Rent Relief Expiring - What It Means for Landlords
Many of the rent relief programs and unemployment benefits that were passed in March are now expiring in California. What does this mean for landlords in terms of risk?
A study by the Aspen Institute, a Washington-based think tank, predicted that between 4.1 million and 5.4 million renters in California could be facing eviction. The study took into account massive job losses among renter households and the U.S. Census Bureau surveys of tenants’ ability to pay housing costs.
This means that some landlords could be facing financial hardships in terms of vacancies and unrepaid rent. As part of the Congressional coronavirus relief plan, many landlords had the option to defer mortgage payments. But these bills are becoming due too. Many think that a wave of evictions = a wave of foreclosures.
In Los Angeles, landlords are not allowed to remove tenants who have lost income due to the pandemic. But they can still file eviction cases and renters would have to prove they qualify for relief at trial. Los Angeles rules also state that affected tenants have a year after the expiration of the state of emergency to repay past due rent. Therefore, landlords could potentially be unable to enforce the collection of rent payments well into 2021.
Reinstatement of the contract rent and acceleration of unpaid, accrued rent at the contract rate is important because it provides the landlord with initial action steps to enforce against a tenant.
When considering a tenant's request for continued rent relief versus eviction, it is important to perform due diligence.
A thorough review of the existing lease terms should be reviewed and scrutinized to see what opportunities there are to tighten up language for the benefit of the landlord.
A skilled and knowledgeable professional who can work with landlords, tenants, and even lenders will be extremely valuable during this time.
If you are having trouble navigating what you can and cannot do as rent relief programs expire, need assistance assessing if your lease is up to code, or need otherwise assistance navigating this new world of landlord-tenant-financial relationships, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org