The acting heads of the FTC and the CFPB sent joint notification letters to the nation’s largest apartment landlords, which collectively own more than 2 million units, reminding them of their obligations under the ongoing national eviction moratorium put in place as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. These letters were summarized in a press release. Acting Chairwoman Slaughter and Acting Director Uejio recently issued a joint statement making clear that the agencies are monitoring eviction practices for compliance with the law. The FTC also issued guidance about the moratorium for both landlords and tenants.
While landlords should be following the law, this joint notice is a good reminder that landlords are also suffering under the weight of the pandemic. Nearly half of all units where rent is late are owned by small operators and landlords, especially small landlords, are over a barrel. The landlords cannot collect late rent and they cannot evict for nonpayment. We noted this point in several recent blog posts,
Landlords May be Stocking Up at the Same Food Pantries as their Tenants (May 3, 2021); It’s not just tenants that are struggling, it’s landlords, too (Oct. 19, 2020); and Landlords Feel the Pain of COVID-19 (Sept. 5, 2020).
Eric J. Ellman is Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Legal Affairs at the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA) in Washington, DC. He also served for eight months as Interim President and CEO of the Association. More