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Apartment Renters and Landlords – There are no winners (true short story). Three of Petra Drauschak’s 14 tenants have abandoned their leases during the pandemic.

One had already stopped paying by February 2020, when Covid began sweeping across the U.S., but Drauschak’s hands were tied by the eviction ban. The tenant left in August without paying the remaining rent and arrears.

Tipped off by a neighbor, Drauschak followed the tenant to her ex-fiance’s house and successfully served her papers. A court awarded the landlord $12,000, but the tenant disappeared without settling the debt. Drauschak’s legal costs were $600.

The second tenant stopped paying when federal rental assistance became available in June. After Drauschak filed for an eviction, the renter applied for federal rent relief, and Drauschak was made whole with a check for $5,800.

The third tenant did not qualify for federal relief because undocumented immigrants are not eligible. Upon losing work at a landscaping company, the tenant was unable to pay rent for four months and was asked to leave.

“I said, ‘Listen, I can’t do this, this is a business,’” Drauschak recalled. It took her four more months to find a paying tenant.

“A lot of [undocumented people] are in a really tough position,” said Drauschak. “These people are truly screwed.”

Source: The Real Deal

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