Earlier this week Gov. Ned Lamont extended the eviction moratorium for Connecticut renters. But what does that mean for landlords?
“Once again landlords have been asked to shoulder more burden for the state of Connecticut. These are small business people and once again they've asked them to hold off,” John Souza head of the Connecticut Coalition of Property Owners, said
The executive order prohibits landlords from filing eviction notices through December 31. That means some landlords have not seen any income for six months.
“The state does have an assistance program for tenants but the tenant would have to cooperate, “Souza said.
There are tenants who are truly struggling but even though the state has announced $40 million in rental assistance, only 40 people, according to the Department of Housing, have received any financial help.
There are more than 7,000 pending applications for rental assistance.
“It’s not a matter of handing out the money, it's a matter of doing the negotiation,” Lamont said.
Lamont said the Department of Housing is working to resolve the backlog by the end of October.
“We’ve got a new group of counselors who are going to be able to catch up I think in the month of October for virtually everybody who needs that support both on the landlord and the tenant side,” Lamont said.
Connecticut Fair Housing Center Executive Director Erin Kemple said the process for applying for rental assistance is complicated and only 1,100 of the 7,000 applications have been forward to housing counseling agencies.
“It is taking a long time to get through the process. And at the time that the program closed at the end of August it was almost taking eight, longer than eight weeks to get people from pre-application all the way through to contract,” Kemple said.
Kemple said the eviction moratorium applies to some tenants, but not all tenants. If tenants have not paid any rent in the last six months they are not protected from eviction under connecticut’s moratorium.
“It’s confusing for tenants. It’s certainly hard for advocates. And it’s definitely difficult for the courts,” she added.