Housing Policy

The Victims of the Eviction Moratorium

A coalition of Chinese immigrant landlords in New York say they're on the verge of losing everything because of tenants who have stopped paying rent.


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"Blackstone is one of the largest landlords in [the] world," tweeted the New York tenant advocacy group Housing Justice for All in May. "We know they're rich enough to #CancelRent, and we're going to make them."

And then there's Chao Huai Gao, an immigrant from Zhengzhou, China. He owns a modest two-story house in Queens and isn't rich enough to forgo rental income. He tells Reason that the emotional distress of having an occupant who isn't paying rent and who he can't evict has him contemplating "jumping off of a building."

Gao came to the U.S. in 1999, working in New York restaurants and nail salons and doing interior renovation. "I haven't taken a day off since I came to America," he says. In 2017, he and his wife, who is a caretaker, made a down payment on a house as an investment property, supplementing their savings with a loan from their family in China. To cover their mortgage, they rented out both floors and moved into a cheap studio apartment nearby with their two young daughters.

In March 2020, the college students sharing the second-floor apartment gave notice that they were moving out. After the apartment was vacated, a neighbor alerted Gao that he noticed that the lights were on at night. Soon after, Gao discovered that one of his former tenants had given her keys to a friend who had moved in without permission. 

Gao has never met the squatter now living in his house and is afraid to contact this person out of fear that he'll be sued for harassment. The squatter, who is a dropout from an elite private university, has never offered to pay rent. (Reason was unable to reach him for comment, so we're not including his name in this story.) 

Under New York state law, because the squatter has been in the apartment for more than 30 days, retaking possession will require a court order—but Gao can't obtain a court order, because New York's housing courts have been mostly closed during the pandemic. Gao tells Reason that he's in a state of personal crisis, hemorrhaging money, and consumed with worry about losing his home.

Gao is part of an association of about 200 Chinese immigrant landlords in New York City with tenants who have stopped paying rent. They're speaking out about the impact of the government's decision to temporarily halt evictions—a policy championed by the #CancelRent movement. On September 4, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a national eviction moratorium that is currently set to expire at the end of March. New York is one of many states that has also passed a series of administrative orders and temporary laws halting evictions on top of the CDC order. 

Although technically these measures are intended to help tenants directly impacted by the pandemic, in practice they've brought New York's eviction proceedings to a complete halt. From mid-March through the end of November, in a typical year, there would have been about 14,000 evictions in New York City. In 2020, over this same period, there were just 2. New York now has a backlog of 200,000 eviction cases that pre-date COVID-19. 

"The pandemic is proving…that we need to advocate vigorously for projects and policy proposals that get us closer to a universal right to housing," says Cea Weaver, the campaign coordinator for Housing Justice For All. "We need to sort of think about the role that exclusion and profit, which are the sort of characteristics of the private property market, have played and think about different systems and structures that we could put into place that would help more people be housed." Weaver, who's a rising star in New York political circles—she was recently nominated to join the city's powerful planning commission—describes the relationship between landlords and tenants as "exploitative."

But denying landlords legal recourse to enforce their contracts is more likely to exacerbate housing shortages. In New York, the moratorium is reminiscent of policies of the 1960s and '70s that also undermined private contracts between landlords and tenants, driving owners to abandon their buildings and leave entire neighborhoods for dead.

One problem with the eviction moratorium is that, in practice, it doesn't only impact those in need. It is making widespread abuse possible, in which tenants with the means to pay their rent are taking advantage of the situation to live in their apartments at no cost.

Take Won, a Chinese immigrant landlord who asked that we only use her last name. She owns a two-family house in Queens and works as a home health aide caring for an elderly couple. Her husband is a waiter at a restaurant in Manhattan's Chinatown, though he's barely been able to work since the pandemic began. Won says her tenant owes her more than $80,000 in back rent. "I just want the government to open the court," she tells Reason.

Won says that if her tenants were unemployed or financially distressed, she would be willing to work with them. "These people, no money, I can help. Pay later," she says. "But these people, no. The people have money."

Reason wasn't able to reach Won's tenants for comment, so we're not using their names in this story. But we did find that the father in the family is currently employed in the construction industry, and that the tenants are renting a second apartment in a house in Queens Village, where they've also stopped paying rent and owe $12,000 to the couple that owns the house, who are also Chinese immigrants.

Many of the working-class landlords in Gao's group say they're in danger of losing everything. The government has backed them into a situation in which they have no choice but to maintain their buildings at a loss. 

