Government protection from renters evictions has landlords up in arms

Local News

The moratorium on evictions has one land lord up in arms saying that he feels powerless with his properties.

The protection comes from Governor Tom Wolf as well as Erie County President Judge John Trucilla who has mirrored the governor’s order with the intention of protecting both landlords and renters.

As the pandemic consumed the past four months, it also has shut down the economy and shrank incomes across the board.

Governor Tom Wolf issued protection for rents while barring landlords from evicting renters for not paying rent. This was something that was carried through here in Erie County.

“The landlord and tenant area was no immune from our balancing tests to protect people who were vulnerable, couldn’t pay rent or getting support from the government,” said John Trucilla, Erie County President Judge.

Landlords were allowed to follow up on evictions that started prior to the pandemic.

“We carved out an exception to them that recognizes the emergency and allowed them to go ahead with the judgments they had before the emergency,” said Trucilla.

We spoke with one landlord in the City of Erie who owns 52 properties. His issue with the moratorium is that he feels one of his liabilities is being taken away.

“At this point of course there’s not action for us to get the money. There are some programs coming out, but it’s very slow to come to light to see if any more, if any,” said Glenn Cessna of Cessna Properties.

Cessna said that it is hard on his end to plan ahead due to the uncertain times. Cessna further explained that if it continues and renters do not pay, they might just move out if they continue to fall behind on rent.

“In my 25 years of doing this, the tenant would typically take that money and simply move to another location rather than pay me back the money that is owed to me. It’s rather disheartening to see what we’re experiencing,” said Cessna.

Cessna said that in the past he has allowed renters who could not pay to have a free month, however at this time since he cannot make that decision on his own, this is where the frustration comes from.

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