When the coronavirus lockdown went into place, Alameda County and the City of Oakland put an eviction moratorium in place – and while it might’ve been necessary at the time, some landlords have endured almost two years of not receiving rent from tenants.
Jaqueline Watson-Baker is one of those landlords who joined the lawsuit.
Her tenant stopped paying rent before the coronavirus pandemic and she was in the process of evicting him. “Then the moratorium hit and he started saying ‘I don’t have to pay.’ Because of the moratorium,” she explained. “So he didn’t pay and that’s the way it’s been.”
Clifford Fried a partner at the Bay Area law firm Fried, Williams and Grice.
He said the eviction moratorium will make the housing crisis in the Bay Area worse. “Owners will be reluctant to invest in residential rental property in Oakland and Alameda County,” Fried told KCBS Radio. “They’ll take units off the market and refuse to rent the properties and ultimately that will have an impact on tenants looking for housing.”
Watson-Baker joined a lawsuit with other landlords because she feels like her home is being taken away from her and her tenant has been given all the control over her property and life.
“It’s a violation,” she said. “It’s someone looking at you saying you’re not worth it, you’re not human, you don’t deserve this. How dare you have this. That’s the way it feels.”
KCBS Radio spoke to Oakland Councilmember Loren Taylor, who said he’s sympathetic with landlords, agrees some tenants are taking advantage of the eviction moratorium and believes it needs to change.
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