Small Land Lords
Speaker 1: 00:00 7 million tenants across the country are behind on rent more than a year into the COVID-19 crisis. And many small landlords are struggling to pay their bills as well as cap radios. Chris Nichols reports, the economic pressures are rising on these mom and pop rental owners Speaker 2: 00:17 For the pandemic, Ravi Kaylon and her husband Raja jaggedy son owned six rental properties, including some duplexes in Sacramento and the bay Speaker 3: 00:26 Area. So we have a room here that you can look at and is this one rented out yet? Or it is, Speaker 2: 00:32 They say their goal is to provide housing. The community can afford, but after the economy shutdown, four of their nine tenants stopped paying rent entirely September. Speaker 4: 00:42 We didn't get rent October. We didn't November, December, January, February, March. So that's $28,000 in just one county Speaker 2: 00:53 Without this revenue. The couple says they used personal savings to pay for repairs, property taxes, and their mortgages. But jaggedy sin says that approach just isn't sustainable. Speaker 5: 01:04 We want to provide clean, safe housing for people. I mean, we need to at least make the numbers work. Yeah. Speaker 2: 01:09 More than a year into the pandemic. The bills are continuing to pile up for small landlords who own nearly half the rental units in America and often provide housing. That's affordable for middle and lower income renters. But as of this month, landlords still can't ask courts to remove tenants who aren't paying that's because the federal government recently extended its eviction moratorium. Through the end of July, California continued its eviction ban through the end of September, but many renters can apply for 100% back rent, which will ease the situation somewhat. When do we want it at rallies like this one in Sacramento, this spring tenant advocates pushed for the bands to stay in place. They say they're needed because just a fraction of the billions of dollars in state and federal rent relief has gone out to those affected by COVID-19. But economists say the eviction ban puts a huge weight on small landlords, especially those whose rental income has dried up given the red hot real estate market. They say some might just sell and get out of the rental business. Altogether Speaker 6: 02:22 Homes are selling very quickly, almost no matter what condition they're in and Speaker 2: 02:26 That Zillow senior economist, Jeff Tucker, Speaker 6: 02:28 And therefore that is attempting window of opportunity, especially for a small time landlord, uh, to cash out and sell that home. Those Speaker 2: 02:36 Sales are happening, but not to other mom. And pop owners says Russell Lowrey, who heads the California rental housing association, which represents landlords. Speaker 1: 02:46 We believe we're shifting the landlord mix from, from smaller to corporate Speaker 2: 02:51 Shift could mean fewer entry level rental options, renter advocates like Shanti Singh of tenants together say they also want to avoid more corporate ownership, which can be less forgiving to renter. Speaker 7: 03:04 We definitely don't want to see a further consolidation of property in the hands of corporate landlords. We have been fighting that in Speaker 2: 03:10 Sacramento, small landlord, Raja jaggedy son says he and his wife ended up selling half their properties. He says they couldn't make the number. Speaker 5: 03:20 You we're not getting any rent from property X, but we are bleeding money every month. And so then we have to make those hard decisions. I think we have to sell. And that happened not once, not twice, but three times. He Speaker 2: 03:32 Says one went to a young couple who planned to live at the home, taking it off the rental market. Another went to an investor who jaggedy sin says will likely slap some paint on it and then raise the rent in Sacramento. I'm Chris Nichols.