Small-Time Landlords Struggle to Keep the Lights on as ‘Devastating’ Eviction Moratorium Continues

Lincoln Eccles (Photo courtesy Lincoln Eccles)

Stephanie Graves had a decision to make: buy new signage so she could open the pool at one of her apartment complexes, or pay the electric bill. She couldn’t afford both.

Ultimately, it wasn’t a hard decision. Lights are more important than a swimming pool.

“I need to keep my electricity on in the common areas so that the place isn’t black at night,” said Graves, who has an ownership stake in five Houston-area apartment complexes, and does third-party management for eleven other properties.

Graves is one of the millions of landlords and property owners in the U.S. struggling through the COVID-19 pandemic,

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Ryan Mills is an enterprise and media reporter at National Review. He previously worked for 14 years as a breaking news reporter, investigative reporter, and editor at newspapers in Florida. Originally from Minnesota, Ryan lives in the Fort Myers area with his wife and two sons.


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