One Chinese immigrant landlord, who works as a hairstylist and asked to remain anonymous, tells Reason that she used money that her mother had saved, over the course of 20 years working seven days a week in a nail salon, to make a down payment on a house in Queens in 2016. She fears that all of that hard work will now go to benefit her tenant, who has stopped paying rent and who she says is mentally unstable. "We just want to take back the house we bought ourselves. Is that wrong?" she tells Reason through an interpreter.

This group has come together, mostly in WeChat groups, where they commiserate and strategize. At a protest in October, a few hundred landlords—most of them immigrants—huddled under umbrellas outside New York City Hall, holding signs and chanting, "Fair laws for landlords!"

According to Michael Wang, a Chinese immigrant and businessman who organized the recent protests, foreign-born New Yorkers are more likely to buy property for cultural reasons. "We think it's relatively less risky to put money into property," he tells Reason through an interpreter. "Investing in property is a relatively less risky and easier investment for people who just came to the U.S. with limited English." For Gao and many immigrant landlords, owning property turned out not to be an easy investment after all.

Gao says his squatter is getting away with "robbery." Weaver calls that statement "deeply misleading." Weaver, who the real estate magazine The Real Deal dubbed the "tenant movement's giant killer" for her behind-the-scenes role in the passage of a 2019 state law strengthening New York's rent regulation laws, says the eviction moratorium is just a "pause" because it doesn't mean that "the landlord can never collect the rent."

In practice, though, collecting rent money will be extraordinarily difficult after the moratorium is lifted. The case backlog in housing court could mean that landlords will wait years for their cases to be heard, and recovering large sums of money is difficult under the best of circumstances. Nativ Winiarsky, a New York attorney specializing in landlord-tenant litigation, tells Reason in an email that he sees "little chance that landlords will be able to fully recover the significant arrears that will have accumulated."

"Those are part of the costs of being a landlord," Weaver responds. 

Owners say that having almost no legal recourse when their tenants don't pay their rent was not part of the deal when investing in real estate. Landlord groups around the country have sued on the grounds that halting the judicial process that allows them to retake their property violates their due process rights, and that the national moratorium is an unconstitutional expansion of federal power.

One Chinese immigrant landlord, who asked to remain anonymous, reports that she worked as a housekeeper at a hotel that recently closed down. She says her tenant stopped paying rent over the summer and was demanding a $12,000 cash payment to move out.

"I worked in the United States for a whole 29 years. I worked to the point that my waist needs surgery. I can't even sell my house." she tells Reason through an interpreter. "Now my waist hurts so much. I'm jobless….I really can't sleep at night. I really don't know how to live anymore."

The media has predicted a huge "wave of evictions" (see here, here, here, and here) nationally if the moratoria are lifted. In New York, tenant activists dragged furniture into the streets at a protest in October to dramatize the potential impact. 

But the soaring rental vacancy rate has made landlords more willing than ever to communicate with their tenants and offer rent reductions. Winiarsky says that the "large majority" of his "clients are doing everything they can to work with their tenants" because they recognize that "everyone is hurting." Winiarsky says his office is "inundated right now drafting deferment and rent reduction agreements."

In New York, before the pandemic, only about 1 in 10 eviction filings ended in a city marshall or sheriff physically removing a tenant from a dwelling. But because there existed a process through which landlords could enforce their contracts and get tenants who weren't paying their rent to come to the negotiating table or move out, they had legal recourse.

Some tenants may be purposely targeting immigrant landlords because they may deem them less equipped to navigate New York housing law, but they're not the only ones who are being taken advantage of. Sharon Redhead, who owns a building in Brooklyn, told the New York Daily News that some of her tenants who are out of work have kept up with their rent, while others with jobs "aren't paying any rent at all." Clarence Hamer, according to the Daily News, is the owner of a two-family home with a tenant who isn't paying rent but is subletting rooms at a profit.

The New York Post told the story of 88-year-old Harlem landlord David Howson, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease and has a tenant who hasn't paid rent since 2016. "We are completely destitute," Howson's daughter told the Post.

Weaver says tenants taking advantage of the eviction moratorium not to pay their rent are "aberrations," and she cites recent census survey data showing that renters are more financially distressed than those who own their own homes. Newspapers have recounted the stories of many tenants in crisis, such as Diba Gaye, whose wife recently died of heart disease and who lost his job stocking groceries. "I don't want to lose my house too," he told The New York Times. There's also Halima Abdul-Wahhab, who says that she and her two children are at risk of homelessness. "I'm at a job where I don't make that much, but I just try to maintain as much as I can," she said. "Rent is not the only thing that has to be paid every month."

