Mar 23

The right to counsel and eviction case sealing are two legal provisions that can provide significant advantages to non-paying tenants. These measures aim to protect the rights of tenants, especially those who may be facing eviction. However, they can also create an unfair advantage for non-paying tenants compared to similar applicants and renters. This white paper will examine the unfair advantage these legal provisions give non-paying tenants and how it can impact the rental market.

Right to Counsel

The right to counsel is a legal provision that guarantees tenants the right to legal representation in eviction cases. This provision ensures tenants are not unfairly evicted without proper legal representation. While this provision can benefit tenants facing eviction, it can also create an unfair advantage for non-paying tenants.

Non-paying tenants with access to legal representation can use this to prolong the eviction process. They can file motions and appeals that delay the eviction proceedings, giving them more time to stay in the property without paying rent. This can be a disadvantage for rental owners who may be losing money due to the non-payment of rent.

Moreover, tenants with access to legal representation can negotiate better settlement terms with their landlords. They may be able to negotiate lower rent payments or more favorable lease terms, which can further disadvantage other renters who do not have access to legal representation.

Eviction Case Sealing

Eviction case sealing is another legal provision that can provide an unfair advantage to non-paying tenants. This provision allows tenants to seal their eviction cases, which means that the eviction proceedings and outcome will not be publicly available. This provision protects tenants’ privacy and prevents discrimination based on eviction history.

However, this provision can also create an unfair advantage for non-paying tenants. Sealing eviction cases can make it difficult for landlords to screen tenants effectively. Landlords may not be aware of the tenant’s eviction history, which can increase the risk of renting to non-paying tenants.

Moreover, sealing eviction cases can make competing in the rental market difficult for other renters. Landlords may prefer tenants with no eviction history, and non-paying tenants who have sealed their eviction cases may have an unfair advantage over other similar applicants.

Impact on the Rental Market

The unfair advantage provided by the right to counsel and eviction case sealing can impact the rental market in several ways. Landlords may become more hesitant to rent to tenants, knowing that they may face legal challenges and prolonged eviction proceedings if the tenant stops paying rent. This can lead to a decrease in the supply of rental properties, making it harder to find homes.

Nov 14

HT: Dawn Anastasi

Note that this site most likely violates the Fair Credit Reporting Act, but it shows a level of frustration that owners are seeing

“Most landlords are good & hardworking people,” declares. “Some tenants need protection, but many have simply lied and leaned into recent provisions that make it impossible for homeowners to defend themselves or their properties.


Oct 09

A good, should read, article

The predictions were dire.

“The tragic, consequential, and entirely avoidable outcome of this ruling will be millions of people losing their homes this fall and winter, just as the delta variant ravages communities and lives,” said Diane Yentel, president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, in late August.

“The Supreme Court failed to protect 11 million households across our country from violent eviction in the middle of a deadly global pandemic,” said Rep. Cori Bush (D–Mo.), citing one estimate of how many renters were behind on rent.

But the reality was different

“It’s going up but it’s not going up by a ton,” says Peter Hepburn, a sociology professor at Rutgers University and researcher with Eviction Lab. “You look at September relative to historic averages, that leaves eviction filings at 48.5 percent below historic averages…We didn’t see a jump up to normal, let alone a jump past normal into a giant wave of eviction filings.”

Aug 30

As the first step, the CFPB urges renters to talk to the property owner/manager.  Urging communication is important.  I would add as step two; seek mediation. 

The CDC eviction moratorium has ended: Learn your options | Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

If you are facing eviction now, we have resources to help

Whether you are facing an eviction lawsuit or worried about getting evicted in the future, it’s important to understand your rights and what next steps you need to take.

Talk with your landlord about making a repayment plan. Find out if your landlord is willing to work with you or if they plan to file an eviction lawsuit. Here is information to start that conversation.

Talk with a lawyer, don’t delay. You may qualify for free legal help. If you’re a servicemember, talk with your local Legal Assistance Office.

Housing counselors can help you make a plan based on your situation and needs. Again, you may qualify for free help. Find a HUD-certified housing counselor.

Learn more about rights and protections based on your situation

Aug 26

Last night the Supreme Court ruled that the CDC eviction moratorium is invalid.

What should you do now as a rental property owner?

