A group of about 100 landlords gathered in front of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office on Aug. 20 to protest the eviction moratorium imposed by the CDC.
Article by Enrico Trigoso from our news partners at The Epoch Times.
“This is a New York landlord group. We’re here to protest the eviction moratorium,” Trevor Rampersud told The Epoch Times. “It’s allowed [for] bad actors, such as my tenant who has not had a change in income, who just simply decided not to pay rent. I actually started my eviction back in September of 2019 before COVID-19 even existed.”
Rampersud doesn’t believe his tenant doesn’t have the means to pay rent, and said the tenant has caused serious damage to his property, for which he has to pay to get fixed.
“He’s still going to work. On top of that, a large part of his income is honestly an inheritance. He has a very vast inheritance,” Rampersud said.
“He owes $28,000 in rent. Plus the property damage, you’re looking at about $80,000 in the whole.”
Rampersud said he wants the courts to open.
“I don’t think there needs to be an eviction moratorium. If you apply for rental assistance, your eviction is automatically postponed,” he said of the state’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP).
“If you have a pending application in that program, then you are not going to be evicted.”
Rampersud said that he thinks there are deeper reasons behind the federal government’s introducing the moratorium.
“I believe that, not the moderate left, but the more socialist left, believes in the ‘cancel rent movement.’ They believe in free housing. They don’t believe in landlords providing apartments or rental properties.”
Rampersud told The Epoch Times that he feels that there is a similarity to the communist revolutions in the past where the landlords were targeted by the revolutionary movements.
Also at the protest was Ray Huang of the National Property Association, who said landlords were gathered to make their voices heard.
“NY State and NYC courts are not only not opening up the cases, but they are delaying them. They don’t know that the landlords are the ones who actually have been affected more. We need to be treated fairly,” he told The Epoch Times in Chinese.
The majority of protestors were of Chinese ethnicity and were small-scale landowners from Brooklyn and Flushing whose tenants are not paying rent or only paying partially.
“These policies by the government have turned good tenants into bad tenants. They don’t pay rent even if they have the money,” Huang said.
He said that in one extreme case, he had to “beg” a tenant who hadn’t paid rent for a year to leave as he was drowning in the costs.
When asked if there is any middle ground to be found, Huang said that, at a minimum, the government needs to open up the courts to adjudicate disputes.
“People who are really in need of help, we are willing to help them. There’s no problem, they can pay a bit later. But the situation now is that they have money but won’t pay, and you can’t raise the tone of voice to them. ‘The law is protecting me,’ they will say. So really, small landlords have been driven beyond the limits of forbearance.”
“I think that more than 90 percent are lying. We believe that last year, during May and June, they might not have been able to get work, but now it’s August 2021 and the basic occupations have all started running again,” he said.
‘Stop Creating and Pampering Lazy People’
Small landowner Xiugan Zheng concurred with Rampersud in leftist policies were to blame for the situation.
“Landowners used to be protected by the federal government. If these bad policies keep going where it’s not allowed to evict the tenants, it will result in landlords not having the interest or will to invest, since we can’t get any guarantee,” Zheng said.
He claimed that left-leaning politicians have an interest to protect tenants, since they are the majority and the politicians are looking to secure votes.
“If we keep going like this, America will be promoting laziness, nobody will want to work, and will just want to take welfare from the government. The great pains we went through to buy a home can’t get any guarantee. ”
“The government will become big and the benefit of the citizens won’t be protected,” Zheng said. “It’s becoming more left-leaning here, everything is becoming very communist.
“Then, there is no aspiration for pro-actively working hard and investing. I’m even thinking about selling my property and also becoming poor,” he lamented.
Guanghong Wu told The Epoch Times that as landlords, they have also been affected by the pandemic, saying that the New York government is being “absolutely unfair” to them.
“The land tax increases every year, so does the water bill, the landlords didn’t steal the money to buy the properties,” he exclaimed.
Another landlord, Annie Chen said, exasperated, that New York’s landlords are being bullied to the point that they don’t know where to turn.
“My tenant says she doesn’t have money for rent but I see she has money to ride on Uber, buy clothes, nice handbags. Every week, she dumps 10 big trash bags and buys good food!”
Chen said she thinks that the government needs to “stop creating and pampering this kind of lazy people.”
Landlord Rosanna Morey’s case started as a holdover, meaning that her tenant was being evicted for something other than non-payment.
“Now, [the tenant] has stopped paying. But back when I originally started, she was being evicted because my sister needed to move in. I have cancer. I need my family and my house. I don’t wish to rent my property anymore. I should be allowed to evict on that premise alone. This woman did not have any problems, no hardships. She claims hardship, but there hasn’t been a change in her income or anything, because she’s on social security and that wasn’t affected by COVID.”
Morey’s case to evict the tenant started in 2020.
“I would like to tell the authorities that there needs to be some sort of delineation for cases like mine. Cases that started as holdovers that then became issues of non payment should be allowed to evict at this point,” she said.
“So this person is literally living in my home for free, while I’m working three jobs with an incurable cancer.”
The Epoch Times has reached out to Cuomo’s office for comment.