With rents rising in some of the nation’s priciest metro areas, the pressure is on landlords to find ways to keep tenants happy.
Key points:Landlords have been warning tenants that they will lose their homes if they don’t make rentMore than 40,000 Seattle renters are currently in rent arrearsThe pressure is being felt most in downtown Seattle, where rent is soaring with rents in some areas at nearly $2,500 a month, and some rent is even more expensive than that.
Some landlords have been telling tenants that if they aren’t making rent they won’t be able to stay in their properties, which could mean losing their homes.
In some cases, the threat is real.
In May, Seattle police arrested a couple who allegedly tried to sell their house, after they were warned that if their rent wasn’t paid they would lose their home.
They were also told that if tenants did not pay rent, the couple would be evicted and have their belongings seized, the Seattle Times reported.
In August, the FBI said that it has identified at least 20 landlords who are encouraging renters to pay rent in advance and then wait for it to be due, and then illegally evict them from their homes, the Associated Press reported.
Many of the tenants who are now being targeted by landlords say that they are being pressured into giving up on paying rent, according to the AP.
The couple was evicted in February, when they said they couldn’t afford the $3,000 they had to pay to the landlord.
They were given 30 days to pay, but they refused to pay.
“They are telling us to come back next month,” said the woman.
“If you don’t come back, we’re going to throw you out.”
The Seattle Department of Housing and Community Development (HUD) said it received more than 40 complaints of landlords using the tactic.
“We will be working closely with the state and local authorities to take action if any landlords are violating this rule,” HUD said in a statement.
“In the meantime, it is very important that you pay your rent and stay out of trouble.”
Rent arrearages can be extremely costly for landlords.
Last year, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) said that landlords could lose up to $40,000 in rent due to arrearity.