INDIANAPOLIS — At the corner of 13th and Illinois Streets in downtown Indianapolis, Doug Huntley spent Saturday afternoon gardening outside of his apartment complex: Victoria Apartments.
“They’re just nice studios and I’ve owned it since 1995,” Huntley said.
The landlord said when the world shut down, both landlords and tenants were fearful. That is why he originally shared a letter in March of 2020 with the 50 or so tenants promising to not evict anyone due to the pandemic.
“I think just letting them know that you’re not going to lose the place, you’re going to live was really reassuring on a personal level,” Huntley said.
That mindset was adopted through various local and national eviction moratoriums. As the months went on, Huntley said one-on-one communication became key to “avoiding tensions.”
“I do feel that was really important because there was a lot of fear and a lot of misunderstanding. A lot of folks thought that the city or the federal government would be just bringing them a rent check to hand over for their payments, but it didn’t happen as quite as streamlined,” Huntley said.
Since the promise last March, Huntley said he has worked with several tenants using rental assistance programs. Aside from this property, Huntley operates about three dozen other rental spaces.
As for the CDC eviction moratorium ending Saturday, Huntley said there are no pending evictions at his properties.
“I don’t have any back log of evictions we need to do and it’s business as usual. I’m kind of lucky and I think our tenants are lucky that we’ve been flexible through this year and nothing bad is going to happen, at least here,” Huntley said.
Moving forward, Huntley noted he will continue to work with tenants one-on-one if any issues arise.