One of President Biden’s first official actions was to extend the eviction moratorium through March 31. Since then, it was extended several times, with the last extension date of July 31, aim to be the last one. Owners cannot evict tenants if they have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Renters protected from eviction during the coronavirus pandemic will lose their eviction protections at the end of July if the federal government doesn’t act on extending the suspension again. The administration approved assisting renters & owners financially with the American Rescue Plan, President Biden’s 1.9 trillion stimulus package for covid relief.
A closer look into the Moratorium
The eviction moratorium is not a solution; it’s a policy set to give renters and homeowners “breathing room” during the pandemic state of emergency. The federal administration’s protection to tenants allows them not to pay rent and not get evicted if they meet the administration’s guidelines. But unpaying tenants still accumulate debt for missing rent, and property owners can still file for eviction. In Florida, for example, there were 47,484 evictions filed to the court during the 2020 pandemic months. A 50% drop-off compared to equivalent months in 2019 (94,415). While this big drop-off for total evictions implies a large group of tenants can expect an eviction notice when it becomes possible, it isn’t large enough, especially when rental vacancy is in an all-time low in Florida of 7.3%. Evictions are not a major issue to the Florida real estate market, comprising in 2019 only 1.5% (124,903) of the nearly 8 million households in Florida. The US Census Bureau estimates that more than 400,000 Floridian residents are late on rent — and nearly a quarter of them believe they are likely to be evicted within two months.
Late payment for rent gone up
Estimating the number of renters nationwide who could face eviction is complicated. Current estimates for rent debt vary due to the fluid circumstances of people & the economy during the pandemic. Surveys from ApartmentList.com of 4000 renters and owners, from April 2020 until August 2020, found that around 30% don’t pay rent on time, with only 10% missing rent by the end of the month ( 5% made partial payment & 5% didn’t pay at all). And the NMHC Rent Payment Tracker for months September 2020 until June 2021 found that by the end of the month, 94% have made full payment, a decrease of 1.8% year by year in comparison. Even during unprecedented times like the year 2020 was, the demand for housing remains strong. Human beings don’t want to become homeless. “Today’s data is the most recent indicator of a strengthening economy, a recovering job market, and robust demand in the apartment industry,” said Doug Bibby, NMHC President. “Having weathered the worst of the pandemic, we can say with increasing confidence that the outlook for the multifamily sector is as positive as it has been in years.” Most people continue to pay on time, and most of those who are late, pay the total amount or partially, with only around 5% don’t pay at all.
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