The Supreme Court ruled on August 26, 2021 that the latest federal eviction moratorium extension was unlawful. The issue of eviction moratoriums during the COVID-19 pandemic has been widely debated. The eviction moratorium has found support in the CDC and renters - and significant opposition from property management companies and landlords. Earlier this month, the supreme court struck down the moratorium on evictions, stating it felt the CDC had exceeded its authority. In this post, we’ll discuss what has occurred in recent months, and what Property Managers should keep in mind regarding the eviction moratoriums moving forward.
The end of the eviction moratorium may still not mean everything for property managers is completely back to the status quo. On September 9th, AppFolio notified customers that they would no longer be reporting Landlord Tenant records on screening reports (i.e. eviction records) from the dates of March 1, 2020 through August 31st, 2021. This was done in an effort to reduce the risk for property managers in violating the eviction moratorium rules during the timeframe it was in effect. For property managers who are using screening reports that are not automatically excluding evictions during the time period of the eviction moratorium, they should carefully review regulations around what rental information can and cannot be included in their applicant screening decisions.
Additionally, housing providers should keep in mind that some state and local governments may still have their own eviction moratoria in place that may still be in effect, some examples being New York and California. Some groups have been pushing back on these extensions, such as New York landlords, who are arguing the New York eviction moratorium only made “superficial changes” to the original ruling after the supreme court struck down the original eviction moratorium.
Those in favor of the moratorium argue it is a crucial aid for renters during the unprecedented international pandemic and criticize the supreme court decision. Additionally the CDC’s primary argument for the eviction moratorium was to prevent the spread of COVID-19. “The federal eviction moratorium was a lifeline for millions of families, the last remaining federal protection keeping many safely and stably housed during the pandemic. The tragic, consequential, and entirely avoidable outcome of this ruling could be millions of people losing their homes this fall and winter, just as the delta variant ravages communities and lives,” said the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
Over the course of the pandemic, congress has allocated $46.55 billion in emergency rental assistance relief for both renters and housing providers alike, who are all struggling due to the impact of COVID-19. These funds were disbursed to the states and many counties, many of which have since created their own programs for disbursing aid to qualified applicants.
Users of AppFolio, Buildium, or Propertyware that would like advice on using these softwares for applicant screening can contact APM Help today for a free consultation with one of our property management experts. Ensuring compliance with Fair Housing and Trust Accounting rules reduces risk for property managers of fines and audits. Make sure you’re getting the most out of your accounting software with APM Help.