Tomorrow at 8:15am (2/9/21) The Morning News will host a conversation about how the Coronavirus pandemic is affecting rental housing.  We hear about relief efforts to help renters but too often that leaves landlords holding the bag.  If the employers are gone because government shut them down, governmental help for renters should extend to the landlords too.

Here's a basic problem scenario.  I have a job, I make money, I use some of that money to pay my bills and pay my rent.  You are a landlord, you have an apartment to rent that makes money for you.  You use that money to pay your bills and to pay for building the apartment.  It works great as long as I pay my rent.

But if I lose my job because of the Coronavirus, I can no longer pay you.  Under normal circumstances I would have to leave your apartment....but I still have no money and no job and with the pandemic I have no prospect of getting a job.  So I decide to stay and not pay.  That should be against the law right?  Is is, except  for the Governor's decision to put on and extend a moratorium on evictions. Now you can't kick me out. (Thanks Governor.)  But that means I don't pay you and now you can't find someone else to take my place, Sooooo what has the Governor done for you the landlord?

Landlord Rick Glenn says, "The Governor has decided to once again prolong the shut down of the Washington state economy. It is irresponsible of the Governor to cause a multibillion dollar loss to the economy without protecting the affected parties. Tenants are protected. The rental industry is not."

The Yakima Valley Landlords Association is on the record as supporting a lawsuit against the State of Washington. The premise - If the State is giving a pass to renters who are then not accountable to pay rent, simple fairness says the State needs to provide a comparable measure of support to the rental industry.

Rick Glenn   "It is absolutely essential that landlords have recourse for tenants who choose not to pay rent. As it is now, tenants effectively become the “owners” of the property when they move in. Yet this ownership is much different than any other type of ownership because there are no binding financial obligations related to that “ownership”.

 

Glenn will be on the Morning News tomorrow to illustrate the two basic rules of government. 1. If you want more of something, you subsidize it. 2. If you want less of something you tax it.

He says requiring landlords to continue to function in their traditional roles while allowing renters a "pandemic exception" will result in the shrinking supply of rental housing.