Evictions - The Landlord’s New Hell
Being in multifamily real estate must be hectic right now. You have probably lost your mind, having to manage all your residents, from collecting dues, adjusting contracts, and worst of all, dealing with those unruly people, that give you headaches that never seem to go away. And if that is not all, you are probably sick and tired of having your eyes glued to the monitor, tracking, and reading any new statement released by the state and CDC regarding evictions restrictions. With all this disarray and confusion, sometimes it is good to sit back, take a break and review the situation for better or worse.
As Joe Stampone goes through in his article, “The State of Evictions and the role of Housing in Poverty," the current situation comprises many individual events, all fitting together like a puzzle piece. To begin with, many delinquent residents have accumulated several months of rent, and COVID eviction restrictions have made the landlord's ability to remove them and start a new lease a new hell. The CDC then goes ahead and releases a new order that prohibits evictions on signed declarations of good faith that tenants can sign, ensuring that they will pay back the rent eventually. And that does not help us now, does it, because time is money and that money is needed right now.
With the expiration of unemployment benefits and no additional aid package being passed yet, these agreements will seem to go on and on. There is no way residents can pay back that money, and with the elections underway, we can forget Congress putting forward any new declarations anytime soon. But hey, where there is a will, there is a way, and landlords aren't going to give up, some are coming up with creative measures to evict the tenants, going as far as paying them to walk away from their unit.
So, what do we do now? There does not seem to be any resolution anytime soon, and landlords have been stripped of their power to evict residents who are just building up a quota they can never pay off. While all these struggles are happening for us, the landlords, Joe Stampone, offers a new perspective to consider, the residents themselves. Building up this large sum of interest is not easy on them, and they stand to lose a lot if evicted. As he notes, "Today, many renters spend ~50% of their income on housing costs, with one in four spending over 70% of their income on rent and utilities alone. It's crazy to think about it.", this alongside the various issues leading from possessions, kid's schooling, and the stain of an eviction deters their chances of finding a new good home.
"Eviction is not just a condition of poverty; it is the cause of it."
This situation is turning into a hellscape for both landlords and residents, with no way out for either. With landlords losing money and residents rents piling on and on, there does not seem to be an end. As a new wave of COVID comes around, we can only hope that something comes through.