The other side of the California eviction moratorium, property owner speaks out

Local News

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The California eviction moratorium that began at the beginning of the pandemic is over.

People who owe back rent have to pay. Not the whole amount but a quarter of their debt, and that’s for starters.

This eviction moratorium hasn’t affected only renters but also property owners. Today, these owners are finally able to begin the process of recovering rent and evicting tenants who failed to pay and continue to refuse to pay their rent.

Property owners whose bills did not stop even though the income from their rental unit did.. can begin to recover.

“They can expect 25% of what’s owed by the end of September,” Fawn Dessy a real estate attorney said. “If they don’t they can file an eviction action based on the non payment of the 25%. Not the full amount of rent.”

Pete Pankey owns more than 100 homes. He said the government put the mandate into effect without understanding how it would hurt landlords, many of them mom and dad investors.

“They weren’t handed these things,” Pankey said. “They built this up over a period of years. So this is their nest egg and it’s being taken away by government mandates. The problem isn’t so much COVID itself but the way the government is handling it.”

Dessy echoes a similar point, laws can become unbalanced.

“They swing one way then swing other way,” Dessy said. “We need to bring it back to center. We need to realize we need to encourage rental housing and we need to realize we need to encourage the growth of low income housing and we’re not doing that in California. It’s going to backfire.”

Dessy said in her entire career as a real estate attorney, she’s never seen people behave this way.

“Maybe that’s a reflection of the pandemic and people being locked in and what not, Dessy said. “We’ve seen some horrifying situations with abuses of people who are occupying.”

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