Eviction moratorium not wanted by some

BREVARD COUNTY, Florida – With many people still struggling financially as a result of the pandemic, news that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is enacting a new eviction moratorium has been welcomed by some.

However, some are suspicious of the new moratorium, including some landlords and those advocating for property managers.

What you need to know

  • The eviction moratorium was announced on August 3rd
  • It met with some opposition from groups who said it does not address the main issues
  • The 60-day moratorium expires on October 3rd

Carl Guettler, the owner of Guettler Realty Group in Cocoa, said he was surprised to hear the CDC approved a new moratorium.

He said that luckily all of his clients who have rental properties have had no problem getting rent from their tenants, but he noted that there are many landlords with different circumstances. Coordinating rental assistance is also not an easy process, says Guettler.

“My colleagues and others have stated that getting the actual rent to the right place is a difficult process and therefore avoiding eviction of any kind,” he said.

Some organizations, like the Florida Apartment Association (FAA), argued that the eviction moratorium misses the underlying problem: the tenant’s ability to pay the rent.

On Wednesday, FAA Director of Government Affairs Amanda White released the following statement on the matter:

“There’s no question that without government intervention, the Florida rental housing industry has gone to great lengths to help residents in need by maintaining an open line of communication, creating alternative payment plans, waiving late fees, and more. On the other hand, the federal eviction moratorium has never addressed the underlying problem, which is a person’s inability to pay rent. These flawed policies mean that tenants face insurmountable debts while also jeopardizing our already tight supply of rental apartments. The only viable solution that protects both tenants and housing providers is the timely and effective distribution of rental subsidies to those in need.

“Notwithstanding the new moratorium, the Florida housing industry will continue to focus on resilient housing by going through the patchwork of rental assistance program requirements across the state. To that end, the Florida Apartment Association and its affiliates continue to seek to work with state and local governments to ensure the timely delivery of these much-needed funds. “

As of now, the moratorium order expires on October 3, and the CDC said it only applies in areas with “significant and high” COVID-19 transmission. In practice, that makes up about 80% of the counties in the US and covers about 90% of the population.

Güttler hopes that the pandemic can be brought under control in the next few months so that the moratorium can expire without tenants or landlords being harmed.

“If we can keep things reasonably manageable, I would definitely like to see it safely end in October and things just get back to where they should be, with the tenant-landlord relationships,” he said.

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