Allow not COVID related evictions

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This petition aims to solve issues, small-scale landlords face with tenants deliberately using the one-sided COVID-19 eviction ban to break the lease agreement and abuse current tenant law guidelines.     

Currently: there are state, federal, and local government laws around evictions. In California, governor Newsom took executive action authorizing local governments to halt evictions. The order prohibits landlords from evicting tenants for nonpayment of rent during the pandemic. While this was intended to help struggling tenants, the executive order is broad, unclear and it violates the provisions set forth in the US Constitution and it does not address the financial hardship and burden placed on the Landlords, who also have been affected by the current COVID situation. Most of the mom and pop landlords use the rental properties as their only source of income. Taking the only source of income from the Landlord and giving to the Tenants is unjust enrichment.  

Issues:

  1. Some tenants abuse the system. Tenants refuse to pay rent even when their income has not been affected by the COVID crisis. There are many cases where the tenant is not affected at all but jumps on the opportunity to exploit small landlords. This situation is known as “unjust enrichment”. For example, a tenant refuses to pay rent for months on end with no consequences due to the moratorium on evictions although their financial situation remains the same and they are able to pay. Some Tenants abuse the landlords strained position and break previously agreed upon lease agreements. With no fear of being evicted, tenants realize they can abuse the situation. This creates an opportunity for the Tenants to violate the law: they may sublet rooms, conduct illegal activities on the property or violate other provisions of the lease agreement and cause a potentially hazardous situation and fire hazard that puts the tenants, the neighbors, and the property in danger.  
  2. Local governments are not proactive or not qualified to come up with local regulations to solve the problem. For example, San Jose has a local moratorium that allows some "just cause" evictions while Placer County doesn't have any local ordinance.  Tenant laws were already complex and frustrating to deal with in the past. Now, with the contradicting executive orders/ eviction moratoriums, it makes it even more confusing and adversely affects the Landlords.    
  3. Tenant laws were already complex and frustrating to deal with, and now having this onset makes it even more confusing. The only way a landlord can legally evict a tenant in California is by going through the courts and winning an eviction lawsuit, or unlawful detainer suit. With the courts not accepting unlawful detainers and sheriff’s not enforcing the unlawful detainer, the Landlord’s rights are not addressed. Current law does not allow a Landlord to move into their own house. Many landlords are also renters themselves. If the Landlord does not receive rental income but has to pay the mortgage, property taxes, insurance maintenance on the property, and pay their own rent, the Landlord should be given the opportunity to move back into their own house and evict the non-paying tenant.   

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Proposal:

  1. Revise the one-sided Eviction Moratorium and make it fair for all parties.  
  2. Allow the courts to decide whether the eviction is valid or not. Allow “Just cause” eviction in order to promote residential stability and safety including allowing the opportunity for the Landlords to move into their own house after evicting the non-paying tenants.  
  3. Enforce the burden of proof on the tenants. The tenant must prove to the landlord with sufficient and verifiable documentation on how COVID affected their income and inability to pay rent. Tenants should face criminal charges and evicted if they provide fraudulent documentation.   

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Conclusion: The President, State, and local officials must protect all citizens and maintain a safe housing situation for all!

 



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