HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — It has been more than a year since the government banned evictions because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But now the Supreme Court has ruled landlords may start the process on people who are not paying.
Landlords in Hartford say it is kind of a relief and weight off their shoulders that the system is getting back into place. However, landlords don’t think there will be a lot of evictions, except for those people gaming the system.
“The landlord does not want to evict, they never want to evict. That is the last possible thing that a landlord wants to do,” said Rick Bush of R&M Property Management Solutions in West Hartford.
Bush owns and manages properties and is part of the Connecticut Coalition of Property Owners. Last year has been very tough as many of his tenants just cannot pay their rent.
“It takes three months, costs thousands of dollars, you lose rent, and they trash the place and you have to clean it on the way up, so the average eviction costs the average landlord in excess of $10,000.”
Bush says good tenants and good landlords will work together to keep people in their homes.
“Currently, there is a Unite CT program that allows people to get paid back rent and future rent up to three months for a maximum of $15,000.”
A woman who did not want to be identified says the last year has been very difficult but the government, specifically the Unite CT program, has helped.
“This is the first time it [has] happened. I have lived where I have lived for 25 years and I’ve never been behind,“ she said. “Half of my neighborhood, many were professionals whose job[s] [were] gone. Retail workers who didn’t want to go to work, who couldn’t go to work because they had children and were afraid to go.”
Bush is glad the eviction process is available and the courts are open. Even though it may be a long wait, at least it will give landlords an avenue to get people out who are abusing the system.
“Right away, as soon as the eviction moratorium was announced by the governor, we had people calling us up and saying ‘hey, I heard I don’t have to pay rent.’ And we are like, ‘no that is not the case, you still have to pay rent.’ They are like ‘nope, that is not what the governor said,’ and even though that wasn’t the intent of what he said, it was what people heard,” Bush said.
If you are in jeopardy of being evicted, you can still apply for state and federal relief.