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Landlord organizations are telling lawmakers in Washington: we need help too.
They say fewer of their renters are paying rent and they too, the landlords, have bills to pay.
As the coronavirus crisis enters its third month in the U.S., more and more tenants are protesting paying their rent.
Cancel rent now!
May, we are not going to pay!
While many people pay rent to large corporations, around half of Americans who rent, rent from individual landlords.
There are about eight million owners in this category, most of whom have between one and ten properties.
Thank you for figuring out how to do your Skype.
Yeah, my son was helping me.
Oh, that's nice.
Fadela Hussein says her rental income is her only income.
Her homes are in Schenectady, New York, a riverside city of around 60,000 that's three hours north of Manhattan.
Her single-family homes run for, on average, 1,200 USD per month.
I started in 2010.
I used up my savings to invest in, you know, one property, buy it and fix it and rent it.
It, eventually, over the years, I accumulated a few more.
More than a few, you're up to 14 right now, right?
Right.
Hussein, who's 61 years old and a widow, says she has so many tenants not paying their rent right now that she can't pay all her mortgages.
They're just not paying.
She says these four homes are vacant and need repairs, which now she can't afford.
Hussein was in the process, she says, of trying to evict the tenants of two homes, when New York declared a 90-day moratorium on evictions.
They, and three other tenants, she says have yet to pay their April rent.
Did people lose their jobs, is that the issue?
Well, they haven't responded to my letter asking them for proof if they are affected or if they are unemployed because of the COVID-19.
And when I call, I'm not getting any response either.
Hussein said she would work with her tenants on payment options and perhaps even lower their rent if she could get ahold of them.
I knocked on the door, nobody would open the door.
According to records she shared with us, if all the houses she owned were rented and current on payments, she would have collected for the month of April 16,000 USD.
She only took in 6,300 USD, which she says doesn't cover her costs.
It's so hard and I am so confused.
I'm lost and stressed.
Hussein says she hasn't been able to reach her mortgage lenders and is trying to get a small business loan.
Minnesota's Congresswoman, Ilhan Omar, introduced a bill that would cancel rents and mortgages during the coronavirus pandemic.
We want to make sure with this package that no one is going to be left behind and that our system in itself is not going to break down.
But how big is this package?
I read through the bill and I didn't see dollar estimates.
Without taking into full account, the scope of the problem, we can't really estimate the amount of money it's going to need.
The bill has a tough road ahead with no broad bipartisan support and critics decrying provisions favoring renters.
How concerned are they about their businesses right now?
They're petrified.
They wake up every morning very concerned about what the future holds frankly.
One of the most active advocates for landlords in New York is the Community Housing Improvement Program, which has over 4,000 owners and managers.
Jay Martin is the head of CHIP.
Martin says the government should bear more responsibility and suspend taxes for landlords like Hussein.
Governments are not willing to entertain the idea of suspending taxes because they're also in financial hardship right now.
Many of our municipalities across this country rely on these property taxes to be able to sustain their communities.
So we want to make sure that landlords have the resources that they need in order to still fulfill their obligations.
So what happens if your bill doesn't pass, and nothing gets done?
That will be a complete devastation.
We are looking at, like I said, a huge collapse of our housing market.
If this continues, what are you gonna do?
I'm just gonna have to stop making all the payments on these properties, even insurance.
If something happen, I don't know what's gonna happen.
I'm gonna have to stop because there's no money, there's no money.
If May and the summer months are as bad for her as April was, Hussein says she'll have to let some of her properties go, or...
I have to go find a job, that's it.
And decide if I wanna continue being a landlord or I just wanna get out of it.
I don't think I can keep handle... I can't handle it anymore.
I can't.
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家賃の未払いが続く場合、家主はどうなるのか?(What Happens to Landlords When Tenants Can't Pay Rent? | WSJ)

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Mackenzie 2020 年 5 月 28 日 に公開    poohish 翻訳    Yuka Ito チェック
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