Area landlords say the moratorium on eviction put in place by Governor Eric Holcomb has created some headaches.
Daviess County has been impacted by the COVID-19, but fortunately not as badly as some other parts of the state. For those most part landlords say they have not had a lot of trouble collecting the rent.
“I am lucky,” said Washington area landlord Mary Roark. “I have very good renters. I have had one lady who has fallen behind but she will get caught up. It has not hit me as bad as some other landlords.”
“We have a handful of properties and all of our tenants have been determined to be essential workers, so they are all working and staying up on their rent,” added Zella Taylor with D&Z Quality Properties.
While the majority of people have been making the rent payments, a handful have been creating headaches for landlords.
“My tenants have been very good about paying and paying on time, but I did have one fella that took advantage and didn’t pay for four months,” said Anna Lou Chapman with Remax Realty. “He did finally get it caught up.”
“I have one couple who are taking advantage of it,” said landlord Sonia Gaither. “They don’t seem to get that the governor may have said that I can’t evict them, but that does not mean they can avoid paying rent. They are both working in essential businesses and have not been laid off. There is no excuse for them not paying. They are just taking advantage of the situation and are not paying.”
The local landlords say they question the governor’s wisdom in putting the moratoriums on evictions in place.
“I wonder how many rental properties the governor has,” said Roark. “I don’t think he considered what kind of impact this could have on the landlords. Whether people pay their rent or not we still have costs. There is upkeep and taxes. Sometimes we are still making payments to the bank. I can tell you this much, from my experience anyone who is 90 days behind on rent will never catch it up.”
“There was no reason for these moratoriums,” added Gaither. “We provide a service and if we do not have money coming in, we are going to be going bankrupt. He should be encouraging people to pay their bills and be responsible. We need a system that works for people who need it, not those who are going to abuse it.”
Roark is worried what the outcome will be if a second round of the coronavirus should hit Indiana.
“I hope it doesn’t happen,” she said. “I am afraid that if it does and we get more moratoriums that landlords will be forced into a position where they may have to sell their properties. I don’t think the governor should have the right to do that.”