During these unpredictable and unprecedented times of the COVID-19 pandemic, the housing industry is one of the industries that has been hit the hardest with almost 20% of all renters in the United States behind on their rental payments.
In 2020, the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) enacted a nationwide ban regulation to not allow any landlords to evict any of their current tenants. This regulation was enforced as the CDC did not want citizens to leave their homes due to the growing pandemic and many states enforced stay at home orders. This nationwide regulation ban helped to keep people off the streets in efforts to slow down the spread of the virus, and helped tenants who were struggling economically during the pandemic. The CDC’s attempt at helping with this is to have rent payments not be as immediate, in order to lessen the stress of renters during an unpredictable time.
No Consequences for Tenants
With the rule of landlords unable to evict their tenants, there is nothing they can do when their tenants do not follow their housing regulations. In Virginia, a case dealing with this specific issue is currently in the federal courts. The plaintiff, Rich Brown, is a landlord in a residential community in the state of Virginia. Rich is taking his case to court for the CDC to take away this regulation of eviction as his tenants are taking advantage, and one of his tenants owes him over $8,000 in rent.
The tenant under Centers of Disease Control’s rule is allowed to do this without receiving any eviction charges. Therefore, Brown is losing money and under this new rule, he cannot do anything about it and is unable to give the tenant any consequences. Brown is filing this case against the CDC for declaring an unconstitutional regulation on the landlords across the nation and claiming that they have no right to enforce this. Rich Brown fears that he will soon lose his business if his rent payment debt continues to increase.
The plaintiff’s case proposes that during these times the government should offer relief for rent payments if needed, but never make the landlord suffer. If a change like this does not occur in the near future, landlords will run out of business as their tenants cannot pay rent and are not following the housing rules. Following this lawsuit, the Centers of Disease Control has extended the eviction ban until March 31, 2021. As a result, many landlords have followed Rich Brown in suing the CDC for this extension, and civil disputes between landlords and their renters are becoming increasingly more serious.
The nationwide ban enacted by the CDC was justifiable to stop the spread of the coronavirus, as well as helping those who are unable to pay rent on time due to the economic hardships many are facing nationally. However, the ban consequently plunged as tenants took advantage and are not paying their landlords as they cannot evict their tenants under the eviction ban. Under this eviction ban, landlords’ hands are tied resulting in being economically crushed.