As COVID-19 Lingers, A Focus On Coming Landlord Vacancy Crises

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Collaborate and Create photo by Subhamay Ghoshal is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
Shelterforce hands over six ideas for governments interested in supporting landlords and tenants in the wake of COVID-19.

A tsunami of evictions looms on the horizon for individuals and families who have suffered job loss in the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. But every single eviction often has two kinds of sufferer — the evictees themselves as well landlords — especially the small ones — who face the challenge of re-renting their lodgings. How long might they remain vacant? Days? Weeks? Forever? And what price might rental accommodations fetch with a glut of rental housing on the market? A fraction of previous rental income? Nothing at all?

A tsunami of evictions may well be matched by a tsunami of rental vacancies in a world that lacks renters to pay for them. Small landlords in turn may well face ruin.

Activists, not surprisingly, are pressing governments to consider the plight of homeless evictees, and pleading for longer term solutions to help renters in arrears.

Unfortunately, governments in general are often deaf to pleas on behalf of their most vulnerable citizens.

By contrast, in free market economies where the promotion of healthy business trumps all other demands for support, it is the plight of small business landlords that is most likely to move the government to action.

Shelterforce explores this avenue of advocacy by focussing on rental housing vacancy, and what governments could do to prevent such grim consequences as a rental housing price collapse. Government actions to prevent such a calamity might at the same time have a positive benefit for potential evictees. Read more: 6 Ways To Prevent Post-COVID Vacancy