Punishment of small landlords continues
While the Biden administration’s constitutionally dubious eviction moratorium continues to make its way through the courts, the people left out of the discussion – small landlords – continue to suffer the consequences of government intervention:
Ed Benz manages 47 rental homes in Pittsburgh, some he owns and some he manages for other owners. He said he grew up in a family on public assistance and knows he is better off than many of his tenants, who have lost jobs as home health aides or restaurant staff. But he also doesn’t think the way some policymakers vilified landlords during the eviction debate has been fair.
“It’s what I would call ‘the man’ syndrome. ‘Oh yeah we’re going to stick it to the man.’ Well I grew up in a poor family and I understand that viewpoint. I’ve agreed with it a lot of times,” he said. But he said by preventing landlords from enforcing leases, eviction bans have prevented them from collecting their income while their costs continue.
Benz said he has exhausted his reserves and fallen behind on property tax payments while trying to keep up on other bills, but at times during the pandemic he’s had five units at a time where tenants were behind or paying no rent.
“When you have a prolonged thing like this, those reserves go quickly. And I‘ve been dancing between the raindrops trying to keep things together,” he said.
Sticking it to the man makes activists and administration class warriors feel good. They should be forced to tell the men and women whose livelihoods and property are being expropriated why it’s a good thing…to their faces.