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Injunction request filed to halt eviction moratorium for some Louisiana landlords

Published: Aug. 21, 2021 at 12:25 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Hundreds of landlords in Louisiana have filed a request for an injunction with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, looking to end the current ban on evictions.

Attorney Luke Wake represents 320 landlords with the Apartment Association of Louisiana who own thousands of units across the state.

He says while the legality of the CDC’s eviction ban is argued in court, landlords are in need of immediate help.

“We think we are entitled at this moment to an immediate injunction,” said Wake.

“They’re suffering because it affects their ability to access credit. It impacts their ability to sell units if you can’t get rid of a non-paying tenant.”

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia recently rejected a bid by Alabama and Georgia realtors to block the eviction moratorium reinstated this month.

A lower court also declined to overturn the moratorium.

The realtors in that case are likely to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which voted 5-4 in June to allow the ban to continue when it was scheduled to run through the end of July.

Wake believes if the Fifth Circuit Court in New Orleans does not grant the injunction, the high court will lean in their favor. But he’s concerned that will take more time than some landlords can afford.

“The writing is on the wall,” Wake said. “The Supreme Court, at the end of the day, is going to hold this unlawful. And that’s why the White House admitted that don’t have any authority for this.”

Andreanecia Morris with Housing NOLA acknowledges that landlords are suffering along with renters.

But she says instead of focusing on evicting their tenants, they should put pressure on state lawmakers to release Covid-19 relief funds that have been made available.

“We have landlords who get this,” said Morris.

“We have landlords who are honoring the moratorium, because, A - They understand the consequences to their tenants, and B - They would like to get paid, and they realize they have got to stick with their tenants in order for that to happen.”

Morris says she has repeatedly reached out to the Governor’s office and state officials to ask why relief funds have not been fully allocated. She says she has not received a straight-forward answer.

She says the longer landlords and tenants go without help, the harder it will be for both parties.

“The state has got to get their act together.”

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