Coronavirus help: Landlords urged to freeze rents, halt evictions by their own trade groups

News

California landlords are being urged by major trade groups to freeze rents and stop evictions due to the economic wallop of coronavirus.

California Apartment Association said Monday, March 23, it has told its member landlords that through May 31 they should freeze rents; stop evictions “absent extraordinary circumstances’; wave late-payment fees for impacted residents; and offer flexible repayment options for those late rents.

“Communicate with residents proactively that you are available to assist them and want to work with them to ensure they remain housed,” the association told landlords.

The trade group’s action follows numerous California municipalities proposing eviction moratoriums to lower housing anxieties among the renter community.

Twenty-nine California cities and counties — including 17 in Southern California — passed eviction bans in the past week due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, according to the California Apartment Association. In addition, 14 others have bans under consideration, using authority granted to them in an executive order Gov. Gavin Newsom issued last week.

But that leaves renters unprotected in at least 500 other California cities and counties. Some tenant activists criticized the governor for not issuing a statewide eviction moratorium.

On Saturday, Newsom said in a coronavirus briefing his staff has been reviewing the issue for several days and may announce further action by Tuesday.

“As it relates to how (local officials are) dealing with evictions — not only for tenants of residences but also for tenants of commercial establishments — if they’re not meeting the moment, we certainly can strengthen our provisions,” Newsom said.

The apartment association has previously fought many high-profile battles with governments over various kinds of rent controls.

Today’s economic challenges puts landlords and tenants in similar straights. The stakes are high: Typical California rents for a two-bedroom unit run $1,856 a month, according to Apartment List. Nationally, it’s $979.

Coronavirus-mandated business limitations and closings have already cost thousands of Californians their jobs. An end to layoffs and income drops for workers paid per assignment or by commission are nowhere in sight. How many Californias will make rent payments is a huge question.

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“The last thing Californians need when they are struggling to maintain stability is to lose the safe place they call home,” the association’s statement said. “The challenge before us is one like …read more

Source:: Dailynews – News

      

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