Landlords Join Class-Action Lawsuit as the CDC Enacts Another Eviction Ban



Landlords Join Class-Action Lawsuit as the CDC Enacts Another Eviction Ban



The financial fallout from the pandemic could last many more months. That is time that America’s landlords cannot wait. The CDC has extended the nationwide eviction band from September 2020 until June 2021, which landlords think is absurd. The landlords have not been paid in months, and they cannot wait any longer.

Retirees are typically your average landlord. They have used most of their retirement savings and purchased maybe one, two, or three properties to sustain them during their golden years. They use rental income to make mortgage payments and repairs while using the remaining funds to support themselves during retirement.

Loopholes


This has become increasingly difficult since many tenants are off the hook for rent during the economic downturn. Tenants do not have to pay rent if they make less than $99,000 per year if they are single or $198,000 per year if they are married. Tenants who find themselves in this predicament must state they have been affected by COVID-19 and therefore are unable to pay the rent.

Many tenants are taking advantage of the loopholes and are staying in rented homes while disregarding the rent. They can pay the rent but refuse to do so because of the long-standing law. Other tenants, even though they are getting some assistance, like generous unemployment benefits, or stimulus checks, cannot pay the full rent after job loss. Benefits are not enough to pay the full rent, so tenants must resort to paying partial rent.

Long Island Home


Doctors bought a beautiful home on Long Island and rented it out to tenants. They made one rental payment right before the pandemic. Afterward, they never made another rental payment. The tenants had loud parties and did not take care of the property.

They had a large Christmas party and bought expensive gifts while simultaneously, refused to pay the rent. The physicians were stuck making the hefty mortgage payments, even though they moved out of their lovely home to save money. The property was worth over $500,000.

Lease Violations


Some landlords do not care about their tenants’ financial situations and only want them to leave their properties immediately. And they are looking at legal remedies to evict their existing tenants. Landlords do have recourses available to them if they no longer want to continue with their present tenants.

One remedy is to evict tenants once their lease is up. Landlords do not have to renew tenants’ leases, even if they have been paid in full by the government. Congress has authorized over $20 billion in rental assistance for the last stimulus package so tenants can get caught up on back rent.

Once evicted, tenants may have difficulty finding another place to live. Moreover, tenants could face living in their cars or residing in homeless shelters where respiratory diseases could linger longer because of a denser human population.

On the other hand, landlords could use lease violations to evict their tenants, like having pets inside their homes without paying a pet deposit, loud parties, fights, or keeping their premises unkempt.

The CDC


Many housing managers are taking their fights to the courts, believing that the CDC has overreached its authority during the health crisis. A non-partisan, unbiased group, the New Civil Liberties Alliance, has filed a class-action lawsuit. The NCLA are representing landlords and housing providers.

The attorneys filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Iowa with case number 1:21-CV-00028. The primary plaintiff is Asa Mossman, who lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The situation with the housing providers is precarious.

Senior Counsel for the NCLA, John Vecchione, does not see any ending point to the CDC’s ongoing announcement because of the health crisis. It is difficult to determine the actual ending point to the pandemic, even as 56 million Americans are fully vaccinated and deaths have slowed.

Out of the 44 million rental units, approximately eight million landlords own 24 million properties, stated Avail — a property management company based out of Chicago.

Without proper support, landlords could default on their mortgages and lose their apartments and homes. Housing owners must fulfill their end of the bargain by providing habitable living spaces with repairs. So, tenants must uphold their end of the deal by paying rent.

Presently, the Western District of Tennessee in Tiger Lily, LLC. vs. the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development ruled that the agency had over-exercised its authority. The same ruling prevailed in the United States District for Northern Ohio, which said that the national moratorium on eviction exceeds statutory authority.

Meanwhile, the CDC will pursue $500,000 in criminal fines and incarceration for Landlords whose actions and eviction proceedings lead to tenant deaths.

The NCLA


The NCLA is asking the courts for injunctive relief to prevent the enforcement, promulgation, reentry, or extension of the order by the CDC or any other federal or state agency in denying access to the courts for evictions and other relief deemed necessary and appropriate, including reasonable court costs and attorney fees.





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