Put this in the better late than never category. In a divided decision handed down late yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did not have authority to implement a nationwide eviction moratorium. Although, the court stopped short of lifting the ban immediately. So, expect the ban to expire at the end of July.
“This is a massive victory for property rights,” says NAR President Charlie Oppler. “For more than a year, mom-and-pop property owners have been pushed toward financial ruin as they upkeep their properties and pay their taxes and mortgages with no income of their own. With the pandemic waning and the economy improving, it is time to restore the housing sector to its healthy, former function. Property owners also deserved this absolute clarity [about the eviction moratorium] from our federal court system regarding property rights in America to avoid similar financial harm in the future.”
This decision about the eviction moratorium comes on the heels of pushback from many Realtor Associations and property rights advocates around the nation. The Georgia, Alabama and Florida Realtor Associations filed lawsuits in federal court. In Florida, they went a step further to demand clarification about lease expirations. “Once a lease expires, there was no clarity around whether the tenant could continue to receive these protections,” says Florida Realtors General Counsel.
The eviction moratorium has been in place for nine months and has particularly harmed small mom-and-pop landlords. It is set to expire at the end of July.
In May, a U.S. federal judge ruled the moratorium unconstitutional. However, the judge issued a stay of the ruling pending appeal, stopping short of bringing relief to landlords.