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Rental Housing | English Lesson

Sep 7, 2021

Today’s topic is rental housing.

Let’s begin by looking at our vocabulary.


  • Housing: A building, or something else that covers and protects. An example of housing is an apartment building.
  • Property: Something belonging to somebody. In this case, it refers to real estate, in particular rental housing (houses, apartments).
  • Landlord: Someone who owns a house, apartment, condominium, land, or other types of real estate which is rented or leased to an individual or business, who is called a tenant. (landlord/tenant)
  • Moratorium: a legal authorization to debtors to postpone payment.
  • Eviction: the action of expelling someone, especially a tenant, from a property. (to evict)
  • Maintenance: refers to all tasks necessary for keeping a building functional and livable, such as cleaning, painting, and repairs

Now, listen to the reading and hear how these words are used in context.


The Covid-19 crisis provoked a rise in unemployment, which has raised the number of tenants unable to pay rent for their housing. To prevent landlords from evicting tenants who fall behind on their rent, some government agencies have instituted rent moratoriums. These moratoriums pause the obligation of tenants to pay rent and effectively block evictions, which allows the tenants to remain in their homes.

What are the pros and cons of these measures?

We could separate the effects into short-term, and long-term. On one hand, the measure offers temporary relief for tenants who can no longer pay rent because they are unemployed, or whose income has been reduced. On the other hand, the owners (landlords) stop receiving regular income, which can affect their ability to pay their own debt, property taxes, and building maintenance expenses.


Housing:  Where people live, like a house or an apartment.

Property: Something belonging to somebody, like a house or a building.

Landlord: Someone who owns the property used for housing or for work. The person or business that rents the property is the tenant.

Moratorium: a legal authorization to debtors to postpone payment.

Eviction: to remove a tenant from a property.

Maintenance: actions like painting, cleaning, and repairs.


That is all for today. The “English for Economists” podcast is new, so this is a good time to share it with your friends and colleagues. Also, if you have any suggestions or comments, write to me. I would very much enjoy hearing from you.

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