A group of landlords and real estate investors filed a lawsuit against President Joe Biden’s decision to extend the CDC eviction moratorium in federal court in Washington.
The previous moratorium imposed by the CDC had also been sued by the same plaintiffs, who are receiving legal counsel from the National Association of Realtors. This time, instead of filing a lawsuit against Biden’s new eviction moratorium, the affected parties filed an emergency motion asking the judge to apply a power of attorney against the CDC’s latest eviction ban.
The Biden-Harris administration has acknowledged that a new moratorium may not have the legal standing to be implemented by the CDC, so Biden told members of his party in Congress that a new extension had to have the approval of the legislative branch. “The bulk of the constitutional scholarship says that it’s not likely to pass constitutional muster,” the president said.
While the extension of the eviction moratorium prevents thousands of people from falling at risk of homelessness, it also affects landlords who have to bear the mortgage payments and repair costs of the homes they lease without being able to collect the money that should be financing these expenses.
The first eviction moratorium occurred during the Trump administration as an immediate response to the spread of COVID-19, but since then, members of the Republican Party have been opposing subsequent extensions.
The problems the eviction moratorium is creating for millions of landlords
Although more than $46 billion has been provided in rental assistance, less than 6.5% of that amount has been available to subsidize renters or reimburse landlords who have been affected by the measure. Nearly 11.5 million American households are behind on their lease payments.
The measure potentially affects 10 million small landlords who rely on rental income from their homes as a livelihood. Despite the fact that in 2018 small landlords across the country generated $353.7 billion in rental income, and while the figure on the surface seems like a lot of money, only slightly more than 50% of landlords had positive net income, while 497% of landlords recorded losses in their business.
The Democratic administration’s eviction restriction potentially leaves millions of Americans already facing financial hardship before the pandemic and brings with it an underlying consequence: higher rents in the United States.
With no way to dispose of their homes, landlords are forced to stop being responsible for maintaining their homes, paying insurance and even paying their mortgages. Similarly, some landlords have had to raise the cost of leases to make sure that the person they are renting to can afford to pay.