The order elicited protest from NAR as it’s unclear if property owners will bear the cost of the ban. Trump ordered the CDC to oversee it “to slow the spread of COVID-19.”
ORLANDO, Fla. – President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order to half most evictions for the rest of 2020. In announcing the change on the White House website, he said, “I want to make it unmistakably clear that I’m protecting people from evictions.”
The order gives the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) oversight of the eviction moratorium, “in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.” The ban goes into effect on Sept. 4, and the CDC plans to post the eviction moratorium rules then. In the meantime, a version of those rules – not yet official – is posted online.
Shortly after the announcement, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) issued a statement along with CCIM and the Institute of Real Estate Management, saying the order “virtually halts all U.S. evictions through the end of the year.”
“While NAR appreciates and is supportive of administration efforts to ensure struggling Americans can remain in their homes, this order as-written will bring chaos to our nation’s critical rental housing sector and put countless property owners out of business,” says NAR President Vince Malta. “Any eviction moratorium must also come with rental assistance for property owners, the vast majority of which are mom-and-pop investors (who) are still required to meet their financial obligations even as they cease to receive income on their properties.”
Malta says in the statement that the eviction moratorium will “bring more havoc to our economy, not less.”
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) issued a similar statement, saying it could “result in unforeseen negative economic consequences without dedicated funding for rental assistance.”
Both NAR and NAHB pushed Congress and Trump to work together on a new coronavirus relief package that protects both renters and property owners.
“Absent rental income, … small mom and pop property owners must continue to pay their mortgage, property taxes, employees and cleaning/maintenance services,” says NAHB President Chuck Fowke. “And without sufficient rental income, a number of properties would be pushed into foreclosure.
While the details are not yet official, the outline from the White House includes some insight on how the eviction ban will work, saying, “American renters who meet certain conditions cannot be evicted if they have affirmatively exhausted their best efforts to pay rent, seek government rental assistance, and are likely to become homeless due to eviction.”
The order makes it clear that renters who benefit from the ban “are still obligated to pay accrued rent or housing payments in accordance with their lease or contract.”
In addition, “Landlords are still permitted to pursue eviction against tenants committing criminal acts, threatening the health or safety of other residents, and damaging property, among other offenses.”
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