On August 26, 2021, the Supreme Court in a 6-3 decision upheld the District Court’s judgment to vacate the CDC’s nationwide eviction moratorium and to prevent another extension. The Court argues that the CDC has been given “broad authority to take whatever measures it deems necessary to control the spread of COVID-19, including the moratorium.” Previously, the Court allowed the moratorium to stand to potentially prevent the interstate spread of COVID-19. However, thanks to unprecedented vaccination efforts as well as billions of dollars in relief funds, the Court can no longer justify the CDC’s moratorium. The Court also recognizes that the moratorium puts landlords across the country at risk of irreparable harm from the lack of rent payments and no guarantee of eventual recovery. Justice Kavanaugh, a deciding voter in the June moratorium decision, previously indicated that he would not allow the moratorium without Congressional approval. While the Biden Administration rallied to gain support from Congress, there were not enough Congressional votes, thus prompting Supreme Court Justices to act.
Still Up to States to Extend or Pass Eviction Moratoriums
Perhaps realizing the ultimate outcome of the Court’s decision, Biden called upon state and local governments to extend or pass their own eviction moratoriums. While the nationwide moratorium was struck down, Governor Gavin Newson reassured that California’s eviction protections are still in place, much to the dismay of many landlords who are still suffering. Newsom’s statement might also hint at a possible extension, though this decision may ultimately be decided by the recall election approaching on September 14th. Unfortunately, landlords in California must wait until the state eviction moratorium expires. Many are facing nightmare scenarios where they cannot evict abusive and disruptive tenants in a timely fashion. Some landlords find their tenants completely disappearing, leaving them to figure out how to deal with the unpaid rent.
Tenant Debt and Relief in Los Angeles
UCLA’s department of urban planning suggests that L.A. County alone faces tenant debt upwards of $3 billion. This coupled with overwhelmed assistance programs and the massive amounts of fraud, most of that debt may loom over debtors’ heads for quite some time. Fortunately, relief may be on the way as the Los Angeles City Council approved additional funds for the rent relief program; however, there will probably be an overwhelming number of applications. The City of Los Angeles is still paying out funds from the previous relief program with many still waiting to receive help they were promised.
Ask Before You Act
Kendall Law continues its commitment to monitoring ongoing changes at the Federal, State and Local levels regarding the eviction moratorium. Before you take action on any landlord-tenant matters, you need to understand the law first. Laws at different jurisdiction levels can vary from each other or change based on recent developments. Please reach out to us first to explore your best course of action.
Kendall Law is here to help. Contact us or call (310) 619-4941.