COVID-19 has affected us all in some way, from mask mandates to social distancing requirements. Although we’re seeing an ease in restrictions and perhaps a light at the end of the tunnel, many are still struggling to make ends meet, including landlords.
A recent article published by CNN Business outlines the difficulties landlords are facing due to eviction moratoriums and unpaid rent. While the recently extended moratorium came as a relief for millions of renters, many landlords are questioning whether they can continue to do business.
The federal moratorium was put into place last September to assist renters by banning evictions for rent non-payment. While the initial order was set to expire in December, President Joe Biden extended the moratorium through the end of March.
Mom-and-Pop Property Owners Are Hit the Hardest
It’s true that all landlords who own any number of properties are greatly affected by the order. Yet, according to Bob Pinnegar, president and CEO of the National Apartment Association, the mom and pop property owners are hit the hardest.
These landlords own approximately 22.1 million rental units, more than half the nation’s supply. Without income coming in, it’s nearly impossible to afford maintenance or improvements which could greatly affect their properties down the road.
Unpaid rent also makes it hard to pay the mortgage on these properties as well as the property taxes. This increases the risk of property foreclosure and the subpar funding of schools and other community services.
How Long Will This Last?
Should landlords prepare for more legislation? The future is uncertain. Some states are continuing to extend the eviction moratorium past the end of March. For example, Governor Newsom of California extended the state’s moratorium through the end of June.
The most recent COVID-19 stimulus package also doesn’t mention an extension of the national ban on evictions. However, this is due to the relief bill being passed through the process of budget reconciliation, which means limits are set on what’s included.
Any further extensions will need to be enacted by President Joe Biden. Many continue to call on him to extend the order to prevent a wave of evictions. Only time will tell if that occurs.
What Can You Do as a Landlord?
Right now, it can feel overwhelming to be a landlord with even one property. Yet, there are some things you can do to make ends meet. If you’re paying the mortgage on your properties and fear default, call your lender for support. They’ll help you understand what relief is available to you.
It’s also possible for you to communicate with your tenants to come up with a payment arrangement that works. Can they only pay half? Consider making it work. This will help you pay your bills and help renters avoid a huge amount of back rent in the future.
Reach Out to Your Legal Partners at The Fell Law Firm
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