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No word yet on eviction moratorium extension; renters, landlords in limbo

​​​​​COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- President Joe Biden just extended the federal ban on housing foreclosures to the end of June, but the clock is ticking for an extension of the eviction moratorium impacting renters and landlords.

Right now, the federal eviction moratorium protects renters from being evicted through March 31 if they can't pay their rent. However, the moratorium doesn't forgive those payments, so the minute it expires, renters will owe every cent of their unpaid rent or they'll risk eviction.

Aaron Blazis, a property manager with Premier Real Estate Group in Colorado Springs, said that during the first eviction moratorium in the beginning of the pandemic, some of their tenants struggled to pay rent. Blazis says they were largely communicative and their company was able to work with them -- with one exception.

"This one [tenant] just completely stopped paying -- and talking. We stopped by, we called, email, did everything for months and months," Blazis said, adding that when the original moratorium expired, they had to evict that tenant. He said that incident was their only eviction in 2021.

Although it only happened once last year, it made Blazis uneasy when the latest federal eviction moratorium took effect in September, especially considering what type of property owners they work with.

"We manage primarily for not the big professional investor, but someone who might have one home that they moved away from, a lot of them being military families," Blazis said.

Typically, people who own a house or two do not have the cash reserves that a large company might if their renters stop paying.

"Last month, we had a tenant and the owner of the home is active duty," he said. "Her mortgage payment is more than the rent that we collect on it. So, the tenant didn't pay right away. And I was just, you know, crossing my fingers and hoping that things were going to work out because there's no protection for her if [the tenant] defaulted… Without protection, you're really stuck."

For the sake of the homeowners he works with, Blazis is hoping the moratorium does not get extended, acknowledging that adding mounting debt doesn't help renters either.

"Rather than the eviction moratorium, there should just be easy assistance available for tenants who are affected. I think that would be a far better way to be able to protect vulnerable tenants from housing insecurity, while still protecting owners who need the rent money to cover their expenses. So I thought that's really the right path forward," Blazis said.

There are some program in place to provide assistance for renters who are struggling to pay rent, for more information on those resources, click here.

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