Eviction Moratoriums Are Fine, As Long As They Come With Aid, CRE Says In Bisnow Survey
Commercial real estate professionals don’t necessarily oppose eviction moratoriums, so long as they come with some kind of financial aid for landlords, according to a Bisnow survey.
Bisnow surveyed 1,042 commercial real estate professionals between Nov. 10 and Nov. 13 to find out how the industry views the results of the election. Among the questions, participants were asked what they thought about federal and state eviction moratoriums, and they had the ability to select multiple answers.
Half of all survey respondents said eviction moratoriums should be balanced with financial support for landlords, while only 7% said eviction moratoriums should be immediately eliminated.
When the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES, Act was signed into law in March, it introduced a 120-day eviction moratorium on any property that had a federally backed mortgage. The moratorium expired on July 24, with an additional 30-day notice period requirement for tenants to vacate.
In early September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a separate order proclaiming a nationwide residential eviction moratorium. Tenants invoking the order need to demonstrate that they have sought government assistance to make their rental payments and declare they are unable to pay rent because of pandemic-related hardships. The CDC order will expire on Dec. 31.
“The eviction moratorium has caused undue burden on landlords, many of whom that I work with are not wealthy but using the rental property as a retirement plan,” a Bisnow survey respondent wrote. “Congress should be ashamed at the half measures and refusal to rectify obvious oversights in the current legislation.”
Respondents also voiced opposition to blanket eviction moratoriums on a national scale. About 33% of survey respondents said eviction moratoriums should be decided at the state or municipal level, not by the federal government.
Some U.S. cities and states have introduced their own residential and commercial eviction moratoriums outside of the federal orders. In September, California extended its moratorium on commercial evictions until March, and New York City announced last month that it had extended the state's moratorium on commercial evictions and foreclosures until Jan. 1.
The National Multifamily Housing Council has consistently opposed the federal eviction moratoriums, arguing that they fail to meet renters’ long-term financial needs and also don’t address the financial pressures and obligations of rental property owners.
“Without mortgage forbearance protections and protections from other property-level financial obligations such as property taxes, insurance payments, and utility service, the stability of the entire rental housing sector is thrown into question,” NMHC President Doug Bibby said in response to the CDC eviction moratorium announcement in September.
An additional 20% of survey respondents said eviction moratoriums should be phased out, while 13% said that they are too widespread. Only 7% said they should be eliminated immediately.
“There have been far too many initiatives for rent control and overall control of rental properties by the government. I have recently purchased my first multifamily property and am worried about the future,” a respondent wrote.