In the past 13 months, there’s been a great deal of discussion about how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted renters and induced great financial hardship. As of March 2021, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that nearly 10 million Americans are behind on their rent payments.
More than a year ago, Congress signed the CARES Act, which included an eviction moratorium beginning on March 27, 2020. Covered tenants could not be forced to vacate, and landlords could not file notices to vacate properties until August 23, 2020.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky then signed a declaration on September 4, 2020. This new declaration covered a narrower set of eviction protections, but it still protected renters unable to pay through December 31, 2020. It was then extended through January 31, 2021. And again through March 31…and then again through June 30.
Although these practices and protections are incredibly necessary for the health and safety of our country, landlords are now the ones in a difficult position. For the last year, they have been absorbing the burden, and many aren’t sure how much longer they can do it.
How Landlords Have Gotten Creative
- Rental forgiveness
While landlords generally aim to generate profits, some have cut their losses and temporarily lowered rates in order to meet their short-term financial obligations and not default on their loan.
- Postponement of payment
Some landlords have allowed tenants to postpone payments to be paid at a later date. The tenants will eventually pay either in a lump sum or in payments that are spread out in a set schedule.
- Short-term financing
Other landlords have opted to allow tenants to repay their missed payments when they receive government stimulus funds. They have also provided options to extend leasing agreements and then make payments at the end of the lease.