Oct 13

A well thought out comment on the post moratorium housing crisis

https://www.citywatchla.com/index.php/cw/los-angeles/20564-landlords-are-not-the-devil

The government’s destruction of small landlords in 2020 will be calamitous for tenants in 2021 and beyond. There will likely be an outbreak of foreclosures and sell-offs by those who are unable to endure the eviction-moratorium storm. When the small landlords disappear, so does much of the affordable housing. Corporate investors, real estate conglomerates, and Wall Street vultures will swoop down for the kill, snapping up properties, remodeling them, and raising rents. In the end, communities will be left with fewer economical rentals, and the chasm between the rich and poor will be a little wider. 

Sep 28


Working with County Exec David Crowley, the Apartment Association of Southeastern WI, the Wisconsin Apartment Association, the WI Bankers Association, The Wisconsin Realtor Association, Legal Aid, Community Advocates, the Credit Union League, and the WI Counties Association sent a joint letter urging Congress and the Senate to address the need for immediate rent assistance to prevent a housing and government crisis

Sep 28

Great to read the ABA’s position.  Well written, but one would expect no less from the president of the ABA. The ABA is asking for $100B in rent assistance.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/27/opinion/letters/covid-congress-tenants-landlords.html

The president of the American Bar Association urges congressional action “to prevent housing instability.” 

Sep 27

Landlord tenant

Owners and tenants are two sides of the same coin. We need our tenants to succeed, and the tenants need housing to succeed. People that portray landlords and tenants as opposing forces do so to increase their own political and power base, not because it is truthful.

Immediate action:

If the rent is being paid there is no need for eviction moratoriums. We need to reach out to our members and urge them to write every politician out there, from the President to the local dogcatcher, asking for emergency rent funding.

The NAA has a tool to allow people to write their Congressperson and Senators without knowing who represents them. (Many folks do not pay attention to politics)

Moratoriums

The moratoriums without rent assistance will destroy the viability of much of the rental housing, causing owners to fail financially, which in turn will adversely impact municipal budgets and future housing choices for tomorrow’s tenants. Lower valued housing will be abandoned on a scale far greater than what we saw in 2008. Large corporate owners will buy up the middle as they did in the aftermath of 2008.

The Census finds that rental units generate $1,196 per unit per year in wages. Then you must factor in the local income multiplier, the property taxes paid, and everything else, and we are a huge part of the local economy. More on the economic impact of rental housing.

The Census also found that last month 16% of tenants nationwide did not pay rent. They previously reported that owners on average receive 7% of gross rent in return for their efforts and investments. If the gross rent is off by 16%, leaving the owner to decide who doesn’t get paid this month. In Milwaukee, the city eats two to four times the rent that an owner receives in good times. AASEW letter to Milwaukee Mayor Barrett on the need to include owners in the dialog on housing issues:

I spoke to an owner a week ago who had a March eviction canceled because the property was covered by the CARES act. That tenant told his neighbors that his attorney said they could not be evicted. April five more joined in, leaving six of eight tenants not paying now for six months. He is now facing foreclosure and personal financial hardship. He wants to give the building to the bank, hoping they do not go after his home and his retirement savings. The bank said they will not take a deed in lieu of foreclosure. I told him to hire an attorney. He said he has no money left.

A long term solution:

Housing at the lower end of the rent scale has always been fragile as tenants are one paycheck away from failing. The long term answer is portable housing vouchers, similar to FoodShare, that tenants can use to rent the home of their choice. Note this is not the same as Section 8, but instead like food stamps

Sep 12


https://shepherdexpress.com/news/features/the-new-eviction-moratorium-is-half-the-solution-but-is-it-e/#/questions

This issue will affect both parties. Heiner Giese, an attorney with Apartment Association of Southeastern Wisconsin (AASEW) says, “The question is, how are these people going to get paid? Will people lose their housing? What will landlords do in the meantime about municipal water bills, taxes, insurance or maintenance.”

Sep 04

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-09-04/pdf/2020-19654.pdf

The earlier CDC release stated that tenants did not have to provide proof with the declaration, but the landlord could request/challenge it.

The published rule, but of course it is not a rule, but an order,  as rules have rules, does not appear to have a mechanism to challenge the validity of the tenants’ declarations. (see below)  Instead, I guess you have to report the tenant to the FBI if you feel they lied. 

It is uncertain what an owner must do to be found in violation.  Do you actually have to evict after receiving a declaration, which courts should prevent from occurring?  Or would issuing a summons after receiving a declaration trigger a violation?  But how do you challenge the validity of the declaration if not in court?

