The foreclosure and eviction moratorium was a godsend for many families and individuals through the pandemic. While it did put some landlords in a tighter situation than they might have been used to, things are slated to return to normal (I’ll spare you the played out “new normal” phraseology) at the end of this month. That’s going to be a BIG shift for many people and institutions. Let’s take a look at what it’s going to mean.
What should you expect with the eviction and foreclosure moratorium ending on July 31st? Some experts say it could be chaos.
When Does the Eviction Moratorium Officially End?
The moratorium is scheduled to stay active through July 31st, 2021. After this date, it will go out of effect.
A Potential Pile-Up
One consequence of the eviction moratorium ending will be the effect it has on the case load hitting the court system. There’s little doubt that August will kick off a hectic period of time for anyone involved in foreclosure and/or eviction proceedings. So are they equipped to handle the influx? One lawyer says definitely not.
“Courts are going to be swamped,” said Margery Golant, a Broward-based mortgage lawyer who’s been studying the trends. “I believe we’re looking at the probability of overwhelmed courthouses.”
If that’s the case, it may mean landlords have to wait a little longer to see the eviction process through. If you run into a problem with a renter, remember, there’s more than one way to deal with a bad tenant. From selling the property without evicting (more on that at the bottom of this article) to a cash for keys deal, you DO have options.
What is The Government Doing?
Watching the moves coming from the White House can help us gauge what to expect. According to Yahoo News, the Biden-Harris administration has no plans to push the moratorium’s end date again (the legislation was slated to phase out at the end of June, but the Supreme Court voted in June to not accept this end date — instead pushing it out 30 days).
While renters shouldn’t expect another extension, the article reports on a federal effort to further infrastructure that will support relief fund dispersal — hopefully keeping eviction rates low. A White House official also told the Washington Examiner that the impending end of the moratorium has spurred an “all-out effort” to educate landlords and tenants about how they can keep getting aid after July 31st.
The Emergency Rental Assistance initiative over the last year has certainly provided a lot of aid, but dispersement remains an issue — hence the government’s focus on infrastructure.
As we know, more than a few people went the route of moving out of the city during COVID. But for those still renting or for those renting outside of city hubs, if you’re still struggling to make rent, it’s worth looking into programs and available funds that may be available to you.
One shining example of state relief is an Oklahoma program called Community Cares Partners. The program claims it will still have plenty of rental assistance funds available to folks even after July 31st. It’s just matter of applying — and doing so ASAP before 1.) funds run out, or 2.) application numbers surge, which could certainly happen once the eviction moratorium officially ends next week.
Do a little detective work; look into available programs and see what you can find.
Ohioans may find it useful to start their search by checking out resources available through the Home Relief Grant program.
Turbo Tenant provides some pretty helpful eviction moratorium information for landlords. Of course, as we near the end of this period, the future is of more importance than the past. Deciding on what your next steps will be in August if you have a tenant who has been unable to pay is the most important thing, but it’s worth noting, as Turbo Tenant does, that the eviction moratorium never actually barred landlords from evicting tenants wholesale.
Even right now, with the moratorium still in place, you can file to evict provided the reason isn’t the inability of an eligible renter to pay rent. That said, something like a cash for keys agreement in the right circumstances may be a much easier route for you to take.
When eviction proceedings open back up in August, landlords will have far greater ability to evict tenants. But as we all know, that can be a stressful, drawn out, and expensive experience. Many prefer to avoid it, and we don’t blame them.
An Extra Option for Landlords
If selling the property isn’t totally out of the question, it’s worth being aware of another option: Landlords have an additional rip cord at their disposal, and that is selling the rental to a trusted direct home buyer. While listing a home on the market or through Zillow Offers is a time-intensive hassle, selling to a local renovator is a quick and easy process. For those landlords who would rather cash in and move on, our family business even buys properties with active tenants still living there.
Watch us discuss the process of revitalizing neighborhoods with the Fox 28 news team!