The anniversary of the first lockdown is behind us now. For those of us in Oregon, we are just now starting to get back to something resembling normalcy. Restaurants are opening and our children are going back to at least part-time in-person learning. Additionally, we all have received, or will shortly, yet another stimulus. On a short-term and long-term level, the market is changing. What will it mean for landlords?
Spread across Empire’s portfolio, there are a small collection of tenants that have fallen behind in the rent. All are trying to catch up and the stimulus will help them in the short term.
The stimulus bills of the past year has long-term effects as well, especially regarding inflation. That change is already being reflected in some industries, including construction where a single sheet of plywood has rocketed from $11.00 last March, which was considered overpriced and outrageous, to more than $30. The rising prices are leading to fewer homes under construction, which is exasperate the housing shortage. Vacancy rates in Empire and across the market are low, leaving very few rentals available on the market. As always, when there are few rentals, the rentals that are there become more valuable.
The official eviction moratorium has expired. What does that mean? Surprisingly, and disappointingly, not much. Landlords won’t be able to resume normal operations until July 1st, and that is assuming they don’t extend it yet again. We will be enforcing rent payments where we can. But the 72-hour notice is now a ten-day notice, and they require you to serve it with the Declaration of Hardship and a notice telling them exactly how to avoid paying the rent without being evicted. In effect, the landlord’s teeth have been blunted.
We hope the market will return to normal on the 1st of July. If you did your due diligence when screening your tenants, you shouldn’t have any issues. Tenants that are behind will work with you to catch up.
What else is there? Well, just because we are in the middle of a political and economic mess, it doesn’t mean we are no longer dealing with everything else that always kept life interesting. Applicants and tenants are still people, with all the quirks that come with it.
Pets: Pet ownership is on the rise. Governments across the country locked their citizens in their homes for months. People are social creatures and we need companionship. In many cases, this meant a new dog or cat. We strongly encourage our owners to allow pets in their rentals, recommending the policy of 25lbs and under permitted with additional deposit and pet rent.
Repairs/Maintenance: There never is a good time to fall behind with maintenance on your home. We encourage our owners to work with their property manager and the tenants to keep their investment in good repair.
Whatever you do, never fall into the trap of thinking of your tenants as the enemy. They are a victim of the times, just like you. They are struggling, just like you. And as always, Happy Landlording.