Study Finds DC Small Landlords Devastated by COVID-19
Landlords rally at courthouse burdened with record vacancies, delinquencies, safety concerns
WASHINGTON, February 22, 2021 (Newswire.com) - The Small Multifamily Owners Association will hold a rally and press conference on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, at 11 a.m., in front of DC Superior Court, located at 500 Indiana Avenue, NW.
SMOA, a trade group representing D.C. landlords, is holding the event to demand that the DC Council give housing providers access to the Courts and to release the results of a recent study on the impact of COVID-19 on housing providers.
"Many of D.C.'s small landlords are being devastated by the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. We need immediate relief from both the Biden Administration and the D.C. government," said Dean Hunter, SMOA CEO.
The recent survey of small landlords and property managers in Washington, D.C., conducted by SMOA, found that, on average, small landlords are suffering from a 40 percent decline in monthly revenue.
The 200 small landlords and property managers surveyed reported that about one-third of their tenants were behind on rent payments. The respondents also reported vacancy rates averaging 15 percent. Alarmingly, 35 percent of the small landlords surveyed reported that they have one or more units occupied by a tenant who poses a threat to public health and safety.
"The Council is putting the very tenants at risk they want to protect by prohibiting filings to allow evictions for health and safety violations," said Hunter. He tied the recent spikes in shootings to the moratorium on all evictions. "Property managers have reported that deaths may have been avoided if they had the ability to evict people who posed threats to safety before matters escalated to gun violence," he said.
Hunter said that SMOA and other housing stakeholders are working with Mayor Muriel Bowser's Saving Rental Housing Strike Force on systemic responses to the impact of the pandemic on tenants and housing providers. "Access to the Courts and direct rental assistance to providers are solutions that cannot wait," he concluded. Maryland and Virginia both permit evictions for public health and safety emergencies.
Source: Small Multifamily Owners Association