But these individuals can be helped through the direct aid that the government has been providing since the early days of the pandemic in the form of interest-free loans, stimulus checks, and a substantial increase in unemployment benefits. Cities and states have also spent billions on rent relief programs.

These programs bring their own problems and tradeoffs, and those funded through philanthropy have proven more effective than government-financed ones. But if tenants are receiving the aid they need, owners should still be able to turn to the courts if they don't pay their rent.

Weaver says this approach fails to help populations that are hard to reach with direct aid, such as undocumented immigrants. Her organization helped to draft a proposed state law under which the government would cover missing rent, no matter the reason tenants hadn't paid, and with strings attached for landlords who accept the money, such as a provision requiring that they freeze rents for a period of 5 years. She said this approach would "help to get the money out the fastest."

But there's another reason Weaver and her political allies want to make landlords dependent on federal subsidies. Emergency policies enacted in times of crisis are prone to becoming permanent, which some members of the #CancelRent movement say is the goal. 

Weaver would like to see the entire real estate industry restructured in a model akin to public housing—but for rich people too.

"In public housing, people are paying 30 percent of their income," Weaver told Reason. "What I am envisioning is a world in which housing is owned by a collective and people are paying 30 percent of their income in order to live in their housing. If your income is zero, you pay zero. If your income is $500,000 a year, you're paying 30 percent of that."

When asked how the federal government could afford such a program, Weaver told Reason that it could "print" the money.

"America is beautiful," Gao, the Queens landlord with a squatter in his second-floor apartment, tells Reason. "But [when] nobody pay[s] rent, [it] is not beautiful."

When Gao, and other immigrant landlords, decided to come to the United States to create a better life, this is not the American dream they thought they were buying into.

Photo Credits: Erik McGregor/Sipa USA/Newscom; Erik McGregor/Sipa USA/Newscom; Erik McGregor/Sipa USA/Newscom; Brian Branch Price/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Erik McGregor/Sipa USA/Newscom; Brian Branch Price/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Erik McGregor/Sipa USA/Newscom; Erik McGregor/Sipa USA/Newscom; Erik McGregor/Sipa USA/Newscom; Erik McGregor/Sipa USA/Newscom; Erik McGregor/Sipa USA/Newscom; Brian Branch Price/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Brian Branch Price/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Brian Branch Price/ZUMA Press/Newscom; 1354732 © Jimmy Lopes | Dreamstime.com;ID 3180810 © Photo168 | Dreamstime.com; SMXRF/starmaxinc.com/Newscom; Erik McGregor/Sipa USA/Newscom; Erik McGregor/Sipa USA/Newscom

Footage Credit: Damian Bartolacci/Pond5

Music Credits: "January," by Kai Engel, Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0).

Written and produced by Jim Epstein; graphics by Isaac Reese; translation by Shuang Li; audio post-production by Ian Keyser

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  1. Why won't someone think of the poor bourgeoisie!

    1. No one has the right to steal. Sorry your parents failed you.

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  2. Just like greedy businessmen who can easily afford to pay everyone $15/hour out of their unlimited profits, landlords can easily let people live rent-free. I mean, they're rich, right? Rich people can be tapped to pay for everything from free college to free health care and free housing! They're like rich and stuff! Eat the rich*!

    *saw Aerosmith tour for Get a Grip, great show.

    1. They're going to love when there are literally no apartments anywhere for anybody to rent. Being a landlord is a fool's errand. Best make every property an AirBNB and feel bad for the tenants who want an apartment now.

      1. Yeah, it's hard to imagine why anyone would buy a rental property in NYC. Seems like at some point it would be rational just to walk away if you are a small time land lord. But then they'll probably fine you for neglecting your tenants or something.

  3. If there is one group of people we Koch / Reason libertarians exist to serve ........ well, OK, it's billionaires like our benefactor Charles Koch. But if there are two such groups, they'd be billionaires and immigrant landlords. Hopefully they can quickly resume throwing loser deadbeats onto the street.

    1. So, it's okay for people to steal from immigrants and rich people?

    2. Do you not understand what the unintended consequence of government dictated price ceilings are? The thing that they demand be sold at less than market rate becomes unavailable. It is the reason people are starving in Venezuela. That is the result of a command economy.
      Get ready for shortages of rental housing and inflated prices for those that remain.

