Why the eviction moratorium is damaging

January 18, 2021by melissad0

With the national eviction moratorium, evictions came to a screeching halt almost a year ago. Let us first acknowledge that housing providers, owners and managers alike do NOT want to evict residents- especially right now. We avoid evictions whenever possible. We do not want to displace residents who may find themselves un-housed.

No-one wins in an eviction proceeding as the time and money required are exorbitant. The cost to the resident of finding new housing is typically higher than what they may owe in rent. The cost to the rental housing provider to ready a vacancy and find a new renter is timely and costly. 

But while the COVID-19 pandemic has made paying bills difficult for everyone, the bills are still there for both sides.

Here is why a sweeping statute on evictions can do more harm:

  1. Safety-Evictions need to be allowed when safety is an issue. For the resident themselves, the resident’s neighbors, the property, or the property staff. Keeping dangerous people in place is very risky.
  2. Many not taking advantage of rental assistance: Housing providers cannot force residents to take advantage of the funds available through rental assistance and many are simply not. Residents should be doing all they can to pay their rent and utilities to avoid the avalanche of debt that will ultimately be due.
  3. Owners could lose the property: If you think owners are getting relief, think again. Unfortunately, they are not. Owners are facing foreclosure on their rental properties due to nonpayment of loan, insurance, taxes, and other obligations with no help from government.
    1. Example: We have one client who owns two studio apartments. He wanted to move back in to one before the pandemic started. We had processed notice and were waiting for the resident to move out when everything shut down. Here we are almost a year later, both residents not paying rent. One fully, one partially. One Resident refuses to pay or move. The owner simply wants to move back into his property and lessen his expenses which have now tripled. He is paying both rental property mortgages, HOA assessments and his own monthly expenses since he could not move into his own property.
  4. More employees laid off: Property Managers are essential workers.  Without rental assistance to both the resident and the rental housing provider, the system will collapse.  The very people who have showed up every day to assure housing is provided – property managers, leasing agents, repair technicians, third party serviced providers (contractors/plumbers/electricians) will surely find themselves without work to support their families.  In a time like this, eviction is the last and only when necessary option.

But that is just it- housing providers still need the option of eviction.

In San Diego-Carlsbad metropolitan district,  676,500 residents are renters living in 309,000 rental homes.  The operations of San Diego’s rental homes contributes $2.7 Billion to the local economy each year including $838 Million in property taxes – and creates over 4,000 jobs. (according to weareapartments.org) as of the last census published (2010).

The State’s eviction moratorium, AB 3088, will expire on January 31, 2021.  While none of us anticipated we would be facing the continuing impact of the pandemic at this stage, we are.  We need a moment to catch our breath.  A better option is SB 3 which allows AB 3088 to run for two more months through March 31, 2021.  As the legislature just returned to session, this cooperative extension will allow considered evaluation. Hopefully, to assure housing continues to be provided and renters continue to have a roof over their heads. At the same time avoiding the potential destruction of housing providers with a full year extension.  

Interview with Channel 10 News: https://www.10news.com/news/local-news/in-depth-tenants-landlords-seek-solutions-as-eviction-moratorium-nears-expiration

For more about how we can help you with your property: https://fbs-pm.com/rental-owner-services/

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