LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – The Center for Disease Control now says almost every county in Colorado is eligible for a new 60-day moratorium on evictions, but landlords say they’re bearing the brunt of the financial toll from government decisions.
“We felt like we had no protection,” said Debie Stobie, a Lakewood landlord.
Stobie and her husband own a small 24-unit complex near the light rail station on Wadsworth Boulevard.
“It’s our income, and, you know, the bills get paid first, everybody knows that all the bills get paid. And then what’s left over is actually our income for that month. And who likes a pay cut,” she said.
At the beginning of the pandemic a few tenants got behind on rent and a few moved out.
“Our immediate response was to work with them. And they worked with us,” Stobie said. “If we had a vacancy, we’re much more hesitant as to who to take on, because it could be a long-term adversarial relationship and not a contract.”
Luckily, no one stopped paying rent. But Stobie says she’s heard from other landlords who are owned thousands of dollars, but new laws and government orders have frozen some landlords’ ability to do anything.
“That fear of we can no longer do what we did. It’s not a fair equation,” she said. “There’s a lot of work, there’s a lot of bills, there’s a lot of risk, and you’re lending someone else or property. Try handing over your car to a stranger.”
The Colorado Apartment Association says 97% of tenants made their rent payments in July and evictions are at historic lows. Landlords are wondering why lawmakers keep empowering tenants. Storbie says she and her husband are considering getting out of the industry.
“It feels like a slap in the face. Who wants to take a pay cut for someone else,” she said.