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Old 29th March 2020, 07:29 PM   #1
William Parcher
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Covid-19 Evictions and Foreclosures / Cancel Rent movement

Here in America many or most places are disallowing evictions and foreclosures until May 31st. But this will have to be extended until further notice to prevent an epic catastrophe.

The rents and mortgages are being deferred until May 31st - after that you will get an invoice from your landlord or bank for all past due rent and mortgage payments. Many thousands or millions of people will not be able to pay this. What is going to happen?

Our government has approved a $2 trillion economic stimulus plan, but each individual is only going to get $1,200. That isn't going to be nearly enough. So many people are going to need far more than that to prevent widespread homelessness. I feel that another much larger stimulus plan will be necessary this summer.

I guess we could discuss this and maybe how I am exaggerating the situation or maybe it could be even worse than that. I just don't see how massive homelessness can be prevented unless someone or something else pays the rent or mortgage.
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Old 29th March 2020, 09:14 PM   #2
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Many of these people will receive unemployment benefits, which will help the situation. I also expect there will be additional relief, both in the form of financial assistance and in the form of laws prohibiting evictions, from the federal government, and possibly some state governments, too. And I strongly suspect that, one way or another, banks and landlords will end up having to take a haircut.
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Old 29th March 2020, 09:47 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Here in America many or most places are disallowing evictions and foreclosures until May 31st. But this will have to be extended until further notice to prevent an epic catastrophe.

The rents and mortgages are being deferred until May 31st - after that you will get an invoice from your landlord or bank for all past due rent and mortgage payments. Many thousands or millions of people will not be able to pay this. What is going to happen?
.....

I'm not sure it'll happen like that. A landlord doesn't want to evict people when there's nobody else waiting with the money to rent the property, and a bank doesn't want to own properties it can't sell. And foreclosure and eviction are lengthy processes. I suspect that most will offer plans to make up the back payments over time, probably with interest. The real crisis will come if all those people who left service jobs in restaurants, hotels, retail etc. find that their businesses have cut back or just not reopened. There are going to be long-term hardships for a lot of people.
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Old 29th March 2020, 10:42 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
I'm not sure it'll happen like that. A landlord doesn't want to evict people when there's nobody else waiting with the money to rent the property, and a bank doesn't want to own properties it can't sell. And foreclosure and eviction are lengthy processes. I suspect that most will offer plans to make up the back payments over time, probably with interest.
That's how I see it - they'd be kissing the money goodbye otherwise, because recovery will take a little while.

Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
The real crisis will come if all those people who left service jobs in restaurants, hotels, retail etc. find that their businesses have cut back or just not reopened. There are going to be long-term hardships for a lot of people.
Restaurants will recover fast enough, but hotels and the wider tourist industry will shrink and take a long time recover, if they ever do.

That sector probably doesn't matter too much in USA, but it's going to really hurt NZ.
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Old 29th March 2020, 10:47 PM   #5
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I'm sure there will be a mass of people that lose out in our capitalist system, landlords and tenants. The billionaire corporations will be fine, the rest of us.....not so much.
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Old 30th March 2020, 12:25 AM   #6
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Just think - one thing about being poor during Covid is that if you have nothing and lose even 75% of it, you're no worse off.

This could close the inequality gap temporarily.
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Old 30th March 2020, 01:33 AM   #7
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If I were a landlord right now I wouldn't evict people. I'd rather to have a tenant who could potentially start paying rent again soon when they went back to work than no tenant at all.

Potentially I'd negotiate some rent-free months or some discounted rate for some period.

Not sure how actual landlords will see the situation, but that seems like the intelligent way to approach this. One friend of mind did go talk to his landlord and got a reduction in his rent recently because of the situation.
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Old 30th March 2020, 01:36 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Just think - one thing about being poor during Covid is that if you have nothing and lose even 75% of it, you're no worse off.

This could close the inequality gap temporarily.
That's funny but not really true. If you usually live hand to mouth and suddenly have no income, well, you can't go below zero, right?

Except that you can consider the calories stored in your body as assets, and after you deplete those savings...

But hopefully our safety nets stay in operation and we can avoid that happening to people.
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Old 30th March 2020, 01:47 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
I'm sure there will be a mass of people that lose out in our capitalist system, landlords and tenants. The billionaire corporations will be fine, the rest of us.....not so much.
Absolutely they will if the reports are correct that the stimulus bill contains a measure which will allow real estate corporations to write down the value of their property and offset that against past and future profits.

