Landlord accuses tenant of taking advantage of eviction moratorium

MEDFORD, Ore.– A Rogue Valley landlord is accusing her tenant of taking advantage of the governor’s eviction moratorium set in place during the COVID-19 crisis.

The landlord says the tenant refused to pay rent even before the moratorium and now she’s out thousands of dollars. The tenant says that’s not true.

Wendy Roberts has been renting out her family’s home in Jacksonville since last summer. However, she claims the tenant who’s been staying there hasn’t paid rent since January.

Roberts says they gave notice in January and February that the lease was up on March 31 but on April 1, Governor Kate Brown’s first eviction moratorium went into place.

“We went ahead and put in our eviction process,” said Robertson. “It got accepted by the courts for July 27.”

Roberts says they were prepared to evict the tenant but the moratorium was extended through September.

“What isn’t fair is that that a squatter or someone that is abusing the system can stay in my home and I have no legal rights as a landlord and can move back into my home,” she said.

Roberts says the tenant still hasn’t paid any rent. In the meantime, Roberts and her husband are continuing to rent a trailer to live in.

The tenant declined to be interviewed but gave NBC5 News a statement saying, “Wendy is blatantly being dishonest about multiple facts and everything has been handed over to an attorney.”

While how their dispute is resolved is up in the air, they’re not alone in navigating uncharted waters.

Since the moratorium began, the website for the Community Alliance of Tenants has said renters should pay as much rent as they can afford each month.

The Southern Oregon Rental Owner’s Association says landlords should work with tenants on payments. However, not paying rent doesn’t mean it goes away. Renters will still be required to pay once the moratorium ends. Not paying what you can could cause more issues in the future.

Roberts plans to hold a small private protest outside of her home in Jacksonville on Saturday.

The moratorium is set to end on October 1 but another 90-day moratorium could be issued before then.

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