Sun Valley landlord laments eviction moratorium as ‘nightmarish tenant’ destroys property
Flora Alarcon’s tenant doesn’t pay rent and trashes her property in Sun Valley, but due to the COVID-19 eviction moratorium, she just has to wait.
The California COVID-19 Rent Relief Program was created to protect renters from losing their place of residence during the coronavirus pandemic, allowing applicants to receive money to pay rent and utilities .
Protection against eviction has also been instituted as part of the scheme, which the Alarcon tenant is taking advantage of to claim he applied for the scheme in October.
However, she still hasn’t seen the money, which means eight months of rent-free living.
Alarcon said while she understood the efforts to protect people during the pandemic, she felt nothing was protecting her as a landlord, as she watched her property crumble before her eyes.
“It breaks my heart,” she said, fighting back tears of frustration Monday as she spoke with CBS reporters. “It breaks my heart to see all my hard work being put to use.”
His property sports three houses, the main family home to the front, with a pair of rental properties to the rear. She says the middle property is home to the problematic tenant.
Unauthorized additions, piles of trash, spray paint on the walls, problematic wiring, and a shed completely destroyed by fire are just a few of the notable issues surrounding the property.
As she noticed the increasing number of problems, she filed an eviction request with a local judge, which she obtained.
Only to have it overturned by another judge after the notice was served, thanks in large part to the extension of the moratorium on evictions until June 30.
“I went back to court today and it was thrown out,” she said, noting how helpless she felt in this situation, despite assurances that the program was designed to help both tenants and owners.
“A lot of landlords have really been hit hard financially,” said Dan Yukelson, executive director of the Greater Los Angeles Apartment Association. “It’s time the government stopped keeping tenants. People have to pay their rent or they have to move out.”
He said while most applicants for the relief program actually needed it and used it accordingly, he saw a large proportion of tenants using the system and creating problems for their landlords.
As the days go by, she hopes her property can remain somewhat salvageable – and that there will be no further extension of the program after June.
“Don’t pay rent, but keep my house in good condition. That’s all I want,” she concluded.
No one responded when CBS reporters attempted to speak with the tenant at their home.