Making it in the Mid-South: Landlords also impacted as tenants face evictions during pandemic

WATCH: Making it in the Mid-South: Landlords suffer just as much as tenants during pandemic

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Thousands of people in the Mid-South are on the brink of losing their homes.

FOX13 has been telling you about the eviction problem for months throughout the pandemic.

Landlords told FOX13 they are just as affected by COVID-19 as their tenants. They said unfortunately eviction is their only option in some cases.

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An attorney told FOX13 in those cases if tenants and landlords are not protected by the CARES Act, landlords are able to put the tenants out. That means both the landlords and the tenants suffer.

“I’ve been to court probably five or six times in the last couple months to evict the tenant, unfortunately,” said attorney Darrell O’Neal.

Landlords are feeling the impact as thousands of Memphians who lost their jobs during the pandemic risk getting put out of their homes.

“That’s the disgusting part is the virus has affected the landlord and the tenant, and there’s no winners here,” said O’Neal.

O’Neal told FOX13 the relief fund helping families in Shelby County who face evictions isn’t always an easy process.

“The nightmare, unfortunately, is that process takes a long period of time, and there’s only a limited amount of money there, so the real issue is how do we deal with getting paid and being able to pay your own bills,” O’Neal explained.

Even after the CDC put a stop to most evictions across the country, that doesn’t necessarily mean all renters are automatically protected in their homes.

“So that’s where my clients are at right now. They have to evict people because they’re unable to pay their bills,” said O’Neal. “The ones that are not covered under the CARES Act, their biggest fear is losing their properties. Losing their properties and receiving substantial damage to their property and not being able to have any relief.”

Some of the landlords FOX13 spoke with said they need more relief to help take care of the costs they’re responsible for.

That includes property taxes, insurance, maintenance costs, and in some cases mortgage payments.

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