In a stunning move of poor taste, the Berkeley Property Owners Association is so happy to be able to kick people out of their homes that they are throwing a party. Rather than acknowledge eviction as an unfortunate and often unavoidable part of doing business as a landlord, these folks are thrilled to be tossing people into the street.
The COVID pandemic saw many California cities put a temporary stop on eviction. Berkeley's moratorium ended September 1st, so the BPOA hosted a "Fall Social Mixer: Celebrating the End of the Eviction Moratorium." This seems like one of those things that you can do, but really should not.
"We will celebrate the end of the Eviction Moratorium and talk about what's upcoming through the end of the year," reads the event notice on BPOA's website. Tickets to the mixer are $20 but only available to BPOA members.
BPOA claims renters abused the moratorium to weasel out of paying rent. "We make no qualms about celebrating the end of the eviction moratorium. We are celebrating the end of the tenants who could have paid rent, and chose not to," BPOA President Krista Gulbransen told Berkeleyside.
Others disagree. Leah Simon-Weisberg, chair of Berkeley's Rent Stabilization Board, denies the charge that many tenants could have paid rent and chose not to, calling it "nonsense" and saying BPOA has not provided any evidence of fraud when it came to the eviction moratorium.