Property owners and real-estate lobbyists are taking the Trump administration’s order banning evictions for financially struggling renters to court, launching multiple lawsuits at the federal and local level, according to a report from The Washington Post. Given congressional failures to provide a second stimulus bill, renters and landlords alike find themselves locked in court battles as the former seeks to avoid eviction and the latter aims to recoup business costs. Some landlords have even preemptively begun eviction proceedings for January after an update given by federal officials on Friday said that the eviction process could be started even while the eviction moratorium, which expires at the end of 2020, was still in effect. The National Council of State Housing Agencies predicted American renters may owe as much as $34 billion by the end of the eviction moratorium that invoked federal public health laws, arguing that homelessness would fuel the pandemic’s spread.
“To understand, ask yourself the question: Why would a landlord want to start eviction proceedings in October for an eviction that can’t happen until January? The answer: to pressure, scare and intimidate renters into leaving sooner,” said Diane Yentel, president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.