• Sebastian Waricks

COVID-19 Pandemic Edition: Do you have what it takes to be a ruthless landlord in Alabama?

Updated: Mar 21, 2021


Photo by Morning Brew on Unsplash


It's Just Business


Covid-19 rages across the nation, destroying jobs, damaging lives and even killing thousands. But you are about to be a landlord in Alabama; these facts don't apply to landlords in Alabama. The law is on your side...but are you on your side? Laws can't protect the weak! Take this quiz to see if you have the heart of a ruthless Alabama landlord.


1. It’s May 1st 2020 and a few of your tenants have not paid rent. They just have some sob story about losing their job as a waitress, a car salesperson and a chef. You call your lawyer who is on speed dial and she advises you that evictions will not be enforced until June 1st, 2020 due to a Proclamation by Governor Ivey. Do you?


a. Begin your unlawful eviction process anyway, proclaiming “I am the law!!”

b. File an eviction with the court and then countdown until June 1st to rush the court while

harassing your tenants every step of the way and sometimes even your lawyer.

c. Compassionately work out a plan so that on June 1st you do not have to follow

through with an eviction because it would be just horrible if thousands or even millions

roamed the streets unhoused while a contagious virus spreads like wildfire.

2. You overheard somewhere about something in the Federal CARES Act protecting tenants who live in federally backed mortgages until July 25, 2020. Do you?


a. Think… ‘interesting’ and forget that you in fact have a mortgage that is federally

backed and then proceed with eviction not realizing that it will be a futile endeavor.

b. Seek federal assistance, hide this information from your tenants and harass them until

they leave. “I’m not passing on any favors!”

c. Disclose this valuable information to your grateful and relieved tenants. Then work out a plan so that on July 25, 2020 there is no need to proceed with eviction.


3. You have a tenant who is an elderly woman who is behind on her rent due to a mix up on her social security benefits. Due to the pandemic, it is difficult for her to reach anyone. Do you?


a. Feel victimized. This was supposed to be your retirement income. How will your travel fund ever grow? At this rate you’ll never make it to Italy.

b. Refuse to do necessary maintenance on her unit.

c. Show empathy since we are in the midst of a pandemic. You are well-known in the area and you have a lawyer. Perhaps these tools can be utilized to help her get connected.


4. Your tenant has congestive heart failure now owes $1550 in back rent. Do you?


a. Become consumed with worry about the economic future of your family and yourself.

b. Send a rude letter stating that rent is due and threaten immediate eviction.

c. Work with tenants who are especially vulnerable to the pandemic and look for outside resources to refer them to. Landlords are powerful in Alabama, so you can use your power to vouch for your tenants to overwhelmed non-profits who appreciate your input.


5. On what date did the Governor's Proclamation begin, which protected tenants from the enforcement of an eviction?


a. What Proclamation? Do you mean the date my letter states that my tenants will be evicted?

b. Doesn’t matter, I already have my order in place.

c. Order became effective 5p.m., Saturday on April 4th, 2020.


6. How many cases of Covid-19 has Alabama added on July 9, 2020?


a. Covid-19 doesn’t exist; it’s a hoax.

b. It’s only bad in New York, probably less than 100.

c. 1,304 cases were added on July 9, 2020 and deaths rose by 35.


7. After being furloughed as a flight attendant, your tenant Ruthie is stressed, hungry and limited on funds, which bill or cost should she prioritize first?


a. Credit Cards

b. Food

c. My Rent!


8. Why won’t your tenant pay rent?


a. Your tenants are withholding their stimulus check.

b. Your tenants received generous unemployment benefits but are too irresponsible to pay rent.

c. They lost their job due to the shelter-in-place order and the stimulus from the federal government haven’t arrived. In addition the unemployment office is too backlogged to process their claim.


9. When you read the Proclamation by Governor Ivey concerning evictions, what was the main message you gathered?


a. I can still file for an eviction.

b. Rent is due.

c. “All state, county and local law enforcement officers are hereby by directed to cease enforcement of any order that would result in the displacement of a person from his or her place of residence.”


10. It’s July 4th, what do you think of when you go to the Kroger grocery store and see steak?


a. You don’t see the steak. You ruminate over that one tenant who was too savvy to succumb to your self-help eviction. One day you’ll get them...out...one day...

b. You think, “They can have their rent for free and that’s nice but I can't go over to Kroger and start buying a steak and say oh by the way put it on the tab when this things over I’ll pay you as soon as my tenants pay.”

c. Happy, can’t wait to get this on the grill.


Results:

Mostly A's and B's: Excellent! You have what it takes to be a landlord in Alabama even if you have to pry that check from their cold, dead and Covid-19 riddled hands.

Mostly C's: Why did you even take the quiz? I'm surprise you didn't start weeping at the thought of collecting rent. Landlords in Alabama collect rent no matter what! Take your compassion and move on! Compassion can't pay for that Kroger steak!


Read More:

EAQI: Tenants Will Face Difficulty Avoiding Evictions in Alabama Despite Covid-19 Pandemic, article published July 3, 2020.


Sources: AL.COM: 1,304 new coronavirus cases in Alabama since yesterday; Deaths jump by 35, article publised July 10, 2020. ABC3340 NEWS: Alabama stay-at-home order prohibits evictions & foreclosures during COVID-19 crisis, article published April 3, 2020. AL.COM: Some Alabama counties evicting tenants in pandemic, article published May, 2020. AL.COM: Some Alabama counties resume evictions for unpaid rent, article published June 6, 2020. FOX10: Evictions are back – but in Mobile County, at least, pace falls short of pre-pandemic levels, article published June 25, 2020. The Office of Alabama Governor: State of Alabama Proclamation by the Governor, proclamation published April 3, 2020. WAFF48: Evictions possible again after governor’s order is lifted, article published June 10, 2020. WHNT News19: Alabama ban on eviction set-outs expired, article published June 8, 2020. WHNT News19: UPDATE: Gov. Kay Ivey issues ban on evictions for the entire state, but rent is still due, article published April 3, 2020. WSFA12 News: Lawyer says some Alabama landlords violate order, try to evict tenants, article published April 8, 2020.


Thank you for reading! Follow EAQI on Twitter at @EAQI_.

Are you dealing with an eviction in Alabama? Send your story to [email protected] and share tips at [email protected]!


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