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ArlingtonReal EstateSupreme Court: CDC eviction ban was government overreach

Supreme Court: CDC eviction ban was government overreach

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It was a somewhat complicated ruling, but a majority of members of the U.S. Supreme Court have opined that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention went beyond its powers in imposing a blanket nationwide moratorium on eviction of renters during the pandemic.

Six members of the court concurred with that position, although only four said that meant the moratorium should be rescinded immediately. The two others said that, because the eviction ban was set to expired on July 31 anyway, it would be better to let it play out in an orderly way over coming weeks.

The three remaining justices offered the view that the CDC was within its statutory powers to have ordered the moratorium in 2020 to combat COVID.
With the support of National Association of Realtors, the Georgia and Alabama Associations of Realtors challenged the CDC in federal court. In May, a U.S. District Court judge sided with housing providers, ruling the moratorium unlawful. However, the judge issued a stay of her ruling pending appeal to the high court.

“This is a victory for property rights,” National Association of Realtors president Charlie Oppler said in a statement after the court ruling.

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“For more than a year, mom-and-pop property owners have been pushed toward financial ruin as they upkeep their properties and pay their taxes and mortgages with no income of their own,” Oppler said. “Property owners also deserved this absolute clarity from our federal court system regarding property rights in America to avoid similar financial harm in the future.”

“With the pandemic waning and the economy improving, it is time to restore the housing sector to its healthy, former function,” Oppler said in the statement, calling for swift disbursement of federal funds that have been allocated to assist landlords that have been unable to collect rent from tenants who either could not or would not pay over the past year.

Despite the moratorium, renters are still legally obligated to pay any back rent that has accumulated since the onset of the pandemic. Starting Aug. 1, landlords can begin eviction proceedings against those who are not up to date on their rent payments.

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