PHOENIX (3TV/CBS5) -- It's a growing problem across the Arizona. Many tenants are finding themselves unable to pay the rent, because they've gotten sick or lost their job during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But any fears of being kicked out of their homes have been put on hold, with the Governor's decision to extend his ban on evictions until October 31.

Ducey extends protections for Arizona renters until Oct. 31

Ajai Sherma is one of many property owners who understands why the Governor did what he did. However, Sherma said it will place a huge financial burden on landlords, who need to pay their mortgages, insurance, property taxes, and other expenses.

"Think about it. If somebody is not paying, not able to pay $900 for next month, that person will owe $1,800, then $2,700," said Sherma. "It will just keep piling up, and I really don't see a way those guys are coming up with $4,000, 5,000 down the road."

Sherma owns two apartment complexes in Mesa, and said the number of renters who haven't paid, or delayed rent payments has doubled the past few months. And it may get worse.

Rick Murray, with the Arizona Small Business Association said the temporary freeze on evictions is just a band-aid that will do nothing more than push the problem down the road. "We certainly can't kick people out on the street in the dead of summer in Arizona. But at the same time, we've got people holding properties out there being more than generous and letting people stay in there," said Murray. "There needs to be some help for these property owners."

Roughly 500 new evictions were expected to be filed in Maricopa County by the end of July.

Murray is hoping more government assistance programs will be put in place to offset the money landlords will be losing during the current health crisis. "When nobody is getting paid, that means landlords aren't getting paid, banks aren't getting paid," said Murray. "At some point, the damn is going to burst."

The Governor did announce a new $5 million foreclosure prevention program to help homeowners who rely on income from tenants. But many landlords worry that it wont be enough.

Jason Barry is best known for his Dirty Dining Report which airs Fridays at 6:30 p.m. on CBS 5.  He is also the storyteller behind CBS 5's Pay It Forward which airs every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
 
 

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