      1. Do you not understand what an obvious parody account is?

        1. Not so obvious these days. 🙁

  4. C'mon man! Nobody saw this coming.

  5. They didn’t build that.

    1. ^THIS.... That's [WE] property! 🙂

  6. The squatter, who is a dropout from an elite private university, has never offered to pay rent... the tenants are renting a second apartment in a house in Queens Village, where they've also stopped paying rent and owe $12,000 to the couple that owns the house, who are also Chinese immigrants... She says her tenant stopped paying rent over the summer and was demanding a $12,000 cash payment to move out.

    Disgusting. Some people just need a solid oak bat to the kneecap. Nothing else will get through the importance of property rights and paying your way.

    1. *looks around nervously*

      Back in the day in NYC, that's what people paid protection money for. This problem woulda been solved already.

      1. Violence solves everything. For $12,000 I'd break his legs and through him in the closest river.

        1. That's the problem. When people don't feel that they have the aid of the courts or the government in cases of clear theft like this, they will resort to extra-legal measures, which yes, do include violence.

          1. Exactly why I am a libertarian and not an ancap. But with the country sliding into ruin maybe we'll all be ancaps out of sheer necessity.

          2. Absolutely. I would not be surprised if these Chinese landlords contacted organized crime to resolve their situations. Discretely of course.

            Organized crime exists because the government made it. Government made it by banning goods in demand (drugs, prostitution, gambling), and the made it by refusing to the protection and justice they are duty bound to provide. While organized crime can indeed provide for protection and justice, the negative externalities (racketeering, corruption, etc) are too extreme. But when government won't do it's job, what other choice is there?

          3. Shockingly close, in my neighborhood of 1920's built craftsmen homes filled with professionals in a mid-sized city, a man from the neighborhood killed a homeless man.

            The city had previously passed a "no tents" law that was fantastic. Between that, and opening another shelter, it basically solved the homeless issues in the city. But with Covid, they stopped enforcing the no tents law.

            So my neighbor catches someone prowling his car one night. Guy gets away. He catches the guy a second time a few weeks later, and this time he holds him somehow until police arrive. Police let the man go, because he is homeless, and that is an excuse for crime now, i don't know. The man goes "home", which is a tent about 20 yards from the neighbor dude's house.

            So this guy does what many red blooded men would do, which is he decided to defend his house from the den of thieves living literally across the street. Not that I endorse these actions, but they are understandable. He took a large section of lumber and started to bash each of the tents down. Some of the tents were occupied. One of the occupants emerged with what turned out to be an airsoft gun modified to look real. The neighbor was armed with his own concealed pistol, and ended up shooting the tent occupier dead.

            This whole scenario was engineered by the city and state governments by refusing to enforce laws, and leaving tax-paying, contributing citizens unprotected from theft and feeling physically unsafe. Now one man is dead and another will likely lose years in prison.

        2. You shouldn't pollute the river like that. Take his ass to the nearest landfill for proper disposal.

    2. Fuck you! What about squatter's rights, man?

      1. Are you talking about the Yellow Menace squatting on prime New York real estate?

    3. Squatters' rights laws always just flabbergast me. If you trespass for long enough it becomes legal? WTF? It's not robbery, but it's some kind of theft. I can see the argument for some kind of process to remove a tenant who has been paying rent reliably. But if someone just stops paying, or has never paid I don't see how anyone thinks that's a good idea.

      1. Squatters' rights seem libertarian to me. I don't buy the whole "property title to land in perpetuity" deal. If you leave your bike locked to a bike lock and never come back for it, at some point it should be considered abandoned. I think the same principle should apply to land, except more strictly, because it is such a limited resource. I don't know, maybe I am turning into a Georgist.

        If someone has abandoned a property, someone else should be able to homestead it. In the present case, how did this landlord not take action for 30 days? Personally, 30 days seems too short of a time for this. Maybe something like 6 months seems more reasonable. If you haven't checked on your property in 6 months, maybe you don't care about it too much. But there is definitely a libertarian case to be made for squatters' rights.

        1. The depths to which you will troll for attention. You are completely unworthy of any response.

        2. I think that there is an older common law version of squatters' rights that works sort of like that (if anyone knows better please correct me). And when it comes to unused or abandoned property, I could see an argument for it. But when it's an apartment that you own for the purpose of renting it I don't think the same reasoning applies at all. Certainly not after 30 days. And certainly not if the property owner has told them to get lost.

          1. Yeah, once the person with the deed shows up and complains, the squatter needs to be thrown out. I can see the common-law use applying in a libertarian context, if the property owner is MIA.

