Dan Faller, founder and chairman of the Apartment Owners Association of California, said some residents have been taking advantage of the moratorium.
“They’re stealing from apartment owners, and it’s legal,” Faller told The Epoch Times.
Faller said he was frustrated with tenants using the moratorium as an excuse to avoid paying rent and save money. He gave an example of a young man who told his landlord he was saving money for a house and wouldn’t be paying rent.
Even with knowledge of tenants taking advantage of the moratorium, landlords are unable to evict them, Faller said.
“They can’t do anything about it,” he said. “He’ll move out when we have the opportunity to evict him.
“The big owners have the big buildings; they have enough units that spread it out, and they can stay in business. But it’s the older couple who owns a duplex or a triplex. … They save their money to buy it, and they were counting on it being their retirement, and now the tenants don’t pay.”
Gov. Gavin Newsom on May 10 announced a plan to repay property owners 100 percent of rent owed from tenants that qualify for rental assistance due to COVID-19. However, more than a month later, Faller said the money hasn’t arrived.
In a letter addressed to Newsom on June 17, the Apartment Owners Association advocated for the rights of landlords, urging the state to move past rent control regulations.
“Why are our lifesavings being redistributed to others?” Faller said in the letter. “We cannot afford to cover another family’s living expense. We’ll eventually lose all of our life’s savings. We have already lost a large amount that we will never recover.”
The letter was also sent to 25 mayors of the state’s largest cities.
While it’s unclear whether Orange County cities will vote on an emergency eviction moratorium ordinance, the city of Costa Mesa voted to suspend the moratorium in April.
The Costa Mesa City Council voted in favor of revoking the moratorium on April 6, after City Manager Lori Ann Farrell Harrison said she’s heard from property owners, business owners, and landlords to end the moratorium.
Harrison said the city was seeing economic improvements at the time, and in removing the moratorium, businesses could receive payments and continue moving forward.
The ordinance was passed and gave tenants a 120-day period to allow them to pay past-due rent.
California’s eviction moratorium for renters is set to expire June 30, but some cities and counties are passing emergency ordinances to extend it.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on June 7 extended the city and county’s moratorium on evictions until September. Its ordinance seeks to extend renter protection from evictions, non-payment of rent, and late fees.
The San Diego County Board of Supervisors on May 4 voted in favor of rent control regulations and the prohibition of evictions for all rental units beginning June 3 and lasting for 60 days.
Meanwhile, the California Apartment Association (CAA) is leading a grassroots effort to urge lawmakers to reject an eviction moratorium extension.
“I beg you to please end this … moratorium this June 30,” a housing provider wrote to lawmakers in a statement. “I have three separate tenants that are working and obviously not affected by the COVID situation but decided to take advantage and decided not to pay their rents. This has to end.”