PORTLAND (AP) – The subprime mortgage crisis led to housing foreclosures across the country. Now the trickle-down effect of economic problems is showing up in rental housing, as well.

Evictions and foreclosures on rental property are growing across the state, and the problem could worsen with winter setting in. In Cumberland County alone, the number of evictions is expected to top 350 this year, an increase from last year’s level of 265, WMTW-TV reports.

Everybody is feeling the pressure, from tenants to landlords to civil deputies who serve the papers.

Pat Carter, who has been in the property management business for 13 years, said she finds herself working with both landlords and tenants to deal with rent problems.

“We have negotiated with some of the landlords and asked them to include the heat,” Carter said. “We sent out notices to all of our tenants who are paying their own heat, telling them places to go to get some heat assistance,” she added.

Renters who fall too far behind risk eviction, a long and complicated process.

On Thursday, Jim Melaugh from the sheriff’s department began his day with nearly 30 eviction papers in hand. He had 26 eviction notices to deliver in a 500-unit apartment complex near the airport.

The apartment complex has a mix of traditional and subsidized rentals. Even people who get federal help paying their rent are having trouble there, he said.

Capt. Donald Goulet of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department said the deputies are keeping up for the time being, but he worries they’ll become overwhelmed if the economy worsens. “Right now, we are holding our own,” he said.

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