COVID eviction ban forces Baton Rouge landlord to sell apartment complex

Local News

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) “Funds are really tight right now,” said Baton Rouge landlord Brent, who only wants to go by his first name.

He said the federal COVID eviction moratorium has put him in a squeeze. “I’m not receiving any funds, but I still owe the bank and the mortgage company. So, it’s put me in a pickle,” said Brent.

He owns a 24 unit apartment complex off of Burbank. He said tenants have not paid rent since March of last year. “I’ve had maybe six units that paid me, and then they stopped paying after a while,” said Brent.

Those non-pyaments have made him $25,000 a month short on his mortgage.

Brent said, “I tried to negotiate with the bank. They’re not your friend. This is where you fall back on your faith.” His faith he said allowed him to pay some of the money out of pocket. Only one tenant applied for help through rental assistance programs. “I only got about three checks like that,” said Brent.

Renters are protected from being kicked out for non-payment through Saturday, July 31st. Brent does not have the money to evict anyone next month.

“I have to pay even to go to court to evict them, Funds are really tight right now so even that is difficult. What am I going to get out of it. You’re going to pay to go to court. I still don’t have a penny,” said Brent.

To recoup some of his money, Brent has put the property up for sale. “The good Lord is sending me in a different direction right now,” said Brent.

Renters and landlords can apply for assistance by visiting LAStateRent.com or call (877) 459-6555, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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