Little should change with or without the CDC moratorium. It remains in the owners’ and renters’ best interest to work together to get the ERAP funding. The only reason to evict for nonpayment at this time is if the renter refuses to apply for ERAP or does not qualify due to no loss of income. In Milwaukee or Waukesha Counties, they can apply at Community Advocates. City of Milwaukee residents can also apply at SDC

If the renter is refusing to apply, try Mediate Milwaukee or call (414) 939-8800. It will only delay for a few days and often provides superior results to eviction as renters often stay and pay. If the renter refuses this as well, then eviction is probably the only option, but it should be the last option.

Remember that in Milwaukee County less than 2.4% of eviction judgments are paid within 5 years, less than 7/10ths of 1% within 18 months. So rushing to court only stops future losses, it seldom results in recovering past rent.

Aug 05
Fox 6 Interview on mediation

Jun 05

As a rental property owner, it is in your self interest to work with the renter, secure Emergency Housing Assistance, and get the back rent paid.  If you evict, you no longer will be able to recover the unpaid rent through these programs.  

Only 7/10th of 1% of eviction judgments are paid within the first year, over five years that number is only 2.4%.   Smart money says, encourage your nonpaying renters to apply for Community Advocates or SDC ERAP funds. 

Rental Assistance Process | How to Apply for Rent Assistance | Community Advocates in Milwaukee WIor
Milwaukee Emergency Rental Assistance | Social Development Commission

There is an upside though to the moratorium ending, whether that end is next week or in three weeks, in that eviction, or the threat of eviction can be used to compel renters who refuse to apply for aid to do so.  Of course, there are also a few renters who are not paying and do not qualify for assistance because they have not been financially impacted by the COVID financial crisis.

The Realtor groups asked the justices to step in — on an emergency basis — arguing that “Congress never gave the CDC the staggering amount of power it now claims.”

They argue that the moratorium has resulted in “over $13 billion in unpaid rent per month.”

May 06

Evicting is so 2019.

You want the rent paid. The partners at the Rental Housing Resource Center have the resources to help your residents pay the rent. My company, Affordable Rental Associates, LLC, has adopted a mediation first policy as an alternative to eviction for a year now, with great success. Renters become current and do not move far more often than the court alternative.

If you are on the fence, look at how much that last eviction cost you in lost rent, repairs, court costs, time and aggravation. When it is all over, statistically you will collect less than 2.7% of your eviction judgment amounts over the next five years.

If you have questions, ask here, or email me directly.

Apr 09

HT Tristan Pettit

This WaPo article is a good read, should read piece. The bottom line is if the rent is paid evictions for nonpayment stop, eliminating the need for moratoriums.

There was a need for stopgap measures at the beginning. Today everyone would be best served by effectively using the money that is currently available to pay for the housing of people who truly are in need.

The idea is to get the money to renters before courts nationwide begin processing evictions again.

“We are running the Emergency Rental Assistance Program every day like we’re going to lose the moratorium tomorrow,” said a Treasury Department official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the program before any formal announcements.

Washington Post The $50 billion race to save America’s renters from eviction

Mar 07

The article linked below is so wrongly anti-housing provider. If the rent is paid, the need for free legal representation disappears in most cases. Discriminatory housing policies are not those of the property owners. We want our houses full as that is the only way we make money. Instead, for the most part, discriminatory housing policies were created years ago through government programs. But now, we are being made the scapegoat by the very governmental bodies that created this mess. 

Redlining of mortgages and insurance, leading to housing segregation or worse? These were federal government-mandated rules.

But articles like the one below try to paint property owners and managers as the causation. The truth is housing and renters must succeed for the other to succeed as well. We are two sides of the same coin. There are those who profit from encouraging conflict between owners and renters. This harms both residents and housing providers alike.

Contrary to the conclusion of the article, rental assistance is the solution. If the U.S. enacted a FoodShare for Housing program, where people below a certain threshold would receive portable housing vouchers, this would change many urban American problems. Multiple studies show the costs of such a program to the taxpayer are less than what we now pay for intervention when renters fail. 

Addressing extreme housing precarity requires more than rental assistance; it requires an overhaul of the system and redress of the longstanding discriminatory housing policies that led to this moment.
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