It was stated that this could be worth $170bn.
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Old 30th March 2020, 01:50 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Just think - one thing about being poor during Covid is that if you have nothing and lose even 75% of it, you're no worse off.

This could close the inequality gap temporarily.
Experience from shocks like the great depression tend to show the opposite, that inequality grows because the very richest are in a position to acquire assets for cents on the dollar.
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Old 30th March 2020, 02:49 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
If I were a landlord right now I wouldn't evict people. I'd rather to have a tenant who could potentially start paying rent again soon when they went back to work than no tenant at all.

Potentially I'd negotiate some rent-free months or some discounted rate for some period.

Not sure how actual landlords will see the situation, but that seems like the intelligent way to approach this. One friend of mind did go talk to his landlord and got a reduction in his rent recently because of the situation.

Donít know about the USA but many of our private landlords are ďbuy to letĒ which usually means the rented property is mortgaged and the landlord has to pay that mortgage regardless of having paying tenants or not in the property.

Saying that I wouldnít evict simply because I have empathy and would be telling the mortgage holder to sod off until after the immediate crisis.
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Old 30th March 2020, 06:14 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Don’t know about the USA but many of our private landlords are “buy to let” which usually means the rented property is mortgaged and the landlord has to pay that mortgage regardless of having paying tenants or not in the property.

Saying that I wouldn’t evict simply because I have empathy and would be telling the mortgage holder to sod off until after the immediate crisis.
But evicting the tenant doesn't get the landlord the back rent owed, and in an economic downturn he might not have a new tenant waiting to move in. And the bank doesn't want to foreclose if it doesn't have to. It makes more sense for landlords and banks to exercise some flexibility and get their money eventually, rather than lock in their losses.

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Old 30th March 2020, 06:24 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
If I were a landlord right now I wouldn't evict people. I'd rather to have a tenant who could potentially start paying rent again soon when they went back to work than no tenant at all.

Potentially I'd negotiate some rent-free months or some discounted rate for some period.

Not sure how actual landlords will see the situation, but that seems like the intelligent way to approach this. One friend of mind did go talk to his landlord and got a reduction in his rent recently because of the situation.
What would even be the point of an eviction I wonder? Many local courts are closed to non-essential business, including eviction hearings.

The economy is in rapid contraction. Even if a landlord managed to throw out a tenant, who is going to move in? The number of people that can afford to pay rent right now is rapidly dropping. Trying to woo the few tenants available could easily turn into a race to the bottom as supply far exceeds the number of people that can afford to pay.

Landlords are going to have to accept what many other people have accepted, a short term reduction or total elimination of income. They are no more exempt from the economic aspects of this pandemic than the bartender that got laid off.

Taking a hard line on this, especially in big apartment complexes of working class people, could have some nasty unintended consequences ranging from coordinated rent strikes to outright violence.

Fortunately, I don't think most localities are interesting in processing evictions right now, so landlords have very little leverage.
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Old 30th March 2020, 07:09 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
But evicting the tenant doesn't get the landlord the back rent owed
The landlord will sue the evicted tenant for back rents owed in addition to what it costs to bring the lawsuit which is lawyer fees. This happens all the time. A person is evicted and is simultaneously sued for everything they owe including added fees.

This would only be prevented if it becomes illegal for a landlord to do anything at all to get what they are owed.
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Old 30th March 2020, 07:30 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
What would even be the point of an eviction I wonder?
The point is to get somebody in the apartment who can pay the rent.

Quote:
Many local courts are closed to non-essential business, including eviction hearings.
Evictions are actually illegal until May 31st. That is true even if a court would happen to be open.

Quote:
Even if a landlord managed to throw out a tenant, who is going to move in?
Again, it would be someone who is able to pay the rent. The evicted tenant is obviously not paying rent. It's worthless the have the apartment occupied by someone who can't pay rent. They have to be evicted before a rent payer can move in. An empty apartment is ready for a paying tenant to move in immediately.

Quote:
Landlords are going to have to accept what many other people have accepted, a short term reduction or total elimination of income.
Landlords will do everything they can to maintain income and also get what they are owed. Who wouldn't do that?

