More landlords try to get rid of property amid pandemic

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Posted at 5:58 PM, Sep 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-21 09:56:20-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Landlords are selling their properties after dealing with pandemic-related hardships.

After we heard from the owner of the Red Mile Square apartments last week about having to liquidate his property, we found many other multi-family listings on the market.

Real Estate Expert Michael Prather says it's a trend he saw coming.

"I've been anticipating, as soon as investors have the ability to, in essence, get their tenants out so they can sell a property, that would be an option that you know a good amount of investors would take," said Prather.

Prather runs the Prather Real Estate team and Keller Williams-Bluegrass. He says owners are likely taking advantage of a hot housing market and offloading their property to investors who can afford it.

During the pandemic, many landlords lost thousands in unpaid rent, which likely made selling more enticing.

"There's no moratorium for the people owning these properties that have debt that they've got to pay back to institutional lenders," said Prather.

For investors, Prather says now is a good time for them to negotiate with sellers for better deals.

The result we're seeing is a market that gives struggling owners a way out but is also creating a new issue for those in need of a place to stay.

"People find places for real cheap in these, you know, neighborhoods, they revamp them and sell them for way more money than what they initially invested a lot of times this displaces people in those communities," said Shay Lamarr with the Lexington Fair Housing Council.

Lamarr says experts are seeing this displacement a lot in low-income housing areas, which is where many tenants who couldn't afford to pay rent during the pandemic lived.

Now with a limited supply of affordable housing and places accepting housing vouchers, those tenants who have to move quickly will be left with few options.

"A lot of people go to shelter. Some people live out of their cars, some can stay with family and friends. But for the most part, people are really left in a situation that they're stuck on the street wondering exactly as you asked me, where they're going to go," said Lamarr.

If you need help finding a place to stay, the Lexington Housing Authority has a list of resources for tenants looking for housing, including those that accept housing vouchers.