Many of Houston’s roads have turned into rivers from tropical storm Beta. Houston, a city already prone to flooding in certain areas, isn’t able to handle the constant rain from this unmoving storm. The city has been blasted with rain nonstop for days and more than 100 rescues have already taken place.
Despite the presence of a major storm and massive flooding, many Houston evictions are moving forward. In fact, according to Houston Public Media, Houston has had the most evictions in the entire U.S. since the coronavirus pandemic began. More than 11,000 evictions have been filed in Houston since mid-March.
Landlords have their hands tied
While some would say it’s inhumane to evict a tenant in the middle of a pandemic, let alone in the middle of a flood, landlords have their hands tied. Although some landlords can get their mortgage payments suspended through the CARES Act, not all landlords qualify.
For many landlords, eviction is their only hope of generating income from their investment. Many Houston landlords depend on their rental income to pay their bills and feed their families. Their hands are tied – they have no choice but to pursue evictions that aren’t covered under the moratorium.
Flooding from Beta is making it hard to buy and sell homes
Many landlords who can’t evict non-paying tenants are working hard to generate income by acquiring new rental properties to rent to tenants who can pay the rent. However, flooding from the relentless tropical storm is making the home buying process hard. Despite massive flooding, Houston residents still need to complete the required technicalities like scheduling appointments for home inspections.
For property investors looking to acquire a new property, the impact of tropical storm Beta is slowing down the process. Many investors will need to wait until the storm passes to secure a new property to rent out.
Moratorium qualifications are confusing to landlords, tenants, and the court
There are currently no state or local eviction protections for Houston residents. However, the recent CDC eviction moratorium protects renters earning less than $99,000 per year or if they were eligible to receive an economic impact payment. However, Houston Public Media reviewed around 100 eviction cases and found only one was stopped by the moratorium. That doesn’t create a good outlook for Houston residents currently facing an eviction.
Part of the problem is that tenants don’t know their rights. The court isn’t required to tell renters they can apply for an exemption under the CDC’s moratorium. However, the Texas Supreme Court recently ruled that landlords are required to provide the exemption form to tenants with their eviction notice.
Another complication is confusion in the court. Many tenants provided their landlord with the proper declaration that they are covered by the moratorium, but the court rejected their declaration because it wasn’t notarized. The problem is, the CDC did not say the declaration needs to be notarized to be valid.
Some renters have reported being rejected by the court for invalid reasons and no reason at all. Houston Public Media observed several eviction hearings where tenants should have been granted coverage, but were unlawfully denied without a proper explanation.
Tenants don’t know their rights
Many evicted tenants would probably qualify for an exemption under the CDC’s moratorium and could make their case in court, but statistics show that most tenants don’t show up to their eviction hearings. The majority of evicted tenants simply pack their bags and leave as soon as they can to avoid getting involved in the court system. Many wouldn’t even know how or where to file the exemption.
Some evicted tenants have nowhere to go
Being evicted during a pandemic is some tenants’ worst nightmare. Many have nowhere to go. Thanks to flooding, many can’t even live in their cars without leaving the city of Houston. The situation is dire for those tenants.
Houston may see an exodus, at least until the storm clears
Many evicted tenants may leave Houston as tropical storm Beta floods the streets. Those who leave will probably come back once the storm has passed and the streets have dried up. Houston is one of the most popular U.S. cities and it’s hard to imagine residents leaving for good.
Hopefully, the storm and the pandemic will both pass quickly so that Houston residents can get back on their feet. Until then, we can expect to see evictions through the end of 2020, and possibly even more when the moratorium ends.
US President Donald Trump Plans to Leave Washington on Inauguration Day
The US president is planning to leave Washington on the inauguration day and he will not attend the swearing-in ceremony of the President-elect, Joe Biden. The recent events in the US have left many questions related to the future of the superpower.
Trump has planned his farewell event at Joint Base Andrews where Air Force One is headquartered. He will leave Washington to fly on to Palm Beach, Florida to begin a new chapter in his post-presidency life at his Mar-a-Lago club.
Earlier, President Donald Trump scheduled his departure on Tuesday but now he has shifted his plans to Wednesday morning. For the last few months, questions were being raised over Trump’s approach to handle important issues in the US.
Following the US Capitol insurrection, voices were raised to throw him out of his office before the end of his term. Donald Trump is the only US president who has been impeached twice and it is not a good indication for the US.
The presidency of Donald Trump has also devasted the relations of the US with Europe. Just before his departure, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said no to a final trip to meet with European and NATO leaders. It is not possible to say whether it would be possible for Joe Biden to repair this damage over the next four years of his term.
Many White House advisors are requesting Donald Trump to host Biden for a White House meeting just before the Inauguration Day. However, Trump has not given any positive sign to express his willingness to do so.
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