NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - A Nashville couple said they were forced into forbearance by tenants they believe are taking advantage of the pandemic, going months without paying rent.
No answer and still no rent Wednesday when Girish Rachakonda stopped by his investment property in Bellevue. "They're not responding, they're not paying the rent, and they're not cooperating, and they're taking advantage," he said. "It's very frustrating, and also, it's scary."
Rachakonda and his wife. Amita Banga, told News4 they haven't seen a rent check from their tenants in five months. "They simply said 'We are not going to pay the rent.' I said, 'Why?' And they showed the CDC notice."
Two days before it was set to expire last week, the CDC extended its eviction moratorium until the end of June.
The year 2020 has placed a lot of financial stress on families, especially when the first of the month rolls around.
"A tenant must fill out a copy of a declaration stating that they're eligible for their protections submit it to their landlord," Housing and Consumer Attorney Kerry Dietz explained, adding that the paperwork also asserts a tenant is doing everything in their power to get access to relief from the government. Rachakonda claimed his tenants have made no effort to do any of that.
"They have never cooperated, and they never applied," he said.
"I understand this is COVID time, but it's COVID time for everyone," his wife added. The couple was forced to go into forbearance on their Bellevue home, pausing mortgage payments. "Now, it is going to affect my credit score, too," Rachakonda said.
Their tenants ignored several attempts to reach them while our cameras were outside their home Wednesday afternoon. Rachakonda has an eviction court date set for the end of May, and Dietz said without cooperation from the tenants, all they can do is wait.
"I do understand COVID is there," Rachakonda said. "It is tough time, [sic] but everybody has to cooperate."