16 Aug Mom and pop landlords ask LA city leaders to end eviction moratorium
In March 2020, the eviction moratorium was necessary to fight the spread of COVID-19, but with life slowly returning to normal the Los Angeles eviction moratorium continues.
Mom and pop landlords in Los Angeles recently met with city leaders at LA City Hall to discuss ending the eviction moratorium that most landlords and economists agree has been extended for far too long.
“Landlords are not seeking to kick families out of their homes and add to the homelessness crisis. What we want to do is evict bad housing policies,” – Diane Robertson (LA County Landlord)
Like many mom-and-pop landlords in Los Angeles, Diane Robertson worked hard and saved for the down payment on her duplex, but with no rental income since 2020, and rising mortgage interest rates, it’s becoming next to impossible for her to survive financially.
Her story is not unique as an estimated 20.5 million rental units in the United States are reported to be owned by mom-and-pop landlords, especially in Los Angeles which also has a diverse body of landlords including people of color, indigenous and black landlords.
The average mom-and-pop landlord owns about three properties, earns under $97,000 per year, and with most small landlords not earning income since 2020, it’s easy to see how dire the situation is that these landlords face.
From Pandemic to Eviction Tsunami?
City leaders know that continuing the eviction moratorium is potentially postponing an eviction “tsunami” from hitting Los Angeles but delaying an eviction wave is coming at the expense of small mom-and-pop landlords.
Sadly, one common theme at the meeting was reports of tenants who have continued living in their rentals rent-free since 2020, even if didn’t have COVID-19 hardships.
These reports of tenets benefitting from the eviction moratorium are hardly unique, but they are concerning, and it’s unlikely that these tenants who are behind on their rents will ever truly be able to catch up on the back rent that they owe.
Some Tenants Live Rent-Free While Landlords Struggle
Many LA tenants who have benefitted from the eviction moratorium have been able to live rent-free for two years and enjoy ‘play money’ while mom and pop landlords have struggled financially because their costs have only increased due to inflation.
Yes, solutions are needed to keep tenants from ending up on the street, but those solutions can’t continue to come at the expense of mom-and-pop landlords because the recession and collapse of the real estate market will be a lot worse if these landlords go under.
When Will the Eviction Moratorium Finally End?
The question on the minds of every landlord at the recent LA City Council meeting was will mom and pop landlords finally get a date for when the eviction moratorium is going to end?
John Lee, a City Council member introduced a motion for determining the end of the Eviction Moratorium but that motion failed as the City Council voted 11-1 to keep the declaration, with Lee as the only holdout.
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