          2. Yes, it's called adverse possession. Basically, if someone is able to occupy a property "openly and notoriously," i.e. they are not being secretive about it, and they do not have the property owner's permission to be there during any portion of the occupancy, after a period of seven years that person can petition the court to quiet the title (i.e. take the property from the owner) and take possession of the portion they occupy. So if they are occupying only a small corner of a 100 acre property, they can only take possession of that small portion, not the entire 100 acres. If you discover the trespasser before the seven years is up, even at 6 years and 364 days, an owner can eliminate a potential adverse possession claim by merely saying to the trespasser "you have my permission to be here for now." There are some other conditions to be met, but I do not recall them right now. We don't have adverse possession in my state, and I don't feel like digging out my Property Law textbook, but the above is the basic gist of it.

            1. They also need to occupy the property continuously for the entire seven years.

        3. fuck squatters' rights. Just a loophole for socialist and populist small time city politicians to signal their worker-solidarity and screw over the bourgeoisie.

        1. Classic adverse possession case.

    4. That's exactly what's going to happen if the courts don't act. I wouldn't mind seeing some old fashion defenstration. The little elite snobs can feel just what it was like to be in Prague before the 30 years war! History in action!

  7. “NY Renter Laws Discriminate Against Chinese”

    1. Well, Chinese culture tends to favor real estate investment due to land being more real than things like stock, so this is why you have a disproportionate number of immigrant landlords

      1. I get into this debate all the time with friends who think their real estate is a better investment than stocks, which they see as just paper that could be zero tomorrow. No, their houses can be less than zero if they rent to a deadbeat if the government bans evictions. They can have their property. I prefer owning thousands of different money making businesses around the world.

        1. Agreed. Property isn't worth owning directly. Certainly on a price appreciation metric it barely beats inflation in the long run once burst bubbles are averaged in and the hassle of renting with government hostile to landowners makes it a complete bust.

          The only way I do real estate is about 10% of my portfolio is in REITs and only in tax advantaged accounts because the tax bill in a plain brokerage account is a killer as they aren't qualified dividends. Plus the ability to go global is also something you really can't do with a house or simple multifamily unit so there is at least some protection from a local government putting its thumb on the scale. It's also far cheaper to buy in. Thousands of businesses and thousands of properties all around the world.

      2. It's actually because immigration law in the US dictates that legal immigrants either highly qualified with education and experience for high paying jobs, and have wealthy family members or employers sponsor them.

        Our immigration policy selects for the already wealthy and those with high earning potentials.

        1. And that's a good thing. We want the best. I was just mentioning why they are disproportionately becoming landlords instead of investing in stocks.

    2. So who are you quoting there?

      1. Quotes used to indicate alternate headline.

  8. Gao has never met the squatter now living in his house and is afraid to contact this person out of fear that he'll be sued for harassment. The squatter, who is a dropout from an elite private university, has never offered to pay rent. (Reason was unable to reach him for comment, so we're not including his name in this story.)

    So is there a PI involved? Police? If neither Gao nor Reason has spoken to the squatter, how do we know is a dropout from an elite private university? Would it be better if it was a homeless vet who shouted at Covington HS kids?

    1. Could be a former member of the Duke University men’s lacrosse team.

      1. Could also be a former member of the Duke University casting couch team. Belle Knox pls come back!

    2. If that person registered the home as an address for any correspondence, googling the address might pull up a name. White pages publish too much info imo.

      1. If that person registered the home as an address for any correspondence, googling the address might pull up a name. White pages publish too much info imo.

        And such reporting would be grossly irresponsible without speaking to the squatter. Otherwise, you could be doxxing a university dropout over a typo.

        Given Reason's absolute garbage reporting on these sort of one-sided narratives, it wouldn't surprise me at all to learn that both Gao and the squatter are agents of the Chinese government. Even in good faith to Gao and Reason, the squatter is a Chinese agent planted so that Reason can run a sympathy piece.

        I'd love to be the crazy nutjob on this sort of thing but, again, Reason routinely runs stories about how police shot an unarmed black man breaking up a fight in the back or how an unarmed, fleeing black kid was shot by police in the back when video shows him being shot in the front, running towards officers, gun in hand.

        1. I'm sure you have a citation for that very specific example.

          1. Which example?

            Here's the Jacob Blake story, no update or addendum noting that police were there because he was violating a restraining order and was going for a knife.

          2. And here's the story on Deon Kay that still says "D.C. police fatally shot a young black man in the back as he was running away from them." while the video footage clearly shows the opposite.

    3. It's not a crime to be a dropout from an elite private university.

      1. "Poor squatters are just as bright and just as talented rich white kids."

