A new study from Rutgers University, “Corporate Landlords and Pandemic and Prepandemic Evictions in Las Vegas,” analyzes eviction filing patterns in extended-stay multifamily rental properties and single-family rental (SFR) properties in Las Vegas. The study compares rates of eviction for the two property types before and during the COVID-19 pandemic and finds that extended-stay rental properties had significantly higher eviction rates than other multifamily rental properties before the pandemic and even higher likelihoods of eviction after the onset of COVID-19. Greater variation in eviction filing patterns existed for large single-family properties, with some landlords reducing eviction filings significantly during the first year of the pandemic.
The research uses data on eviction records from courts serving the Las Vegas metropolitan area. The records are divided into two separate periods – April 2019 to March 2020 and April 2020 to March 2021 – to compare evictions pre-pandemic and during the pandemic. The author of the study also created two additional data sets – one comprising extended-stay multifamily rental properties and the other single-family rental properties – to compare rental housing submarkets. Using previous research that identified large landlords in Las Vegas, the researcher identified a named group of large landlords for both the multi-family and single-family datasets to investigate specifically.
Among all multi-family property landlords, extended-stay rental property landlords were significantly more likely to evict their tenants both before and during the pandemic. Extended-stay properties had an eviction filing rate 1.7 times greater than all multi-family properties pre-pandemic, and the rate grew to 2.8 times greater during the pandemic. Extended-stay properties accounted for 21% of pre-pandemic filings and 26% of pandemic filings, while making up just 12% of all rental units. Siegel Suites, a large extended-stay owner in Las Vegas, had the highest filing and eviction rates during the pandemic, filing evictions for 22 out of every 100 units during this period. Evictions were also concentrated among the largest multi-family owners – for both extended-stay and other properties. Twenty-five percent of all pre-pandemic multi-family eviction filings and 32% of all pandemic multi-family eviction filings in Las Vegas were made by ten large named landlords, despite these landlords accounting for only 17% of multi-family rental housing units.
SFR properties owned by large landlords were shown to have disproportionately high pre-pandemic rates of eviction. A group of 10 large landlords accounted for 21% of total pre-pandemic SFR evictions, despite these landlords owning only 5% of total SFR units. During the pandemic, however, there was far more variation in eviction trends across large named SFR landlords, with some evicting less frequently than smaller landlords. One in 10 of all executed evictions in SFRs during the pandemic came from these large SFR landlords – a significant decrease from the pre-pandemic rate of 21%.
The research finds extended-stay properties account for a disproportionate share of evictions. The author hypothesizes that this is because many extended-stay properties rent to tenants who have a difficult time entering the private rental market due to unstable finances or who have other characteristics that landlords perceive as precarious. Additionally, many of these properties have high weekly rents compared to rents for standard monthly or annual leases, and landlords face relatively few barriers to eviction. The researcher calls for both immediate and long-term policy action to better stabilize renters who have limited access to the private rental market, including Universal Basic Income, expanded access to Housing Choice Vouchers, right-to-counsel reform, and eviction case sealing.
The article can be found at: https://bit.ly/3UnPbrf.