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Federal eviction moratorium bringing challenges for landlords

Posted at 5:25 PM, Sep 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-11 21:31:30-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A federal order halting evictions until the end of the year is bringing challenges for property owners and landlords. It comes as concerns over rental assistance programs could run out of money.

The CDC earlier this month put forth an eviction moratorium that will last until the end of the year.

Landlords and property managers are still figuring out how rent will be paid. Property managers like Michele Brown say it’s created the idea for some tenants that they don’t need to pay rent.

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“That’s not what anybody is saying. They’re saying there’s some grace with paying rent right now," Brown said.

She says the moratorium can create situations for some landlords where their tenants may owe quite a bit of money once it gets lifted.

“If they’ve been struggling to pay rent for several months, how are you going to come up with a lump sum on a specific date?” she said.

A study from the Guinn Center shows the rental debt in Nevada could get between $900 million to $1.1 billion if nothing is done. Brown says most tenants are actively trying to get relief.

“There is a good portion of tenants I would say that are looking for help and do not want to be delinquent and care about their credit and rental history,” she said.

The help includes rental assistance programs. State

Treasurer Zach Conine says some providers are accepting new applications in Clark County after a pause, with $50 million allocated for Clark County, but he says more help is needed.

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“In the red of a couple of hundred million dollars. Congress needs to act to get more money to states to pay for things like this,” Conine said.

Shwantee Bushner is getting help from the program for her rent. She says tenants should try to work with their landlords on creating a plan and applying for the programs.

“Definitely don't do nothing. That’s the worst thing you could do. The main thing is to stay in contact with your landlord,” Bushner said.

Brown also encourages tenants to have conversations with their landlords.

“The questions that we’re asking them is not to harass them. It’s to simply be able to pass on information to the homeowner so they can make a plan," she said.

Evictions can still happen, but only if they fall under certain categories under the governor’s order like damaging property or threatening the health and safety of other tenants.

More information on the rental assistance program is available here.