Landlords Sue Trump Administration and CDC Over Executive Order Banning Evictions
The Trump administration’s controversial nationwide eviction moratorium, issued through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) earlier this month, is now the subject of a lawsuit from landlords who argue that the public health agency exceeded its authority when it unilaterally banned landlords from evicting tenants in state courts.
On Friday, the National Apartment Association (NAA), a trade group, added its name to a lawsuit brought by four individual landlords in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, all of whom would move to evict a non-paying tenant but for the CDC’s order.
That includes Jeffrey Rondeau, a North Carolina man who, in good times, nets $20 renting out a home that he intended to move into when he retires, according to the lawsuit. Rondeau’s tenant has a spotty record of paying rent and hasn’t paid since July. Another plaintiff, Rick Brown of Virginia, asserts that his tenant has stopped paying rent for several months, and currently owes some $8,000 in back rent.
These property owners “upheld their end of the bargain. They provided a habitable home to their tenants and continue to pay for maintenance, utilities, and other expenses,” reads the complaint. “Plaintiffs should have been able to follow the lawful processes laid down by state law for retaking possession of their homes.”
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, CDC Acting Chief of Staff Nina Witkofsky, and their respective departments/agencies are named as defendants in the lawsuit.
The CDC’s eviction ban prohibits property owners from trying to remove tenants for nonpayment of rent, provided the tenant has informed their landlord in writing that they have suffered a loss of income or extraordinary medical bills, have made all efforts to obtain government assistance, and would be forced into homelessness or a crowded living situation if evicted.
The moratorium only protects individual renters earning less than $99,000 a year (o
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