September 19, 2022 |
Updated September 19, 2022
Industry organizations support compensating rental housing owners affected by federal eviction moratorium via friend-of-the-court briefs.
Earlier this month, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA) each filed an amicus brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. This comes roughly four months after a federal judge granted the U.S. government’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit from the National Apartment Association (NAA) to reclaim financial damages due to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) eviction moratorium. NAA is presently appealing the dismissal.
NAA filed the lawsuit in July 2021, seeking to recover $26.6 billion in debt not covered by federal rental assistance.
“NAR is interested in this case because the nationwide eviction moratorium… substantially harmed the nation’s rental-property owners,” according to its filing. “Although COVID-19 has presented challenges for all Americans, the CDC’s eviction moratorium unfairly singled out owners of rental properties to bear the costs of the agency’s pandemic response, exacerbating the challenges that these individuals already faced. For nearly a year, the moratorium deprived property owners of the right to evict non-paying tenants. As a result, millions of owners, particularly individual ‘mom and pop’ owners, were denied both the freedom to use their properties for other purposes and the rental income they depend on to pay their mortgages, maintenance costs, and other property-related expenses.”
NAHB denounced the eviction moratorium as well: “The right of eviction, and the related right to replace a tenant who is not paying rent with one who will, is the principal mechanism for property owners to avoid economic losses resulting from a tenant’s failure to pay.” The CDC order prevented property owners from those rights.
NCLA states the CDC’s eviction moratorium was an overreach of power and was the unlawful act of the whole federal government. The nonprofit organization calls for the government to repay the “financial havoc the CDC wreaked.”
Join the Lawsuit
Apartment owners have an opportunity to join NAA's legal action to recover damages housing providers suffered under the CDC’s eviction moratorium.