How The Nationwide Eviction Ban May Affect Cleveland Tenants, Landlords

Evictions are on hold, but rent is still accruing and tenants may have trouble paying it when the final bill comes.
Evictions are on hold, but rent is still accruing and tenants may have trouble paying it when the final bill comes. [Doubletree Studio / Shutterstock]
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The Trump administration is ordering a halt on evictions nationwide through December for eligible tenants.

Evictions are on hold, but rent is still due, and the tab keeps building through the moratorium. When it ends, tenants may have trouble covering months of back rent.

Melanie Shakarian, director of development and communications at The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, wants to see rent assistance to help ease the burden for tenants and help landlords.

“A moratorium [on evictions] with rent assistance is the most effective way to ensure housing stability and safety for tenants, but then also a really solid footing for the landlord business community,” Shakarian said.

Landlords still need to pay mortgages, taxes and bills, said George Sass, who owns rental properties on Cleveland’s West Side.

“It’s certainly a concern, and that’s months of income that I would then be out of because of the rule, so it’s definitely not a good thing for me as a landlord,” Sass said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued the order as part of the efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. But there are other negative health outcomes from housing instability that an eviction moratorium could help prevent, Shakarian said.

“Health and housing are inextricably linked,” she said. “The stressors of being evicted create negative health consequences, not the least of which is affecting mental health.”

The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland provides assistance for those dealing with housing instability, and Shakarian said intake inquiries related to housing have increased 39 percent in the last two months compared to same period a year ago.

Cleveland Housing Court said it would answer questions about the national eviction ban after Labor Day weekend.

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