Should the CDC be able to block evictions?


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The CDC made a nation wide move on 09/04/2020 to block landlords from being able to evict tenants for non-payment of rent.

The primary reason, and the one the CDC leveraged, was that pushing these people outside would give more paths for the COVID-19 virus to spread. As dubious is that sounds that is their story and they are sticking to it.

The obvious benefit, and the one the various state and federal entities were using to gain political favor for granting protections, was that non-payment of rent for unemployed and underemployed people due to the pandemic couldn’t result in them becoming homeless.

But there was no verification process that a tenant or landlord could complete that said, even in the barest of terms, that the non-payment was due to COVID hardship. The landlords expenses were not mitigated and anyone for any reason could take a residential space with the CDC’s blessings that they could not be kicked out.

The ban, like many COVID programs, expanded far beyond its original scope. States followed suite or preemptively worked to keep these rules in place, leaving landlords who have to pay taxes, utilities, maintenance, and all the other costs of having property out to dry with no way to recoup the actual spends that are flowing out of their accounts.

Telling someone they can get their money eventually and seek it in court eventually does nothing to refill an empty account. It does nothing to cover bills when they come due.

And now, the studies that were used to justify the bans as having ‘saved lives’ are under suspicion. Cure worse than the disease? This may in fact be the case for this policy. The lost revenue for owners is astronomical. The government isn’t even taking their simplest step of issuing a tax relief credit or other cost reduction item to the owners, that they write off the mandated loss in revenue from the governments mandated collection of revenue because it was their call.

Is property even your property if you cannot exercise the fair discharge of tenants who do not honor agreements? None of this to say that landlords should cruelly kick out the unemployed, but the government should have had a few steps beyond, Step 1. No evictions, where they disrupted revenue streams extremely. Something they already did with their other Step 1. Close Everything for the proverbial “2 Weeks” that turned into way more than that.