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Falling Behind on Weekly Rent and Afraid of Being Evicted

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Before the new Nevada moratorium was imposed, one weekly rental company — the Siegel Group — was especially prolific, filing 328 eviction actions in both Nevada and Arizona since the C.D.C. moratorium took effect, according to the Private Equity Stakeholder Project, a consumer advocacy group. The Siegel Group, a privately held company that operates weekly rentals and “flexible stay apartments” under the Siegel Select and Siegel Suites names, has about 12,000 such units in nine states in the south and southwest.

On its website, Siegel Suites boasts that it is a leader in offering “short-term, long-term or forever” apartments and says that “bad credit is OK.”

Jamie Armstrong, 25, said she ended up at a Siegel Suites in Reno in November 2019, not long after she moved out of the house she was sharing with the father of her now-18-month-old daughter. Ms. Armstrong said that the sink leaked in her unit, there were roaches and the stove only worked some of the time. Things went downhill in March, after she lost her job as a cocktail waitress at a casino and couldn’t make the weekly rent payment of about $300.

“For a time, they were waking me up and banging on the door everyday,” Ms. Armstrong said. “One time, the manager came into the room without permission because I wasn’t answering the door.” She said the management also withheld her mail and cut off the free Wi-Fi to her unit.

Ms. Armstrong said the rental’s managers only backed off after she began working with a local housing lawyer around the time the C.D.C. moratorium took effect. Ms. Armstrong, who recently got a job at a warehouse for an online grocery delivery service and signed a lease for a two-bedroom apartment, plans to leave her unit at the end of the month.

Michael Crandall, a senior vice president with Siegel, said in a statement that the company was “committed to do what we can to assist those in need during this pandemic.” But, he added, “evictions are filed when necessary because of unregistered guests, illegal squatters, property damage, criminal activity, and other conditions causing an unsafe environment.”

Judges have ruled for Siegel in more than 220 of the eviction actions it has filed since September in Nevada and Arizona, according to an analysis by the Private Equity Stakeholder Project, the advocacy group. Separately, Budget Suites of America, owned by the billionaire businessman Robert Bigelow, has filed at least 46 eviction actions in Texas and Arizona and obtained court judgments in its favor in half of those cases. Budget Suites did not respond to a request for comment.

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