The Federal Trade Commission has issued a warning to landlords to not evict, or threaten to evict, tenants in violation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) moratorium or any other applicable state or local measures, according to a release.
“Evicting tenants in violation of the CDC, state, or local moratoria, or threatening to evict them without apprising them of their legal rights under such moratoria, may violate prohibitions against deceptive and unfair practices, including under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Federal Trade Commission Act,” said Federal Trade Commission Acting Chairwoman Rebecca Kelly Slaughter and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Acting Director Dave Uejio in the release.
The FTC warns landlords, “We will not tolerate illegal practices that displace families and expose them—and by extension all of us—to grave health risks.
“In the ongoing economic and public health crisis, millions of American families are at risk of losing their homes. A recent CFPB report found that renters are particularly endangered, with over 8.8 million tenants behind on rent. These tenants at risk of homelessness are disproportionately people of color, primarily Black and Hispanic families.
“Federal, state, and local governments have put in place protections against evictions to keep people in their homes and to stop the spread of COVID-19. Research has shown that eviction moratoriums save lives.”
The CDC on March 29 extended the federal moratorium on evictions by three months.
FTC warns landlords
“Unfortunately, there are reports that major multistate landlords are forcing people out of their homes despite the government prohibitions or before tenants are aware of their rights. Depriving tenants of their rights is unacceptable. Many of the tenants at risk of eviction are older,” the release says.
“Staff at both agencies will be monitoring and investigating eviction practices, particularly by major multistate landlords, eviction-management services, and private equity firms, to ensure that they are complying with the law. “