    4. Homeless Vet shouting at Covington kids? Are you talking about Chief Runningmouth, the man that never left the US and was thrown out of the military for being a drunken scumbag? He isn't a veteran, Son, he is a filthy lying scumbag, nothing more.

  9. There is no investment that the socialists cannot take from you.
    These landlords should just report the squatters as child molesters.

    1. They should call the NYPD and say they saw that squatter selling loosies.

      1. Whoa, whoa, whoa, the squatters need to be evicted, not killed!

      2. Actually not a bad idea.

    2. Exactly. Or pray for the return of General Pinochet. He would know what to do.

  10. I've never understood why squatters have any rights at all in a legal system that values property rights. They're trespassers and thieves.

    1. Because 99% of squatters are poor ... oh, and black. Every law that purports to create, mandate, or preserve "equality" is really a law that is designed to shield blacks from the consequences of their bad choices. Blacks are to be treated like children, even if it destroys the economy.

      1. I've seen plenty of white squatters. Mostly hippies. I hate hippies.

        1. Same. Living in Seattle previously, and saw many homes that were occupied by squatters. Usually white, college age kids who had an overseas landlord, or the truly abandoned house that ended up with a bum collective in it. I saw one of these bum collectives obviously trying to use a loophole about improving the property to establish rights. Nice series of things built from pallets and assorted stolen cans of paint, bums.

      2. Blacks are to be treated like children, even if it destroys the economy their culture.

        FIFY. Racists of all stripes should be aggravated by the infantalizing of people in such a manner.

    2. To be unhoused is to be oppressed. Therefore, when the unhoused assert their right to free and fair housing, that is nobler goal.

      1. I'm serious. Why do trespassers change from criminals to legal residents after 30 days? I don't get it.

        1. Just a step on the long march on the institutions?

      2. For 29 days they're felons, and one day later they are protected by the police. Makes no sense.

      3. You and other commies can have homes in internment camps, like the ones Pinochet ran for communists and other degenerates.

        1. You need to learn a little about this thing called sarcasm.

          1. People who still hold Pinochet as some example of greatness generally do not learn, ever.

          2. Sarcasm doesn't work on the internet with a world full of people with insane ideas. I've seen the Cancel Rent people. Don't know what cave they came from.

    3. The system supports SOME private party rights, based solely on your donations to the system.

      1. What do squatters donate to the system?

        1. They create jobs. Weaver would be out of work if it weren’t for them.

        2. Votes.

          I'm surprised I have to explain these things.

        3. Votes to Democrats. At a slightly above 100% clip.

    4. in a legal system that values property rights

      Well that's yer problem right there.

    5. To be a contrarian, I do think that some leeway should be given. Like a thirty day notice or something. I remember once getting evicted, into the street, literally into the street by the sheriff, ON THE DAY MY RENT WAS DUE! My friend arrived with some money as I they were carrying my stuff out to the curb. At the time Arizona has literally zero leeway. They would evict you if you were late one hour.

      So yeah, contrarian here. Provide one week, or one month. Don't make it forever, but stop dumping people out into the street the hour their rent is overdue. This is NOT the same thing as squatting.

      p.s. I've been on the opposite side as well, and have worked with landlords where squatters have destroyed their property. I have close friends who have boarded up property and vow never to rent again. But being human means on you can give an inch of leeway to the legit renter.

      1. I rent in AZ and everywhere I've rented gives you a 3-day window from due date to pay. It's probably the law here. Such allowances are fine, they impose a minimal burden on the property owner. It's not even close to barring renters from evicting people for skipping on their rent.

      2. Landlords often depend on rent to pay a mortgage. Fuck squatters. Can't pay? Get the fuck out for someone who can.

  11. All the while NYC claims the right to taxes from these same properties. Takings clause anyone? I can't even.

    1. I can definitely see a taking clause suit out of this.

  12. Time for a trip to Body Bomz and Beyond

  13. Are a high percentage of these smalltime landlords Asian? I think I'm starting to understand why The Party has decided that Asians are honorary whites...

    1. Yes. The current Chinese culture is very distrustful of investment in stocks and bonds, so both in China and Chinese immigrants prefer investing in property. This is why you have a disproportionate number of small landowners who are immigrants.

  14. "they can print the money" brilliant! Why hasn't anyone tried to to solve this and other problems? It's like a no brainer.

    Someone that economically ignorant should not be allowed near someone able to influence housing policy much less actually be given that power.

