Not just tenants. The landlords are also struggling

“Some people would spend their money on a bigger home, a better car or a trip, but we live modestly,” Boyadjian said. “Whatever money we can put together, we’ll spend it on buying another family house to spend.”

Typically, rents from homes allow a couple to cover all of their expenses and earn an income. But tenants in their three properties in the San Fernando Valley have not paid rent for months. The couple are unable to remove these tenants due to a state eviction moratorium that has been extended until January 31st.

One of the remaining three tenants decided to pay 25% of the rent now, the rest later. Boyadjian said he is happy to work with that tenant because at least they are making an effort and getting something. Others, like those who haven’t paid rent since August, feel like they’re taking advantage.

“Collecting my own property and rent on it is my way of life,” he said. “I didn’t get any state support on my way. We sliced ​​our income. We don’t get unemployment.”

So far, it has been able to meet its financial obligations. He pays property tax and pays the insurance. It pays not only for utilities like water, but also for gardeners and pool maintenance.

“We’ve paid off our mortgages, but there’s really a danger that we won’t know on two properties,” Boyadjian said. – It’s unsustainable.

Uncertain eviction moratoriums

As the coronavirus epidemic drags on — as unemployment remains high, government subsidies decline, and the state of future stimuli is unknown — landlords suffer.
An analysis of census data from the Center for Budgetary and Political Priorities estimated that 9.2 million tenants were lagging behind in income at the time of the epidemic. And tenant households with job losses owe an average of $ 5,400 in arrears this month, according to a report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
The national ban on relocation, introduced by the Center for Disease Prevention and Control to prevent the spread of the virus, meant that many landlords would still have to pay to maintain and finance their properties, pay less rent and not have to resort to – paying tenants.

“This is a growing concern for landlords,” said David Howard, executive director of the National Rental Home Council, which speaks for the single-family rental industry. “With the eviction moratorium, you don’t know what to do next. There’s no certainty about when you’ll get paid.”

If the CDC’s order expires, up to 5 million tenants could be evicted nationwide in January, and eviction could put up to 14 million tenant households at risk, according to Stout, a global investment bank and consulting firm. Proponents of property owners, however, doubt there will be people nearby who are struggling with homelessness.

“The stories are heartbreaking for everyone – for people with medical problems or losing their jobs,” Howard said. “But I don’t see an eviction tsunami or an apocalypse coming. I think that message comes from housing advocacy groups to prevent evictions.”

Nonetheless, support for property owners and keeping tenants in safe housing should be encouraged, Howard said. But finding a solution is difficult. It supports rental support in the form of direct rents in the form of rents paid to landlords or tenants.

Detached houses account for half of all rental housing, he said, and the majority of property owners are mother-pop landlords, many of whom operate with razor-thin margins, rely on rental income to cover the cost of property remnants, and use the remainder as their income.

“The government is putting property owners in a position where they are supposed to be the backstops,” Howard said. “And a lot of people will say, ‘I can’t afford to be in this business anymore.'”

Wealth cannot be maintained

Peter Gray, president of Pyramid Real Estate Group in Stamford, Connecticut, is not only 30 property owners collecting rents on their property, but also a property manager who performs maintenance and collects rents for other landlords. While only a few of its own tenants have stopped paying, some of its tenant clients have trouble paying.

“Usually we are the last to pay no more,” he said. “We’re the ones who collect the rent. If they can’t pay their subcontractors, it hurts.”

Peter Gray, of Pyramid Real Estate Group, says most of its tenants are able to pay rent.  But on the property management side of their business, landlords are struggling to pay for repairs, garbage removal or heat.

If landlords struggle, tenants will also be affected as home maintenance slips.

“I see landlords who can’t pay to take out the trash,” Gray said. “We don’t get a heat call. They don’t pay property taxes. They don’t pay their mortgage.”

He said the property managed by one of his companies had a plumbing problem that cost about $ 38,000. The owner did not pay the bill.

“We had to get a lawyer involved and say we didn’t do any maintenance or repairs anymore,” he said. “We paid $ 38,000 for the repairs, and would they owe us one?”

A landlord in typical trouble, who he thinks is someone who has bought his property in the last five years and is ultimately leveraged, has no reserves. “Despite the tenant protection laws, these landlords have no cash reserves and no equity in their building to get loans,” he said. – Moratoriums hit after a blow.

Some landlords, he says, pay less and see the wear and tear on their properties increase as adult children or friends double after losing their own apartment. Routine maintenance, which should have been done this year, has been delayed or canceled in some cases because landlords don’t just have the money, Gray said.

“They can legislate on the need for timely repairs,” he said. “But for many landlords there is no money.”

Gray said he has some non-paying tenants he is unable to evict because of the moratorium. But he found that most of his tenants communicate with him and do everything they can to get paid.

“It’s not my style to take the last penny off the table,” he said. “I want my tenants to perform well. I thought early in my career a bad deal might not be more aggressive. But it turned out to be a good deal to work with people.”