The COVID-19 crisis continues to impact all facets of our lives. For property owners and managers, the pain we have been feeling is going to continue with the latest proposed iteration of the Eviction Moratorium. The bill would extend the moratorium for another six months during which residents are relieved of the duty to pay rent - through the end of June 2021.
Renters will have to repay all amounts owed no later than June 30, 2021 (so they say), but in the meantime, you still have to pay your mortgage, taxes and insurance, address needed repairs and upgrades - possibly with no rental income. It’s incomprehensible how they can expect us to continue to provide free housing in some cases to folks who make more than we do.
This time at least, they are proposing that residents would have to sign a declaration under penalty of perjury that they have been income affected - but they still don’t have to prove a thing. Even renters who haven’t lost their jobs or suffered a reduction in income, just have to say they have. Many of us have suffered a substantial loss of income, but our pain seems to be meaningless to many of our representatives.
The only positive news about this latest effort is that they are providing rent assistance to go along with it, but it will only pay 80% of what is past due, requiring you to “forgive” the other 20%. Why can’t the renters pay the other 20%? Will our political representatives pass a bill allowing us to pay 20% less in taxes or insurance? Repairs? Utilities? Of course not!
The rent assistance funds, however, will prioritize smaller housing providers with the largest balances to prevent the larger property managers from scooping up all the money. And 80% is better than nothing.
Many of you may have renters who have paid nothing and won’t pay anything for the entire year and a quarter, only to have the renter bail on you or declare bankruptcy and wipe out the entire debt, so this may be better than the alternative, but it still isn’t fair at all.
Now is the time to make our voices heard! Contact your representatives and let them hear how this situation is affecting you. It is not helpful to bash any political party or renters in general. It is helpful for them to feel our pain.