Landlords weigh in on suspension of evictions

Posted at 5:47 PM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 21:59:54-04

Tenants who are not able to pay their rent in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties can not be evicted as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

While these orders have been put into place to ensure people are able to stay in their homes, property managers say this also puts a major strain on landlords.

"While there is income coming in from the rentals, there is always expenses going out on the backside and if the income stops, the expenses don't," said Larry Smyth, owner of Farrel Smyth Inc.

Smyth said the executive orders by the federal and county governments will also stop foreclosures, which could lead to more headaches for property owners.

"We all have to have a little bit of give and take on this as we go forward and depending on how long it lasts," Smyth said.

The eviction suspension order is for both residential and commercial properties, but some fear this is not a one-size-fits-all type of problem.

"When you starve a landlord of his operating costs you are basically taking away a sense of livelihood," said Jim Knell, chairman for Sima Corporation.

Knell said he believes local and state governments should have entertained separate ordinances for residential and commercial properties as lease agreements vary between the two entities.

Landlords as well as county and city officials hope those who can still pay rent do so and do not take advantage of this unique situation.