There is an eviction moratorium in Washington state, which has been extended until the end of the year, and four landlords are suing in federal court to get it lifted. One of them is Enrique Jevons, who is in Yakima and individually manages 93 rental properties.
“We have about a dozen that are on payment plans. It’s one in particular that we have that is still employed. He just told us, ‘Well, I don’t have to pay, so I’m not going to pay.’ There’s absolutely no requirements that you actually be unemployed or that your hours have been cut back at all, such that anybody can simply choose not to pay. And so I do have one tenant who flat out told us that he’s chosen not to pay,” Jevons said.
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Jevons was more open to the eviction moratorium when it first came around, hoping that it would be short-term and that he’d survive it. But the repeated extensions with no end in sight are hitting him hard.
“When the moratorium first came around, I thought, ‘Oh, OK, if this is just a month or two, I’ll survive, right? It’s going to be a hit, but I’ll survive. But now it’s been extended a couple of times now, all the way till the end of the year. Certainly don’t expect the pandemic to all of a sudden be over at the end of the year. So that’s a concern there,” he said.
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“I’ve already burned through all my savings, and now what? We’re at the edge of losing properties, and there are people that are now selling their rental properties as a result. But the problem is there, who’s going to buy it? Because if it’s got a tenant that’s not paying rent and you know you’re not gonna be able to get that tenant out, nobody in their right mind is going to buy that rental property.”
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