NYC Landlord Being Evicted While Delinquent Tenants Live Rent-Free
From Hot Air by JAZZ SHAW
I’ve been writing about the looming eviction crisis since early in the summer. This entirely predictable disaster has been obvious to anyone who has been paying attention ever since the pandemic broke out. A well-intentioned “eviction moratorium” effort by the government to prevent renters from finding themselves out on the streets after government shutdowns eliminated their jobs did little or nothing to prevent the damages sustained by landlords. It also never answered what would be done about all the back rent that would come due when the moratoriums expired. These challenges are already taking their toll in New York City, and, in one case, we see a twist on the usual depressing tales. One landlord and owner of a modest apartment building in the Inwood neighborhood of the Big Apple is now facing eviction himself. The reason is that some of his tenants are simply refusing to pay their rent even if they kept their jobs or other sources of income through the pandemic. (NY Post)
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David Howson, now 88, has long used rental income from his 10-unit building at 9 West 129th St. to help pay for the co-op apartment in Inwood, where he’s lived for decades. Now, out more than $40,000 and suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, he’s had trouble paying his own maintenance charges and is himself facing the boot, his family claims.
The alleged deadbeats in Howson’s building will get another break, courtesy of Albany’s largesse. The legislature is expected to pass a new eviction moratorium that will keep wayward tenants in their apartments until May 2021.
“We have nothing. We are completely destitute,” daughter Jessica Howson, who manages her father’s affairs, told The Post.
The majority of the debt owed to Howson is being attributed to one apartment in the ten-unit building he maintains. The tenant in that apartment isn’t someone who lost their job due to the pandemic and could no longer afford the $926 monthly rent. She’s a woman who inherited the rent-controlled apartment from her husband in 2016 and has never paid the rent since the day she took possession. That debt has now stacked up into the tens of thousands of dollars. Social Services has paid Howson a piddling $215 per month on her behalf, but he can’t afford to soak up that much of a loss indefinitely.
Making matters worse is that groups advocating for tenants’ rights had taken up the woman’s cause on a pro bono basis and battered Howson in court when he attempted to sue for the missed payments and evict her. The agency representing the deadbeat renter has told Howson’s daughter (who represents his interests because he has Alzheimer’s) that the tenant “has a ‘right’ to remain in the apartment rent-free.”
We’ve previously discussed the challenges that smaller landlords are facing all over the country. When you think of landlords, you probably picture large, faceless corporations in the investment banking sector who can suck up these sorts of losses, at least for a while. But the reality is that nearly half of all rental units in the United States are owned by small business operators or individual owners, many of whom are retired and rely on their rental properties to keep them afloat. Mr. Howson definitely falls into that category.
From 0censor and Timothy Benton
This is dealing with just New York, but this is going on across this nation, but what happens in May of 2021 when this is dropped? Are we going to look at massive evictions, where renters are suddenly faced with paying off between 9 months and a year of rent? And why was this imposed on landlords when the government refused to give them grants to pay for their missed rent?
Considering the number of people in one state is staggering, how will we fix this across the nation? There is no state, many already suffering from a lack of taxes drawn in due to people being unemployed, which has the funds to pay for these types of losses, so is the federal government going to step in, and what type of money would this be?
We are faced with an epidemic of homeless come in May if the government doesn’t fix this, yet they are sitting mum, hoping if they don’t acknowledge there is a problem, it just may go away.
While what the government did may have seemed noble, what it has done in the future could be more catastrophic to our economy than COVID ever thought of being. This will be coming to us shortly.
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