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Washington property manager says many are choosing to sell due to eviction moratorium

(File, Associated Press)

With Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s decision to extend the eviction moratorium through June 30, and with the statewide moratorium extended as well, there is even more concern from landlords who are finding themselves in difficult positions.

Heather Maggio, property manager with ReMax whose area includes King and Pierce counties, says the issues are constantly piling up and there are some serious implications.

“So the state, as well as the city, have limited basically almost all of our options. At this point, we are unable in any capacity — under really any circumstances, unless there is harm being done to another tenant or to the property itself — we are not able to serve any notices,” Maggio told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.

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“So traditionally you don’t receive rent, you do a 14-day payer vacate or that leads to cops coming in and helping us with the eviction as you progress,” she explained. “We’re not able to serve any notices of any kind.”

Maggio believes the eviction moratorium as it’s written contains such broad language that it completely limits landlords in dealing with problematic tenants.

“They state it’s when the tenant is not able to pay us due to COVID. The problem with that is that it is such an overreaching broad description right now, we’re just not able to do anything. We are able to have regular communication, and the state deems that, as well as the city, as: ‘Hey, I just wanted to let you know the rent is due.’ We can serve those kinds of basic notices,” she said.

“Past that, we’re not able to go have conversations. We’re not really able to do much of anything.”

How much strain is that putting on them right now?

“Well, the problem is, landlords still have to pay their mortgages. They still have their expenses. They still have their association dues. Those are still due. And so landlords are just feeling the burden in such a way that a lot of landlords are choosing to sell their homes and not be landlords any longer,” she said.

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“So it’s starting to put this really thin margin on what we have available for rentals, which, as we age out of this, we’re going to have less and less rentals, and it’s going to raise prices for the tenants. So the city is trying to help tenants, but in the end, it’s not helping at all.”

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3 – 6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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