WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - The Watertown City Constable helps landlords prepare and enforce eviction paperwork. That office is preparing for an uptick in evictions. But if you ask property managers in the area, they’ll tell you a vast majority of their tenants are paying.
Watertown is a city where 60% of the properties are rented.
And with the Governor’s eviction moratorium lasting until September 4, there are questions as to what this means for landlords and property managers.
Deputy Constable Michael Hennegan does clerical work to assist landlords in preparing court documents and ensuring court orders are enforced. He says another deputy has been added to help with what may be coming.
“Based on the number of inquiries we’ve had, and the fact it’s now five months, six months, since the moratorium went into effect, we expect on onslaught of requests for evictions,” said Hennegan.
But if you ask property managers, it could be just a matter of who your tenants are.
Stephen Byers from Forte Management Group says he's had a few not pay rent.
“We are probably somewhere around 5% of people who are not paying at all, who refuse to pay because they know they can’t be evicted. Somewhere over $100,000 worth of rent at this point,” said Byer.
Other property managers haven’t seen that problem, just a few late payments.
“People receive their stimulus, people receive their unemployment bonus. There’s a lot of things that they could do with that money, and we’re extremely fortunate to have the tenant base that we have how they’ve remained loyal to us,” said Anthony J. Fiorentino, Property Manager at Jake Johnson Properties.
And one has come up with a different solution:
“Can we, instead of paying an attorney $500, can we pay the tenant $500 to leave? So we took that to the tenant and said ‘If we gave you $500 in cash, would you get out?’ And he did. He agreed to it,” said Micah Matteson, Broker Owner of Matteson Property Management.
As of now, eviction protection has been extended to September 4. But Governor Cuomo says as long as the pandemic continues, no one will be kicked out of their homes.