Quote:
Fortunately, I don't think most localities are interesting in processing evictions right now, so landlords have very little leverage.
Again, this ends on May 31st. All hell breaks loose starting on June 1st unless it is extended further.
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Old 30th March 2020, 07:32 AM   #16
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Evicting an otherwise good tenant because they lost their income due to an international plague seems like a good way to ensure that every last length of pipe and wire is torn out of the walls on the way out. I'd be pouring concrete down every pipe and toilet in the place.
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Old 30th March 2020, 07:43 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Evicting an otherwise good tenant because they lost their income due to an international plague seems like a good way to ensure that every last length of pipe and wire is torn out of the walls on the way out. I'd be pouring concrete down every pipe and toilet in the place.
You would destroy someone's property for simply adhering to the terms you agreed to? Sure, the person isn't being charitable, but at worse they are honoring the agreement they signed with you.
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Old 30th March 2020, 07:49 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Evicting an otherwise good tenant because they lost their income due to an international plague seems like a good way to ensure that every last length of pipe and wire is torn out of the walls on the way out. I'd be pouring concrete down every pipe and toilet in the place.
The evicted tenant will be sued for every penny of inflicted damage.
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Old 30th March 2020, 08:07 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
The evicted tenant will be sued for every penny of inflicted damage.
The crafty tenant damages property in a way that maintains plausible deniability.

Winning judgement is one thing, collecting is another. We're talking about a scenario where a tenant is being made homeless for lack of money. What's left to take?

To be honest, I think property damage is probably the least of the worries. If the government allows for evictions to go forward, I'd expect to see a popular movement to oppose it, starting with rent strikes, protests, riots, etc. I don't really see this happening. No one benefits from all these out of work people becoming homeless.
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Old 30th March 2020, 08:16 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Again, it would be someone who is able to pay the rent. The evicted tenant is obviously not paying rent. It's worthless the have the apartment occupied by someone who can't pay rent. They have to be evicted before a rent payer can move in. An empty apartment is ready for a paying tenant to move in immediately.

"What? Rents can go down and units priced at the former market rate sit empty during economic contractions? Inconceivable! Quick, Jeeves, find me some richer tenants! I'm sure there are plenty of them everywhere!"
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Old 30th March 2020, 08:20 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
The landlord will sue the evicted tenant for back rents owed in addition to what it costs to bring the lawsuit which is lawyer fees. This happens all the time. A person is evicted and is simultaneously sued for everything they owe including added fees.

This would only be prevented if it becomes illegal for a landlord to do anything at all to get what they are owed.
Winning a judgment is not the same as collecting money. It's not like the landlord can repo a car. And what makes you think it will be so easy for a landlord to find a new tenant in the face of a collapsing economy? Better for him to work out a payment plan than to enforce a lease and end up with an empty unit.
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Old 30th March 2020, 08:55 AM   #22
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I'm sure solvent new tenants will be as easy to find in June as toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and surgical masks are now. The smart landlords will be raising rents and drawing up eviction papers now to be ready to cash in when opportunity knocks!
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Old 30th March 2020, 08:59 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Winning judgement is one thing, collecting is another. We're talking about a scenario where a tenant is being made homeless for lack of money. What's left to take?
What happens when a court order is not fulfilled?

What happens when a personal credit rating is trashed?
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Old 30th March 2020, 09:14 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
What happens when a personal credit rating is trashed?

A Republican gets its wings?
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Old 30th March 2020, 09:28 AM   #25
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- Given uneconomic uncertainty and the simple fact that most landlords aren't psychopaths, most landlords are going to be aware of the simple fact that getting a new tenant/renter/whatever might not be easy and will probably rather work with an existing rental on some sort of payment plan or deferment program rather then risk having a property sit there not generating income at all for who knows how many months. Basically unless the landlord has a replacement tenant pretty much locked in, they'll probably (even for purely selfish reasons) work with the tenant.

- I've flip flopped on whether this will hurt the renter or buyer market more. I'm leaning toward renter but I could come up with non-crazy scenarios for both.
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Old 30th March 2020, 10:30 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Basically unless the landlord has a replacement tenant pretty much locked in, they'll probably (even for purely selfish reasons) work with the tenant.
If it's illegal to evict then the landlord has no choice. They must keep the non-paying tenant and cannot replace them with a paying tenant.

