Economics/Class Relations

Rent Strike: What Happens If You Don’t Pay Rent On April 1 Because Of The Coronavirus

Our lame-ass “progressive” politicians and media commentators need to be pushing rent strikes, debt strikes, labor strikes, prisoner releases, etc. etc. etc.  Jimmie Dore seems to be one of the few that has stepped up to the plate so far.

By Rachel Martin


Topline: As millions of Americans find themselves out of work because of the coronavirus, many are facing a dilemma: how do I pay rent on April 1? Calls for a national rent strike have been gaining momentum in some cities in California and New York. Though there are some federal protections for renters, those measures are relatively narrow, leaving most renters and landlords navigating a patchwork of state and local laws.

  • Do I still have to pay rent at all? Yes—though in some cities, you may be able to delay payment if you can’t afford it. Tenants still have to pay rent because there are currently no federal or local measures freezing rent or waiving rent payments entirely (though some politicians, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio are pushing for that). Even in the areas with eviction moratoriums or a prohibition on late fees, landlords will still be able to ask for unpaid rent when the coronavirus emergency is over. In some places renters have anywhere from six months to 180 days to pay back rent after the crisis.
  • What protections do renters have because of the coronavirus? Several states and cities, such as New York and San Francisco, have paused all evictions or rent hikes during the emergency. Here is a map showing those state and local actions. Federally, owners of multifamily units with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are eligible for deferred mortgage payments if they suspend all evictions for renters unable to pay rent due to the coronavirus. But that doesn’t apply to all owners, and Lupe Arreola, executive director of California advocacy group Tenants Together, told Forbes there is no way of knowing what kind of mortgage your landlord has unless they tell you.


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