A New Orleans eviction
Many New Orleans renters of apartments that were spared flooding are complaining that landlords are doubling the rent. A friend of mine moved out of an apartment on Esplanade Avenue that he was renting for $750. The new rent: $1500.
What's causing rent inflation? Demand -- especially by contractors making money hand over fist. For New Orleanians, however, their salaries aren't doubling.
Meanwhile, three months after Hurricane Katrina, is it reasonable to ask that tenants should have returned by now to claim their possessions if they don't plan to return to live in New Orleans? After three months, do landlords have a right to evict tenants who haven't returned so they can rent to new tenants and restore the income they need to make mortgage payments? Is it sufficient to simply post an eviction notice on the tenants door, or should the landlord have to track down their tenants?
A recent federal order requires landlords to mail notices to tenants 45 days before eviction using addresses FEMA will provide.
These issues crossed my mind once again when, a few days ago, I passed a pile of furniture and other possessions in front of a house that didn't flood. Sure enough, eviction notices were on the door. Someone's possessions were put on the street. I had to wonder if the tenant was properly notified.
James Gill has a commentary on the issues confronting renters and landlords in post-Katrina New Orleans.
Another tragedy that will soon unfold is home foreclosures. Although the FDIC is asking mortgage lenders to extend payment deferments, lenders are free to do what they choose now that the 90-day grace period has ended.