How unpaid rent impacts the apartment industry

Reporter: Taylor Petras Writer: Jackie Winchester
Credit: WINK News

WINK News has been telling you about the eviction crisis for months as the pandemic continues and people can’t afford to pay rent, but how does this impact property managers?

It has been a challenging year at Park Crest at the Lakes Apartments in Fort Myers, both for renters and for the property manager, Kelli Meyers.

“It’s probably been one of the hardest times I’ve ever had to deal with,” Meyers said.

She said the pandemic left about 10% of her tenants unable to pay rent.

“I have a very good paying property. I feel bad for them and that’s why we’ve worked so hard with them, finding ways to help them and letting them set up payments,” she said.

Meyers is lucky. The Florida Apartment Association said some renters are taking advantage of the state’s eviction moratorium, set to expire at the end of the week.

“Many of our members do have residents that are refusing to talk to them and refusing to set up any sort of payment agreement at this time,” said Amanda Gill with the Florida Apartment Association.

“We really feel like this particular policy solution does not actually address the underlying problem which is so many Floridians simply cannot pay their rent.”

The association said it does support rent relief funds. Meyers said that money has been a saving grace.

“The CARES Act has been one of the best things to come out of this,” she said.

The FAA said 91 cents of every rent dollar go toward maintenance and property taxes for apartment complexes.

The association said long-term impacts from the pandemic could be a housing shortage from projects put on hold.

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