As of September 30th, California’s rent moratorium expired, leaving many Californians still burdened by the effects of COVID-19 living in fear of eviction amidst an evolving work landscape. While this has left many California renters and residents empathetic towards those still heavily burdened by pandemic hardships, another group of Californians has grown suspiciously powerful in the days since the moratorium expired.
Since the state-wide moratorium expired, it has been reported that thousands of renters throughout the state have woken up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night, only to find the apparition of their rent-bereaved landlord standing at the foot of their bed, begging for rent. “I was petrified,” said Fresno renter, Alyssa Delgado. “So, I yelled ‘the local moratorium is still in effect’ three times fast, and he vanished as mysteriously as he appeared,” Delgado reported.
Fortunately for Alyssa, she lives in a city that is still protecting renters from eviction amidst the pandemic. Places like Fresno County, Alameda County, Solano County, and the cities of Berkeley and Oakland, and others have continued local protections, supporting their residents through this unprecedented time. Housing is both healthcare and a human right, so it is critical for low-income renters to receive long-term support as they recover from this pandemic, often having borne the brunt of its effects.
One Coachella Valley resident, Martin Villegas, reported seeing the apparition of his landlord in his bedroom, shrieking the word “evicted,” over and over. “It was terrifying, but not out of character for my landlord,” said Villegas. “I simply told him I had already applied for assistance through the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program, and he vanished just like that.”
We attempted to contact Villegas’ landlord’s apparition for comment via Ouija Board, but the only thing we could decipher was the phrase, “me want rent.” It’s hard to say definitively whether we truly contacted his landlord, but the message remains the same–the landlords want their rent, regardless of any ongoing pandemic.
Fortunately for California renters, there are still some local protections in place, as well as additional financial assistance to pay rent and utilities they can apply for right now. It is unclear when California landlords will rejoin us in the physical realm, but until then, be sure to draw a salt circle around your house before rent is due!
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