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Snohomish County landlord says tenants are ‘taking advantage’ of eviction moratorium

(File photo/Getty Images)

In a story that KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson says he’s heard an awful lot the last year, a landlord reached out to the show explaining how his tenants are not paying rent, even though both have jobs.

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“I’m a landlord in Snohomish County. I have not received any rent in almost a year. The problem I have is both tenants work. They’re just taking advantage of the current situation,” Rob wrote.

“It’s very frustrating,” he told the Dori Monson Show. “I don’t even think you can call it frustrating anymore. I feel more like a victim, or just way past being upset. I just feel like we’re being robbed basically.”

The rent was $2,400 a month, and Rob says he’s owed a little over $30,000 now.

“It’s a couple and I don’t believe they’re married. But I know that she works in the same industry I’m in, which is a very busy industry, and he works on and off,” he said.

Rob says his tenants have the ability to at least pay something. When talking to the tenants, he says it’s mostly been them promising payments that they don’t fulfill.

“Through a year it’s been like that and almost never does anything come through,” he said. “And then it just got to the point where they just stopped communicating with us completely.”

Because of the statewide eviction moratorium, he says there’s not much to be done. He says he’s spoken to multiple attorneys and they say he won’t be able to find a judge willing to hear an eviction case.

“I’ve heard of people being evicted — I don’t know the circumstances,” Rob said. “But that’s the advice I’m getting from attorneys: You’re just going to have to wait.”

“The thing that’s frustrating about Jay Inslee is (he) will announce that they’re going to push moratorium out, and he’s very happy and seems like he’s doing a really good job and everybody’s happy around him,” Rob added. “But nobody ever says anything about the landlords. How are they going to be compensated? And I’m fortunate because we can still make the payments on the house.”

But there are other people, he says, who aren’t so lucky and need that money to pay their own bills, and there’s some people who are losing their houses because of a lack of payment.

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“It’s really upsetting when I watch (Inslee) and how proud he is extending the moratorium,” Rob said. “And I get it. You can’t have mass evictions, I get it, but there should be some exceptions because they can pay us something. And even when the government comes in and takes your property through eminent domain, they still pay you market value for it. You still get paid for it. But in this case, they’re taking our property, commandeered it, and we have to do all the upkeep. We have to do all the maintenance. We have to pay the taxes. And we’re not getting anything for it.”

Gov. Inslee has extended the statewide eviction moratorium through June 30.

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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