Evictions put on hold: How city and county rules help out-of-work tenants behind on rent | Town Square | Palo Alto Online |

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Evictions put on hold: How city and county rules help out-of-work tenants behind on rent

Original post made on Mar 31, 2020

Santa Clara County and several local cities passed emergency laws temporarily banning evictions last week, all of which are about to be put to the test.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, March 31, 2020, 5:09 PM

Comments (5)

2 people like this
Posted by Hmm
a resident of Professorville
on Mar 31, 2020 at 7:24 pm

It is very nice to help those in need at this time of crisis. Though, it is going to be difficult for people who have been used to getting paid in cash. There are many projects that are done with verbal agreements and with cash payments ie. yard work, babysitting, and low-skilled work. A lot of people will not qualify for the corona relief and a small amount of money will not pay their rent more than a month. It will put landlords in a very awkward situation.

5 people like this
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 31, 2020 at 8:11 pm

This is an impending mess -- a REAL crisis of housing. Studies a few years ago showed that most households in the U.S. have little in terms of savings. The study determined that a majority of Americans were living month-to-month.

In the Silicon Valley, we have a population where many residents are "house poor" while others are renters who are living month-to-month.

While there are mortgage moratoriums offered by major banks and mortgage companies, renters are quite so blessed. Preventing eviction is one thing. However, the renter -- many of which are now temporarily unemployed -- must come up with more money in the long run (once things return to "normal").

Here is the conundrum: If a Silicon Valley renter is living month-to-month, then that renter has little to no money to repay back rent that will be owed. Where do they come up with that rent?

Sadly, landlords often cannot afford to simply forego rent either.

One potential solution is simple:

Mortgages: The state works with banks and mortgage companies to suspend mortgages -- interest free. The principle would still be owed. However, the final end-of-note date would be delayed by the number of months in moratorium.

Renters: If a property is still being paid for, then the state could insist that the moratorium be extended to renters too. In other words, if the bank allows the property owner to have three months of grace for rent, then the owner would (in turn) offer the tenants that same grace period.

If a property owner has already paid off the property and owns it outright, then the state could step in and assist financially through a property tax credit in the amount of reduced monthly rent that would be passed down to tenants.

I'm not sure if there is a simple solution though. If this shelter-in-place extends through May, then May will be an awfully painful months for many families in the Bay Area (and around the nation). What do you do if 25% of renters in the Bay Area simply cannot afford to pay rent (or back rent)?

Like this comment
Posted by common sense
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 31, 2020 at 11:18 pm

City should also forgive or delay utility bills to those in need.

Like this comment
Posted by Mary
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 1, 2020 at 11:49 am

@Nayell those are great ideas!

3 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2020 at 1:00 pm

Unfortunately, everyone seems to assume that inability to pay rent is the only reason for eviction. While that is true for most, there are always a few people who insist on behaving badly, and who are being evicted because of bad behavior. It would be unfortunate if the law protects bad actors from eviction.

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