I do not see specifically that issuing a 5-Day notice is a violation, but I’m sure that will be argued.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/02/your-money/eviction-moratorium-covid.html
A lawyer can also help if a landlord tries a different approach. For instance, a landlord might try to sue in small claims court over partial payments, without filing an eviction notice that might be illegal under the order, Mr. Dunn said.


The sample declaration form does not say anything about whether I need to prove my hardship to my landlord. Should I attach bank statements or other documents?

No, not to the declaration — at least not at first. The way the order is written means you need not lay out specifics in your declaration, said Emily Benfer, a visiting professor of law at Wake Forest University.

If the landlord challenges your initial assessment, however, you should provide “reasonable” specifics to prove your eligibility, according to senior administration officials who helped write the order.

This last sentence was in the CDC press release two days ago but is absent now.

Aug 30

A published research paper that found:

“Our research shows that in order to keep rental housing affordable and sustainable for low-income families, lawmakers have to walk a fine line in determining what will benefit the tenant and what may ultimately be detrimental to them,” Shen said. “On the surface, strict landlord regulation sounds good for tenants, but our paper points out, the solution isn’t that simple. The research suggests that conventional thinking on the issue of more regulation may have the opposite effect on tenants.”

“Though advocating for tenant rights seems noble and the right thing to do, the resulting consequences could have a devastating impact on this vulnerable population,” Shen said. “Our research indicates that if landlords aren’t allowed to evict, rent will likely increase to compensate for their losses. The housing supply would diminish, though the demand would still exist. These landlords may choose alternative investments if owning property is no longer feasible. A reduced housing supply would mean less competition, which would drive up the cost of rent for everyone.

Coulson, N. Edward and Le, Thao and Shen, Lily, Tenant Rights, Eviction, and Rent Affordability (July 4, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3641859 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3641859
Aug 15

HT: Joe Murray

https://www.governing.com/next/Legislative-Watch-Addressing-Americas-Eviction-Crisis.html

It’s an extraordinary dilemma, in which public health risks weigh so heavily that government is compelled to require forbearance from landlords and mortgage holders. While contagion may be held at bay, property owners are not the only ones who will suffer. Property tax revenue will be affected, and those who provide water and sewer service, gas and electricity will also feel the strain. 
 

Aug 10

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/could-federal-investment-prevent-an-eviction-crisis

DESMOND: In June, cities like Cleveland and Milwaukee saw evictions spike 30 to 40 percent above normal level when moratoriums expired.

[Ignores a greater than 30% overall decrease in 2020 evictions Year to date through June 30th. – Tim]

DESMOND: And it also doesn’t solve the landlord’s financial problems. You know, eviction right now, though, is kind of the only tool we’ve given to landlords, right? We haven’t seen a serious investment in housing from the federal government.

[Agreed – Tim]

DESMOND: And so when you’re a landlord and you’re in a pinch, you kind of reach for that pink slip.

[No landlord wants or wins when there is an eviction, rather they generally never recover the money lost. An eviction is either failure to screen or the tenant met with circumstances afterward. – Tim]

DESMOND: You know, we need a national moratorium on evictions. We need to say, look, in this pandemic, the home is medicine. The home is safety. And we have to protect that. Americans deserve that level of protection. Property owners need to pay their bills, too. And so we don’t just need moratoriums. We also need rent relief.

[There is no need for a moratorium if proper need-based rent subsidies are in place. Agreed that property owners need to pay their bills. The outcome if they can’t is chronicled at https://bit.ly/MoratoriumImpact – Tim]

DESMOND: We need a serious investment from the federal government with the recognition that everyone needs a stable, affordable place to live in normal times and especially during this pandemic. That’s true.

[Agreed – Tim]

Aug 07

I encourage everyone to download and read the following published research paper

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3641859

“Our research shows that in order to keep rental housing affordable and sustainable for low-income families, lawmakers have to walk a fine line in determining what will benefit the tenant and what may ultimately be detrimental to them,” Shen said. “On the surface, strict landlord regulation sounds good for tenants, but our paper points out, the solution isn’t that simple. The research suggests that conventional thinking on the issue of more regulation may have the opposite effect on tenants.”

“Though advocating for tenant rights seems noble and the right thing to do, the resulting consequences could have a devastating impact on this vulnerable population,” Shen said.

“Our research indicates that if landlords aren’t allowed to evict, rent will likely increase to compensate for their losses. The housing supply would diminish, though the demand would still exist. These landlords may choose alternative investments if owning property is no longer feasible. A reduced housing supply would mean less competition, which would drive up the cost of rent for everyone.

preload preload preload