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Landlord explains why rent hikes are happening amid pandemic & eviction moratorium

Posted at 4:00 PM, Jul 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-30 16:00:06-04

(WSYM) — We've been telling you about soaring home prices and rising rents, and now a property manager is explaining why she had to hike rent at more than two dozen units.

Amanda Barger was evicted earlier this year after she was unable to pay her rising rent at her mobile home.

"I know this is a business, but they could have a little kindness," she said.

Barbara Hill Kelley's rent was raised over $100 a month.

Stories like this can make landlords look pretty harsh, but several have contacted our Don't Waste Your Money team to say it's been a difficult year with rising water bills and property taxes, and tenants missing payments.

"We struggled along with everyone else in the pandemic," Deborah Collins said. She manages 25 apartments and rental homes.

"We canceled all late fees for the year, we worked on payment plans for any residents that were behind," she added.

The eviction moratorium, she said, meant they had to allow tenants to go months without paying rent.

"A lot of housing providers are trying to recoup those losses, and are doing it with a rental price hike," Collins said.

She said most landlords are just trying to make themselves whole again and are not price gouging.

Of course, that's little consolation to Kelley, who is struggling to accept a rent hike that could force her to move.

Collins' advice to tenants is to be kind and try to negotiate a rent hike. She said most landlords would rather keep a good tenant than find a new one.