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Pa landlords urged to postpone evictions due to COVID-19

Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Josh Shapiro is urging landlords across the state to not begin any new eviction proceedings until at least July 15.

As courts prepare to reopen, including those that handle evictions, Shapiro sent a letter to landlords to protect Pennsylvanians facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter called on them to:

  • Not begin any new eviction proceedings based on non-payment of rent until at least July 15th.
  • Extend grace periods for late payments and waive late fees for residents that have provided documentation of financial hardship or loss of employment related to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Create payment plans for residents, including those with previously outstanding eviction balances, and put the plan in writing.
  • Help residents identify and access resources available through government and community programs.

Jason Pryor, a Pennsylvania-based landlord with a rental property in Easton, sees both the possible positive and negative effects of postponing evictions due to nonpayment. “It all makes sense on the surface,” he said. “It is the responsibility of those with means to recognize the struggles of others. But at the same time, money trickles up, not down.”

Pryor said that it is important for people to remember that landlords also have mortgages to pay and many rely on rental income to pay those bills.

“A capitalist culture relies on hard work, determination and grit to get things done,” he said. “We are now seeing the limitations of that.”

Dawn Ouellette Nixon

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