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Landlords ask Biden administration to let eviction ban expire

To this point, landlords and real estate trade groups have been unsuccessful in their lawsuits to end the federal eviction ban during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the moratorium scheduled to end on June 30, 12 organizations that represent landlords, brokers and developers have sent a letter to the Biden administration, asking the President not to renew the “one size fits all” eviction policy, The Real Deal reports.

The group includes the National Multifamily Housing Council, the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of Home Builders. It noted that the increase in vaccine distribution and the administration’s other COVID-19 mitigation measures as reasons why the eviction moratorium was no longer needed.

The three-page letter said that the eviction ban will only, “place insurmountable levels of debt on renter households and prevent recovery in the housing sector.”

The federal government has deployed almost $47 billion to help renters, landlords, and homeowners address their debts since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Tenant advocates have said renters are still having trouble paying their bills, however. They also predict a rise in evictions when the ban expires. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) extended the nationwide eviction moratorium before it was about to expire in March. CDC director Rochelle Walensky would not say if the agency would issue another extension, The Real Deal and Reuters report.

The landlord groups’ letter is their first direct appeal to President Biden. Meanwhile the CDC’s eviction moratorium extension came two weeks after 2,200 tenant advocate organizations and others sent a letter to the Biden administration requesting the ban stay in place.

U.S. courts have been more willing to side with landlords and their challenges due to the moratorium as COVID-19 cases have decreased in the country. The federal ban has remained, however. In May, a federal judge struck down the eviction ban. U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich ruled that the CDC exceeded its authority. A stay was issued while the Biden administration appealed. An appellate court ruled it would not lift the stay and landlord groups have appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Twenty-two state attorneys general sent an amicus brief to the Supreme Court on June 11, urging the justices not to overturn the ban, The Real Deal reports. The state attorneys general argued that increased vaccination rates haven’t improved tenants’ financial situation.

“Economic recovery takes time, and many people still cannot pay back rent while the nation remains in the early phase of reopening,” according to the brief.

Meanwhile, some states have extended the eviction moratorium past the federal government’s deadline. New York’s eviction ban goes until August 31, for example. Meanwhile, the National Multifamily Housing Council sent landlords information with the expectation that the ban won’t be extended. The release comprised measures landlords could take, such as encouraging tenants to apply for rent relief and offering tenants payment plans.

Joe Dyton can be reached at joed@fifthgenmedia.com.

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