    1. She sounds like just another Marxist with zero clue as to how real wealth is generated or what rights are.

      1. Wealth is not generated comrade.

  15. I'm sympathetic to these landlords but why would you fear contacting a squatter on your property? Go to the property, tell them to get the fuck out, and if they don't then you call the police on them for trespassing. This isn't a tenant not paying rent, this is a squatter. That this has been going on for a year and the landlord has done nothing about it assigns more than a little blame back to the landlord.

    1. Under NY law it's not squatting if they have been there more than 30 days. The problem is that the cops don't care, and these immigrant landlords aren't savvy with the law. I am NOT defending the law, I'm just saying it's there and the cops aren't going to do jack while it's there.

      1. The Cops can only enforce the law. The Cops would enforce the law if there was one. The law currently favors the squatters.

  16. Shut off the power, shut off the water. Send over pest control to fumigate the place. Disclose that tenant used the N word. Hire some thugs. It's not impossible to evict.

    1. You actually could be sued or even imprisoned for doing these things. It's considered an illegal eviction, since you are forcing them out without going through the legal proceedings. The fact that there are no legal proceedings is beside the point. You might win if you have crystal clear circumstances, egregious behavior on the part of the tenant, and get the right judge and jury, but do you want to take that chance?

      1. Redecorate using Rick Santorum wallpaper. Studies show 85% of squatters are allergic to the image of sweater vests.

  17. Yes, there are normal people on the other side of these policies, and it's a shame that the media just can't find them.

  18. Courts exist to avoid violence. If the courts won't do their job and people are pressed against the wall, bad things will happen. And that's unfortunate, but predictable. People are just going to defenstrate these bums at some point soon.

  19. Landlords should have the ability to go in and shoot the squatters dead just like they would any other trespasser or thief on their property. How in the hell did we go from widespread castle doctrine to making it literally illegal to remove trespassers even through the court system? The US is going to shit to a level I never thought I'd see in my lifetime.

  20. Tax the rich, a lot, so there are public resources available to support individuals and businesses who are unable to generate income during the pandemic and other emergencies.

    1. We're already doing that. What else you got?

    2. The 1%, that mythical minority, earned just a paltry combined 754 billion dollars in 2019. In 2020 the government managed to spend over two trillion in """relief""" for the pandemic. This year the government is looking to spend even more. Even if you took all the money "the rich" earned, every last penny of it, you wouldn't come close to paying for this crap. Unless you consider the rich's "fair share" to be somewhere north of 300% of their gross income then you just can't pay for it by taxing the rich.

  21. If it were me as the landlord facing homelessness because of tenants not paying, I'd simply move into the house with the tenants.

    Though as a landlord you can't turn off utilities, maybe you can if you're the landlord living in your own property. I don't know.

    I do know if I had some dirtbag ripping me off for $1500 per month while they had a decent job and could afford to do so, I'd come up with the money to hire Guido to come take care of them. You know, Guido, the guy who breaks arms and makes people disappear.

    Heck, that could be one heck of a decent new industry. "Squatter removal." $10K per eviction (GUARANTEED), 5 evictions per day, that's $50K PER DAY!!! I'm moving to New York. Can anybody put me in touch with these landlords?

    1. The Italian mob is mostly dead. Guido's name is Ivan now.

    2. Just escheat your property to the state, then move on in.

  22. The State of N.Y. would be very wise to pass legislation NULLIFYING UN-Constitutional demands from the 'federal' CDC. As would be any State who hasn't done so yet - The CDC doesn't have the authority for this and besides; WTF does rent have to do with "Disease Control"?

    1. There is nothing in the constitution even about public health as an enumerated power. Before this disgraceful government expropriation of housing from landlords to parasites, the existence of the CDC is illegal.

      1. ^Exactly True; The entire CDC is actually illegitimate as being any part of the Federal Government.

  23. Cea Weaver sounds like a horrid person...

    Of course the Fed could always come to the aid of those who are legitimately too strapped to pay their rent but that would mean no money to forgive the student loans of Buffy who went to Vassar and Chad who went to Brown - both majoring in Non-Binary Ethnic Studies

    1. "Those are part of the costs of being a landlord," Weaver responds.

      Woodchippers are too good for some people.

  24. '"The pandemic is proving…that we need to advocate vigorously for projects and policy proposals that get us closer to a universal right to housing,' says Cea Weaver, the campaign coordinator for Housing Justice For All."

    Quit euphemizing. Just say free housing for everyone.

    '"Those are part of the costs of being a landlord,' Weaver responds."

    "When asked how the federal government could afford such a program, Weaver told Reason that it could 'print' the money."

