The primary reason for the eviction moratorium was a public health crisis. Fine. Then the public should bear the expense of this unfunded mandate. No other sector has been required to shoulder the burden alone. The government provides food stamps for food, and other public benefits to pay for necessities during the pandemic. Landlords are left to fend for themselves.
Some will argue that there are rental assistance programs available. Some argue that landlords are not cooperating. I’m here to tell you that getting tenants to cooperate is also a problem. Even when both parties do work together, the red tape, bureaucratic foul-ups, and delays are a nightmare. Ultimately, these programs provide a fraction of the back rent that is owed. We landlords will never see that money.
The inconvenient truth is that half of us are small, mom-and-pop operations. By the time we pay our mortgages, utilities, insurance, taxes and maintenance costs, we’re lucky if we break even.
The inconvenient truth is that, just as there are bad landlords, there are bad tenants. It’s time to rewrite these laws to ensure that they narrowly target the bad landlords, but also prevent bad tenants from exploiting us.
And it’s time to end the moratorium.
Paul Eichwedel, Chicago