Landlords Are Running Out of Money. ‘We Don’t Get Unemployment’

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Over the past 30 years, Maral Boyadjian has built up a family real estate business consisting of eight homes in Southern California that she and her husband rent out.

“Some people spend their money on a bigger home or better car or travel, but we live modestly,” said Boyadjian. “Whatever money we can put together, we spend it on buying another single-family home to rent.”

Typically, the rents from the homes enable the couple to cover all their expenses and earn income. But now tenants in three of their properties in the San Fernando Valley, haven’t paid their rent for months. The couple can’t remove those tenants because of a state eviction moratorium, which was extended until January 31.

Of the three tenants that are behind, one has arranged to pay 25% of rent now and the rest later. Boyadjian said she is happy to work with that tenant, because at least an effort is being made and she’s getting something. Others, like those who have not paid any rent since August, leave her feeling like she’s being taken advantage of.

“Owning a property and collecting rent on it is my way of making a living,” she said. “There has been no government aid coming my way. Our income has been sliced. We don’t get unemployment.”

So far, she has been able to continue to meet her financial obligations. She makes property tax payments and pays the insurance. She not only pays for utilities like water, but also for gardeners and pool maintenance.

“We’ve been able to pay our mortgages, but we’re really in danger of not being able to on two properties,” Boyadjian said. “This is not sustainable.”


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