Landlord Concerns During COVID-19 Rent Crisis

One North County property owner said she does not feel people are hearing that side of the issue

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There have been many stories about people struggling to pay rent, but another side of the issue is the landlords -- many who pay mortgages on their rental properties.

One North County property owner said she does not feel people are hearing that side of the issue.

Mary Payne bought two single-family homes in Escondido and uses them as rental properties to supplement her income during retirement.

For many workers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, job loss and an uncertain economy have left them desperate for some relief with their living expenses. On Friday, people rallied for landlords to cancel rent.

“I just want people to know that there is usually a mortgage on the other end, so for the landlord to just excuse it means he is basically paying your rent for you,” Payne said. “We can last a while, but we need the money ultimately.”

Payne said the only way we are all going to get through this is by helping each other.

“Call your landlord, ask them how you can work it out. Get an agreement, something that works for both of you,” she told NBC 7.

But going that route was not an option for North Park renter Katie Page. NBC 7 spoke to her just as she was moving out of her apartment.

“I was working a bunch of different jobs -- beer tending, substitute teaching -- and I wasn't able to continue to work there. So I am not going to stay here,” Page said. “I have other places I need to be right now.”

Page considers herself one of the lucky ones. She has a place to go where she can stay with family and live rent-free.

“I am going off to the midwest to take care of my Nana,” she said.

Back in Escondido, Payne said she realizes not everyone is as fortunate as Page. She just hopes landlords and tenants communicate so both can walk away from this situation with their homes.

As a reminder, there is a state-wide freeze on evictions because of the pandemic. Even if your city doesn't have a specific plan to help renters, you are still protected by Governor Newsom's executive order. Escondido has prohibited landlords from collecting late fees on payments but does allow for rental agreements and leases to be renegotiated.

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