With the state eviction moratorium ending on September 30th, many landlords across the state are currently putting together final rent notices or preparing to file evictions. However, in many cities and counties, local moratorium extensions are throwing many landlords off, with some moratoriums even being extended well into 2022.
In Orange County, landlords are only currently being held back in some areas by the Federal Residential Eviction Moratorium, that delays evictions in area with high COVID-19 rates through October 3rd, only a few days after the end of the state moratorium. Some cities, such as Anaheim, even gave landlords 100% of back rent for renters who met a certain income threshold in lieu of an extension. For landlords there, without any extension, they are preparing furiously to be among the first to evict tenants.
“I have had several tenants not pay since over a year ago,” said Annette Li. a landlord in Santa Ana. “Even after rental assistance and some relief coming in, I have still lost money and they are still behind on rent.”
“Every story I’ve seen has it from the renters point of view. And while I sympathize, and may even be lenient on those who make a good faith effort to pay, these news stories never bring up the renters who have taken advantage of the moratorium to stay in rent free. There are a lot of renters currently living in places well beyond their means because they have not paid for a long time.”
“Well, the bottom is falling out later this week. Some people honestly trying to get by will be forced out, but a lot of people taking advantage of the system and living for free at the expense of us will hit the pavement. For the latter, we will only be glad to see them go. We have a serious homeless problem in the state, but we can’t keep making exceptions some renters at the expense of landlords also trying to make a living. The vast majority of renters won’t even notice because they have been paying on time and have generally been good tenants.”
Eviction moratorium not ending everywhere on Thursday
While most counties and cities in California don’t have moratoriums and are generally following the September 30th rent moratorium end as outlined in AB 832, many rent-heavy areas do. In LA County, the Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday to extend commercial evictions and all residential non-late rental evictions through the end of January 2022, meaning the only way residential renters can be evicted for several months will be through not paying. In Oakland, the moratorium will remain indefinite as the local eviction moratorium currently has no end date. In Fresno, the moratorium will continue on until the end of the year. Many others, like San Francisco, are hoping to enact last minute legislation. For landlords in those areas, those added months of no rent are only adding to the financial and mental stress of going nearly two years in some cases of not having rent collected from some tenants.
“It is just not fair,” said Sophia, a landlord in a city she did not want identified that will have a continued moratorium past the 30th, to the Globe on Wednesday. “The city and renters are putting all of their financial burdens on us. A lot of us applying for relief aren’t getting it and we have no recourse because they are still afraid of the coronavirus.”
Another landlord, Michael Hawes in Fresno, also noted that the strain is only going to hurt landlords and even affordable housing opportunities for the near future. “What’s happening is that a lot of landlords are selling their properties to firms or others,” explained Hawes. “And they jack up the price, maybe after some renovations. So a lot of landlords, drowning in red ink, are doing this to get money back, and they are getting hurt for it. And then the tenants are out of luck, even the ones who are good, because of the raised rents. They’re used to it in LA, but in Fresno, where a lot of people from the Bay or LA are coming for cheaper options, it’s becoming deja vu.”
“The longer they keep moratoriums, the fewer affordable units will be on the market. They don’t like to bring this up, but it is happening.”
The state moratorium is expected to end on Thursday, September 30th.