay the rent in full due to substantial financial loss, like loss of hours, being laid-off, unforeseen and costly medical expenses, or loss of household income.
- Is making every effort to make partial payments that are close to the expected monthly rent.
In addition to these clauses, renters must state that if they were to be evicted they have a genuine reason to believe they would be homeless, need to move into a shelter, or be required to move into a smaller living quarter, shared by other people.
In signing this document renters are also noting that they understand that back rent will eventually be owed and they still must comply with other terms listed in their leasing agreement.
Landlords are also within their right to seek a hearing to challenge the truthfulness of the claims made in the document should they have reason to believe their tenant is making false claims. Given that this is a legal document, should a tenant be found to have lied about their circumstances they could face criminally or civil legal action.
There’s no denying that this pandemic has had a profound impact on everyone’s lives. Job losses have resulted in renters being unable to keep up with their monthly payments and the rates of potential evictions have sky-rocketed to new heights.
The CDC’s moratorium on evictions was put in place to reduce the spread of Covid-19 by ensuring that people could keep their homes. This, however, has meant that landlords have had to keep up with the expenses associated with maintaining properties with little to no rental income to help them.
But there is hope for everyone, this is not a rent relief plan so landlords can expect the money owed in back-rent to come in eventually. Landlord associations are also advocating for more financial assistance and relief from the government.
For more information on how to manage your rental properties check out McCaw Property Management.