So, when will you be able to start paying me again?
I have no clue.
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Old 30th March 2020, 10:43 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
If it's illegal to evict then the landlord has no choice. They must keep the non-paying tenant and cannot replace them with a paying tenant.
Would stop dancing around it and get to a point?

Yes. We are in an very extreme case. Some landlords are going to have to suck up a loss of income and not throw people out into the streets during a pandemic.

What's the problem exactly?
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Old 30th March 2020, 10:47 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
What happens when a court order is not fulfilled?

What happens when a personal credit rating is trashed?
A judgment is not the same as a court order. And when somebody is out of work for a long time his credit rating is likely to be pretty much trashed anyway, The landlord doesn't benefit by making it worse.
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Old 30th March 2020, 10:59 AM   #29
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I dunno about the general situation, now or in the future, but I do have a prediction:

- There will be at least one case where someone was due for eviction or foreclosure, before this situation gave them a grace period. Once the grace period is over, they'll still be in the same jam they were before, and they'll still be due for eviction or foreclosure.

- Once the grace period is over, their landlord or lender will make one more effort to get payments back on track.

- When this effort fails, for the same reasons similar efforts failed before the C19 grace period, the landlord or lender will proceed with eviction and/or foreclosure.

- This will get reported by the media as an unethical C19 eviction or foreclosure, even though it's actually ethical and based on circumstances unrelated to C19.

- These reports will be presented here uncritically, as evidence of 'Murica, or OMB, or some other boogieman stereotype.
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Old 30th March 2020, 11:59 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Would stop dancing around it and get to a point?

Yes. We are in an very extreme case. Some landlords are going to have to suck up a loss of income and not throw people out into the streets during a pandemic.

What's the problem exactly?
Landlords truly making the greatest sacrifice in this tremendous crisis. Sure, nurses might be fighting a deadly disease wearing trash bags and handkerchiefs instead of PPE, and millions of people are finding themselves unemployed overnight, but our brave landlords might have to miss a month's rent and not throw out the tenants.

First public event I'm going to once this is all over is a parade to landlords celebrating their noble sacrifice. God bless them all, they are truly the best of us.
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Old 30th March 2020, 12:24 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Landlords truly making the greatest sacrifice in this tremendous crisis. Sure, nurses might be fighting a deadly disease wearing trash bags and handkerchiefs instead of PPE, and millions of people are finding themselves unemployed overnight, but our brave landlords might have to miss a month's rent and not throw out the tenants.

First public event I'm going to once this is all over is a parade to landlords celebrating their noble sacrifice. God bless them all, they are truly the best of us.
Hey, I get it. Interestingly, this is a large part of our family business. My in-laws rely on rental income for their livelihood. Roughly half of our tenants will not be paying rent for the foreseeable future. Law or no law, there is no chance that we would evict anyone under the present circumstances. We still, however, are required to pay the mortgages, maintenance, upkeep, insurance, waste collection, and other ongoing costs associated with owning rental properties. That is a lot of money out of pocket with no return. That is cash money we have to come up with.

We do not know what monies, if any, we can recoup when this is all over. We have not discussed it - this is uncharted territory for us. It is entirely possible that if this goes on for 4 months or more we will lose some of the properties. We do not know.

I think that this does, perhaps, qualify as a sacrifice...
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Old 30th March 2020, 12:24 PM   #32
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NZ, containing many good bastards, has a whole load of landlords ready to help tenants.

Of course, one property investment manager says not to: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/...ectid=12321031
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Old 30th March 2020, 12:34 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Metullus View Post
Hey, I get it. Interestingly, this is a large part of our family business. My in-laws rely on rental income for their livelihood. Roughly half of our tenants will not be paying rent for the foreseeable future. Law or no law, there is no chance that we would evict anyone under the present circumstances. We still, however, are required to pay the mortgages, maintenance, upkeep, insurance, waste collection, and other ongoing costs associated with owning rental properties. That is a lot of money out of pocket with no return. That is cash money we have to come up with.

We do not know what monies, if any, we can recoup when this is all over. We have not discussed it - this is uncharted territory for us. It is entirely possible that if this goes on for 4 months or more we will lose some of the properties. We do not know.