    This woman is at AOC levels of stupid.

    And rent is the cost of being a tenant.

    1. The problem with people like AOC and Weaver is they are not stupid. They are clever, and they are deeply immoral people, who believe they stand on the side of morality. And they have a lot of champions. This makes them dangerous foes to liberty.

      1. AOC is stupid. Many on the left are as you describe. But AOC is just plain dumb and pretty.

        1. You can say she's stupid, but she still got elected (twice now). She's "stupid" in the sense she believes stupid, ignorant things. But she's also smart enough to graduate with honors, get into office and leverage her (currently meagre but growing) political capital to achieve the ends she desires.

          To underestimate her because she's young and pretty is a grave error. If anything her youth should give you pause; she is going to be around for a LONG time and can do a lot of damage if she stays in politics.

  25. someone needs to let these Chinese immigrants know that as far as 'aggrieved person' status goes, they might as well be whites.

  26. So I looked into it and there is a "Won" that owns a two-family home in Queens through an LLC. That same LLC owns a laundromat and cleaning service that employs 16 people and is worth $4 million.

    1. Very cool, but there must be a lot of Wons and a lot of two-family homes in Queens.

    2. So? A business that's worth $4 million on paper doesn't necessarily even leave you with enough liquid cash to pay the bills, especially when the government has done an unconstitutional taking on one of your sources of income.

  27. Renter lose jobs, can't pay rent.
    Landlords lose rents, default, banks fail.
    Banks fail, economy crashes, you pay to prop up banks, you lose.
    Deja Vu 2007.
    Only this time, it will be much, much worse. All the tricks have been used the last 14 years, there are no tricks left.

  28. 2008 financial crisis: In response, government throws money at the financial markets. Banks made out like bandits.

    2020-1 covid crisis: In response, government rules cause mass of foreclosures on investment properties. Banks make out like bandits.

    I sense a pattern.

  29. When the rule of law has become so debased that "stealing from the bourgeoisie" is "OK", it also begins to cease regulating the behavior of at least some of the "bourgeoisie".

    I'd be willing to bet if the landlord's last name ends with a vowel and he belongs to, or is affiliated with, or subscribes to the "ethnic culture" of "Our Thing", tenants don't refuse to pay and dare the landlord to do something about it, and continue that behavior for "thirty or more days". But I could be wrong - Our Thing, for the snowflakes, could be just a Joe Henderson album.

    Understand that no ethnic criticism should be inferred from this post. Some "ethnic cultures" merit mimicking.

  30. You know what these landlords need to do? Unlock the door, walk in with a suitcase and say, "Hey, I need shelter. That's a nice looking couch, man."

  31. This article could as easily been written about the thousands of White landlords experiencing the same thing, but the only way you get to complain today is if you are a PoC and can thus claim some intersectional victim cred.

  32. "is afraid to contact this person out of fear that he'll be sued for harassment." Here is one problem; dude needs to grow some balls.

  33. My dad owned rental properties when I was a kid. I saw the absolute bullshit he went through with loser tenants, mooches, vandals, etc. I swore I'd never own rental properties. When dad passed away my brothers and I sold the properties. In light of how things turned out that was a good move. In the old days you break someone's arm and get away with it for failure to pay rent. Now the government has taken private property and turned them into homeless shelters. What a load of crap.

  34. So brave to stand up for Chinese slumlords. Next you should write an article about how residents of Seattle and Vancouver BC are entitled freeloaders for complaining Chinese investors have destroyed the housing market and priced out the actual residents of the area. Then maybe we can work towards the Libertardian/Koch brother fantasy of open borders so we can drive wages down to less than a person with severe down syndrome makes at Goodwill.

  35. I found it odd the way this article was slanted. At the beginning the "evil rich corporation" can get the shaft quote from a "housing activist". Then it's the minority landlord, then the minority tenant. Is that the formula for writing these days? It's not worth it unless a minority is involved or the "evil rich" get screwed?

  36. "We know they're rich enough to #CancelRent, and we're going to make them."
    It's called class warfare, divide and conquer. Take from those that worked hard and give to the lazy.

  37. It is of interest to note that the entire state of Idaho ignored the eviction moratorium.
    The housing courts have been open there.
    Also North Texas, where (non lawyer) justices of the peace oversee the housing courts, has given guidance to the justices to ignore the moratorium.
    I am amazed more places have not just ignored this obviously unconstitutional overreach.
    In spite of the potential penalties.
    Until they prosecute a few to encourage the others, it seems logical to resist

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