Ban on evictions presents financial challenges for local landlords

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DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado’s temporary ban on evictions and foreclosures remains in effect through the end of the month. It’s good news for those struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic but in some cases, a tough situation for landlords.

The Colorado Apartment Association says ten percent of tenants were unable to pay their rent this month. There are more than 350,000 small property landlords in the Denver metro area. Some say they will not be able to ride out the effects of the pandemic.

Property owner Tom Phanichpatom tells the Problem Solvers he has compassion for those who need help and understands the need for emergency measures designed to help, but not receiving rent from even one of his tenants is taking a toll on his family.

“My parents have been living on the money we get for their retirement, so now it’s a big pain,” he said.

The Problem Solvers took a look at the breakdown of where the average rent payment ends up.  

For every dollar of rent paid, 38 percent goes to the building’s mortgage payment, 27 percent pays employees and 14 percent is applied to property taxes, according to the Colorado Apartment Association.  

Michelle Lyng, who represents the organization, said, “Let’s say there’s a small building with five units and one person doesn’t pay rent. All the sudden, you’re down 20 percent in revenue.”

Help for landlords is available through the association’s new partnership with the Resident Relief Foundation, which gives grants to responsible renters who are struggling.

New reports are encouraging, showing more tenants paid rent in May than in April.

“Federal stimulus checks that have come, unemployment is kicking in,” Lyng said.

A strong warning comes from tenants’ rights attorney Jacob Eppler, who said this is no time for renters who can afford to pay to push the limit of the temporary ban on evictions and foreclosures. 

“The train is moving slowly but it is going to hit you, a tenant will still be liable for rent they haven’t paid, for late fees, for interest, and potentially having an eviction on their record,” he said.

The Apartment Association says if you need assistance paying rent, you should first contact your landlord to work out a payment plan.

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