Real Estate

4 States Lift Eviction Ban; Renters Left With Weaker Federal Protections

Four states have lifted their eviction bans, leaving struggling renters in these regions with only the federal government’s narrower protections for a few more weeks.

State governments in Connecticut, Kentucky, North Carolina and Oregon allowed their eviction measures to expire at the end of June. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s eviction moratorium remains in place through July 31. 

But these remaining federal protections are less effective than some of state-level bans, a fact that worries tenant advocates, according to a recent report in The Real Deal.

“The question is how does this thing ultimately end?” Troy Pickard, a Portland attorney who represents tenants, told The Real Deal. “Hopefully it won’t end in a mass of evictions, because if it does that’s just going to be one more huge cost to society that might have been avoided through some kind of intervention.”

The publication’s reporting points to a series of holes and workarounds in the federal ban — exemptions that some landlords have been eager to take advantage of in an effort to stop the financial bleeding.

Unlike some of the expiring state bans, the federal moratorium allows landlords to file for eviction for reasons other than non-payment of rent. Attorneys in states with expired bans told The Real Deal they expected more such cases to be filed soon.

Federal protections also only cover tenants who fill out hardship declarations. Judges in some states can deem a tenant’s form not credible.

The same protections that have been a lifeline for struggling renters have served as a thorn in the side of landlords, many of whom have grown increasingly frustrated with how the moratoriums have been extended time and time again.

“It’s hard enough for landlords to miss a couple of months of rent payments, but to have this go on for over a year, it has put property owners in financial peril,” Daniel Yukelson, executive director of a Los Angeles landlord group, told The Real Deal.

Even as many renters continue to struggle amid the economic recovery and high — but declining — unemployment claims, renter sentiment has broadly improved in recent weeks.

The government’s Household Pulse Survey found that 7.1 million renters were behind on housing payments in June, down from 8.4 million in March. Fewer people said they expected to be evicted in the next 60 days.

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