Temporary Ban on Evictions
The San Diego City Council adopted a temporary ban on evictions on March 25, 2020, in response to the COVID-19. On May 19, the City Council first extended the temporary ban for another month while the San Diego Council again decided to extend the ban on evictions to September 30, 2020. (SDHC, 2020) The order is designated for tenants who have been suffering financial hardships under the pandemic. And yet, it inevitably creates some troubles between landlords and tenants. On the one hand, landlords cannot collect their rents in time; on the other hand, many of them still have to pay the mortgage even though the mortgage forbearance protects some. Under the circumstances, what are the pros and cons of this temporary ban on evictions then?
This is another dilemma for both the federal and state governments as it seems that the authority will have to fail certain groups of people while trying to release others’ burdens. By issuing a temporary ban on evictions, the City Council aims at protecting people with no or low income. This order can stabilize society by avoiding panic. Most importantly, this would decrease people’s mobility and slow down the spread of coronavirus.
Nevertheless, this doesn’t seem so fair to landlords, especially those who rely heavily on their rental income for consumption. For landlords who have to pay their mortgages, it’s also catastrophic to lose rental income, which is used to pay their debts. Although the mortgage forbearance is provided as a protection for homeowners with federally or GSE-backed, you can only get a forbearance for 180 days (CFPB, 2020). Considering the SD City Council has already extended the temporary ban from March 25 to September 30, what should landlords do after these 180 days?
According to a Census Bureau survey, approximately 13 million Americans didn’t pay their rents in May. And thus, many worry that unemployed tenants still cannot afford their rents by the time the eviction ban expires. If landlords choose to solve the problems of unpaid rent by going to courts, those long-lasting legal procedures are waiting for them. Unfortunately, this creates a vicious circle. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project estimates 19 to 23 million families are at the risk of losing their homes by the end of September (Picchi, 2020) so the advocacy groups believe that this eviction ban does help families to at least keep a roof over their heads during this particular time. It gradually becomes a problem, whether it’s righteous to sacrifice certain groups of people’s interest for the well-being of the whole society. Do we have a win-win solution to ease the burden on both parties?
1. City of San Diego COVID-19 Temporary Ban on Evictions. (2020, June 30). Retrieved July 29, 2020, from https://www.sdhc.org/evictionban/
2. Born, M. (2020, June 17). How Are Landlords Responding to COVID-19? Retrieved July 29, 2020, from https://www.avail.co/education/articles/how-are-landlords-responding-to-covid-19
3. Picchi, A. (2020, July 13). 23 million Americans could face eviction in coming months. Retrieved July 29, 2020, from https://www.cbsnews.com/news/eviction-23-million-october/
4. Week 9 Household Pulse Survey: June 25 - June 30. (2020, July 08). Retrieved July 29, 2020, from https://www.census.gov/data/tables/2020/demo/hhp/hhp9.html
Learn about mortgage relief options. (n.d.). Retrieved July 29, 2020, from https://www.consumerfinance.gov/coronavirus/mortgage-and-housing-assistance/mortgage-relief/
5. COVID-19: Guidance for Landlords and Tenants. (2020, March 31). Retrieved July 30, 2020, from https://www.bbklaw.com/news-events/insights/2020/legal-alerts/03/covid-19-guidance-for-landlords-and-tenants