Landlords struggle to keep the lights on amid the pandemic

Property group faces more than $100K loss
Published: Feb. 26, 2021 at 12:30 AM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Knocking on their tenant’s door and checking to see how they are doing both mentally and financially has become more of a regular task for Joey Jennings, Rylexa Properties General Manager.

“There are bills to pay, so I think through the effort of being personable has been the most effective instead of being a robot and telling people they need to get out,” said Jennings.

The property group has more than 400 units in Northern Nevada, but during this global health crisis, Jennings said tenants are having a tough time paying rent.

Employees are losing their jobs and still waiting for unemployment, Jennings said their company is facing a loss of more than $100,000. He added, it gets difficult with people who have higher balances due.

“More than 80% of them are just taking advantage of the moratorium that we can’t legally evict them, that’s what makes my stomach turn,” Jennings explained.

Tanna Butler, a tenant at Virginia Flats in Reno said this year has been an unpredictable time that we’re all navigating together.

“It’s been difficult,” said Butler. “Actually getting to work has been really hard, there have been days where I have not been able to eat.”

Butler said Jennings has been able to accommodate her needs and create a payment plan.

“He has allowed us to stay here, without giving us any grief over not being able to pay,” explained Butler. “Not being able to give him the money to stay here so he can put money towards the lights, to keep them on.”

Jennings said the lack of payments has led to limiting their operations, but if it wasn’t for local financial help like the Reno Housing Authority, the challenge would be much harder.

“Sitting down and talking with them about their situation and how we both can resolve it together, you need a roof over your head and we need the income to support our infrastructure,” Jennings said.

It’s another impact caused by this virus, but Jennings says Northern Nevada’s continued growth will outshine these dark times.

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