President Joe Biden is being sued over “serious constitutional concerns” over the renewal of the eviction moratorium – a move that could prove to be disastrous for landlords.
The lawsuit against Biden was filed by a realtor association.
On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an order preventing landlords from evicting their tenants — a policy originally passed by the Trump administration as Americans were suddenly forced out of work due to unprecedented lockdowns.
Here we are, more than a year later, however, and Biden’s admin still somehow thinks that Americans should not have to pay rent despite the fact that the majority have returned to work.
According to the agency, a person violating the order “may be subject to a fine of no more than $100,000 or one year in jail, or both, if the violation does not result in a death, or a fine of no more than $250,000 or one year in jail, or both if the violation results in a death.”
In response, the Alabama Association of Realtors argued in a lawsuit filed Wednesday against the Department of Health and Human Services that the CDC’s order suspends the rule of law.
“The CDC caved to the political pressure by extending the moratorium, without providing any legal basis. In substance and effect, the CDC’s latest action is an extension of the same unlawful ban on evictions that has been in effect since September 2020.”
The group of realtors also suggested in the lawsuit that the CDC’s decision was due to political reasons.
“The Supreme Court ruled that only the Legislative Branch — not the Executive — had authority to extend the moratorium. Critically, the CDC knew that the White House had repeatedly stated that new legislation was necessary to extend the moratorium, given the absence of executive legal authority. Congress tried, but failed, to enact a legislative extension in reliance on those representations. Yet rather than accept that as the final word under our constitutional system (which the White House initially appeared to do), the CDC extended the moratorium anyway.”
“And the CDC did so for nakedly political reasons — to ease the political pressure, shift the blame to the courts for ending the moratorium, and use litigation delays to achieve a policy objective. The Court should block the August 3 extension on an expedited basis to relieve the nation’s property owners of the burden of complying with this unlawful agency action.”
The suit noted that the United States District Court for the District of Columbia explained in May that granting an unlimited amount of legislative power to the CDC would “raise serious constitutional concerns,” including the legality of “such a broad delegation of power unbounded by clear limitations or principles.”
One landlord affected by the moratorium, says he is out $24,000 in unpaid rent from tenants, while one renter bought three boats over the course of the eviction moratorium.
Buddy Shoup, who owns 35 properties across the state of North Carolina, said that he has been forced to maintain the properties and hemorrhage costs while the federal government slowly dribbles out rental assistance, of which only 7% has been doled out to renters in need.
“[The money] was used, they went and bought brand new boats, but I mean, you know in a time of crisis like what we’ve been through, you’re evidently getting money from somewhere, but it’s not getting to me,” said Shoup.
Those very same tenants allegedly contacted Shoup when their air-conditioning failed in the middle of the summer.
Shoup was legally required to make the $4,500 repair on the residence but said he did not receive any money from the tenants or the government to cover the additional cost.
“It goes way beyond the loss of rental income, we’re still bound by county rules and laws,” added Shoup. “We have to maintain the property.”
Shoup said that he oftentimes sends tenants who cannot pay rent to local programs, which are funded by city and county taxpayer dollars, in order to acquire some form of assistance.
Yet, when it comes to federal rental assistance, the North Carolina landlord said he hasn’t seen any indication that the money is reaching struggling renters. Shoup’s story is not a unique one, either, as landlords across the country are being forced to deal with similar struggles.
Author: Dallas Cass