COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS — No matter where you are moving from or going to, moving is stressful and even harder for someone facing eviction.
A federal freeze, blocking most evictions and allowing renters to stay in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic without fear of getting kicked out, known as the Federal Eviction Moratorium, expired over the weekend.
"It seems to be happening more so in the larger cities... For us, personally, it was just a couple more than normal," Melissa Clinton, a Broker and the Owner of At Home Properties in College Station said on evictions locally.
A full-service real estate firm, At Home Properties, they do everything, as far as management, leasing, and sales of properties, and they did have to put the sign up a few times on a couple of doors over the last few months.
"We did have a few that we had to evict. A couple of them were not just for non-payment of rent, people violating the lease for other reasons, unoccupied tenants, pets, not taking care of the property, not allowing us access do repairs... etc," Clinton said.
"If you had a tenant in a property that was not paying rent for whatever reason, we were not able to evict at all, but then after that date, as long as it was not a federally-funded property, you can evict, if the owner wants to go that route," Clinton added.
For property investors, bills still needed to be paid, leaving some a little frustrated.
"Because they still had to pay their mortgage. They weren't given relief in that. Tenants not paying rent, therefore, makes it more difficult for people to pay the mortgage and continue to do repairs that are required by the property code and things like that," Clinton added.
Making it difficult to walk a fine line, while managing and leasing properties.
".... and trying to collect the rent as much as we can and work with the tenants, but not be harassing and non-understanding of the situation," Clinton added.
On top of those facing the devastation, it's not just property owners and landlords feeling the weight of all too. Some real estate agents say there were a number of clients who were hesitant in the thick of it.
"When people are buying or selling a home, often the buyers and/or sellers will work together to arrange a temporary lease and that is really for convenience purposes. It may be that the sellers need to get the funds from the sale of the property, but they can't move out until a week after closing and so the buyers will agree for them to have a lease where they rent back their former property and they can stay there until they move out. It usually a few weeks," Wendy Flynn, a Real Estate agent in BCS shared. "Likewise, there are some cases where a seller will allow a buyer to move in prior to closing for convenience and logistics sake and make everything work out for everybody and once the moratorium came in to place, we started to see buyers and sellers be extremely reluctant to agree to these temporary leases, because they weren't certain if the moratorium would apply to short term temporary leases," Wendy Flynn, a Real Estate agent in BCS shared.
With understanding and compassion for all sides, Clinton offers encouraging words for those facing continued hardship.
"Communicate with your landlord, whether that be through a management company or the owner, directly. I can't speak enough to communication and then just seeking the different options for relief you have out there for rent relief," Clinton said.
The Brazos County Emergency Rental Assistance Program says there are funds available for those who qualify and they are assisting with evictions.
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