A landlords’ lobbyist said it sued the U.S. government to recover damages the organization claims its members suffered as a result of a federal moratorium on evictions. The National Apartment Association filed the lawsuit Tuesday at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, the organization said in a statement. The complaint wasn’t immediately available on the court’s electronic docket.
The NAA claims that by the end of last year, more than 10 million delinquent tenants owed $57 billion in unpaid rent. Apartment owners are now responsible for $27 billion of debt not covered by federal rental assistance, the group argues.
The moratorium issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control last year has hurt landlords who provide critical rental housing, and “sets a dangerous precedent for future disaster-response measures,” according to the complaint. Property owners forced to maintain their properties were unfairly prohibited from evicting tenants not paying rent, and from renting to paying tenants, according to the suit.
The U.S. Justice Department didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment on the suit.
“This case is the most recent in a series of lawsuits against the CDC in which landlords and landlord advocacy groups across the country have sued attempting to strike down the CDC’s national eviction moratorium. The eviction moratorium is set to expire at the end of July. At the end of June, the Biden administration had extended the moratorium until July for what it said was a final extension. It remains to be seen whether the moratorium will remain in place after the end of the month.”
–Dan Gauthier, Rose Law Group Transactional Attorney