After multiple extensions, this summer saw the end to eviction moratoriums. But even though evictions are proceeding, a local housing leader says some Nevada landlords are being left high and dry with thousands of dollars owed to them.
“All of our members are experiencing a loss from people that are moving out from a rent balance that’s owed,” said Susy Vasquez, executive director of the Nevada State Apartment Association.
She said she believes renters are moving out because they can’t pay what they owe from the moratorium months.
“At the end of the eviction moratorium, we did see a little bit of panic,” Vasquez said.
She said those who are unable to pay their balances are moving out to avoid an eviction on their record, something they’re more susceptible to with the moratorium ends. Still, it’s leaving some landlords wondering if they’ll ever get paid back.
“How many people are gonna start moving out because they’ve given up hope?” Vasquez said.
Renters doing this, however, are not facing a future without consequence.
“Their account is sent over to collections, and then the typical collections would reach out to the tenant and try to make a payment arrangement with them,” Vasquez said.
Amid hard times, it’s likely these renters aren’t in a position to pay that rent back. That’s why the U.S. Department of the Treasury is working on a policy that will reimburse property owners for rent debts, even if the renter moves out or terminates their contract early.
“The treasury department has released new guidance, and within that new guidance, there is an opportunity for those that have moved out, have a balance with their previous landlord, for them to apply for rent assistance,” said Vasquez. “I think it was smart of the Treasury Department to put forward this type of plan to make everybody whole, really, not only landlords but residents.”
Calling it a “win-win,” she added, “The tenant no longer has a collection account, the landlord is made whole through the rental assistance program.”
People would still need to qualify, however, but those details should be coming this fall.
“Now we just wait to see how the rent assistance programs across the program implement that suggestion,” Vasquez said.
Vasquez said that some progress has been recently made from Clark County’s CHAP rental assistance program, particularly with getting dollars into the hands of landlords for approved applications.
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