I think that this does, perhaps, qualify as a sacrifice...
Pretty much the only people right now not having their income totally screwed with are those poor bastards with "essential" jobs that bring them into close contact with the disease ridden public.

I wish all these landlords luck with getting whatever concession they can from the bank, or any subsidy from the government. Pretty much every business is suffering right now. My point is that landlords should not expect to be an exception to this. Some seem to have the delusion that they ought to remain insulated from the free-falling economy.

We're all in this together and will need to make sacrifices. Any landlord that insists on collecting rent at all costs is in for a hard reality check.
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Old 30th March 2020, 12:40 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Metullus View Post
Hey, I get it. Interestingly, this is a large part of our family business. My in-laws rely on rental income for their livelihood. Roughly half of our tenants will not be paying rent for the foreseeable future. Law or no law, there is no chance that we would evict anyone under the present circumstances. We still, however, are required to pay the mortgages, maintenance, upkeep, insurance, waste collection, and other ongoing costs associated with owning rental properties. That is a lot of money out of pocket with no return. That is cash money we have to come up with.

We do not know what monies, if any, we can recoup when this is all over. We have not discussed it - this is uncharted territory for us. It is entirely possible that if this goes on for 4 months or more we will lose some of the properties. We do not know.

I think that this does, perhaps, qualify as a sacrifice...
Yeah, my friend declared bankruptcy two weeks ago over this. The tenants were providing his only cashflow after he was laid off, so without their rental he's got zero income now.

It's kind of been winding down to this anyway, so this is the final straw in his situation. He bought the condo in 2008 just before the last implosion, in Ft McMurray which is an oil town. It's still underwater (paid $400k, it's worth $250k per the January assessment) and between getting laid off, the oil price implosion, and his tenant (a web developer who earns approx $75k/yr and his wife who is a nurse making maybe $90k/yr) declaring a rent strike, he's toast. He burned through his 6mo emergency fund around January.

The depressing thing about this is that it's the small landlords who are going to get hit the hardest and lose their retirement nesteggs, while conglomerates swoop in on the fire sale and make a killing. 2010 all over again.
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Old 30th March 2020, 01:12 PM   #35
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Oh, one moment of schadenfreude for me this week was watching five kajillion apartments come up for rental on ebay/kijiji last week.

aka: AirB&B has imploded, all those revenue property owners are flooding the market with shadow inventory they told us did not exist.
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Old 30th March 2020, 01:14 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by blutoski View Post
aka: AirB&B has imploded, all those revenue property owners are flooding the market with shadow inventory they told us did not exist.
I have received tremendous satisfaction from the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the big airbnb operators.
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Old 30th March 2020, 01:21 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Pretty much the only people right now not having their income totally screwed with are those poor bastards with "essential" jobs that bring them into close contact with the disease ridden public.
AHAAHAHA WRONG

Any nonessential worker who can work from home - such as my entire department of 200+ people - is also not having their income totally screwed with. There are more things in heaven and earth, SuburbanTurkey, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
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Old 30th March 2020, 01:22 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by blutoski View Post
Yeah, my friend declared bankruptcy two weeks ago over this. The tenants were providing his only cashflow after he was laid off, so without their rental he's got zero income now.
.........
I'm in a similar predicament, My income was cut by 60% because of construction last summer, and I had already tapped my savings to build an apartment in my house.

All the savings are gone and I have a 90% finished apartment, I am afraid to rent out ... as renters are just NOT paying rent (because they can get away with it).

What will happen when this is all over and evictions are allowed, is the renters will stay an additional 2 or 3 months rent free (that's how long it takes to evict someone here)

then move to a new apartment with several thousand dollars in a shoe box

As a self employed individual I hope to qualify for an assistance package ... that will buy me 4 months, but I need the rent money to keep going after that.
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Old 30th March 2020, 01:23 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by blutoski View Post
Oh, one moment of schadenfreude for me this week was watching five kajillion apartments come up for rental on ebay/kijiji last week.
Why is that schadenfreude for you? Do you really hate all landlords as a class?
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Old 30th March 2020, 01:26 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Would stop dancing around it and get to a point?

Yes. We are in an very extreme case. Some landlords are going to have to suck up a loss of income and not throw people out into the streets during a pandemic.

What's the problem exactly?
In my case I would lose my house, and when this building is gone, I also lose my job .. that's a problem for me .. and then the bank evicts the tenant
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