AMAZING LANDLORD RESPONSES TO COVID-19
It is often lost on society that property owners and property managers provide an essential service. Often, landlords go above and beyond for their residents year-round. Yet, in this season of uncertainty we see landlords help tenants in grander and amazing ways that deserve to be shared.
There exists a misconception that rental housing owners enjoy large margins and can continue operating in the absence of rent payments, and with so much discussion around rents during COVID-19, the National Apartment Association (NAA) has released resources to use to help explain the breakdown of $1 of rent.
Because education remains an effective way to counter talk of rent freezes and rent strikes and battle the perception that owners are greedy with no concern for their residents, NAA offers this explanatory video and companion infographic breaking down a dollar of rent into its component parts.
RENT FORGIVENESS IN THE NEWS
Property owners with the financial means have been overwhelmingly generous. These landlords help tenants by offering rent forgiveness in light of the difficulties and struggles renters are facing due to the pandemic.
LANDLORDS OFFERING PARTIAL RENT CONCESSIONS
In some cases, it just isn’t feasible financially for a landlord to offer a full month’s rent so some are offering discounts in the form of a partial rent forgiveness.
BUT WHAT IF I CAN’T OFFER RENT FORGIVENESS?
It is a misconception that all landlords have amassed great wealth and can handle not collecting rent.
While some lenders are allowing landlords to defer mortgage payments, and even with governmental business incentives, sometimes offering rent forgiveness may be understandably out of reach because:
- Rent payments cover property taxes, maintenance, or utilities
- Profit margins have been to thin to create a savings cushion
- Rental property income is used to keep the landlords’ family afloat
- Rental Income might be their only source of income
- They may be self-employed and in need of assistance if rents aren’t collected
And that’s ok. There are still many small things a landlord can offer to extend a helping hand and show tenants they care.
START WITH A THOUGHTFUL APPROACH TO TENANT HELP
Evaluate the long-term consequences and goals for the short term good. For instance, evictions, tenant turnover, and vacancies are very costly for landlords, so efforts and resources you put into helping your tenants now may save you a great deal of money in the future.
The two important concepts to remember are to:
Be consistent with all your residents on what you offer to avoid discrimination.
– and –
Think about what you can offer and then only offer what you can afford in light of your resources.
PAYMENT ARRANGEMENT SUGGESTIONS:
With unemployment benefits, stimulus checks, and tax refunds, tenants might just need a little time to meet their rent obligation. Landlords help tenants by offering:
- Customized rent deferred payment arrangements and waiving late charges
- A freeze on rent increases
- Resource information to direct tenants to government aide, charities, and agencies that help tenants pay rent
It is reasonable to expect that rent payments will be increasingly challenging for many as unemployment increases because of COVID-19, and with May 1 right around the corner, the apartment industry must help society understand the benefits of rent payments for all Americans, whether or not they reside in rental housing.
From property taxes that finance schools, emergency services and other local needs, to investor returns that include public pensions and 401(k)s, as well as the dollars put back into the community to ensure quality living for residents, a rent payment is much more important than one might otherwise realize.
Huston Assoc. Real Estate Inc. DRE#01059682
Residential Property Management Services since 1963
3138 Pacific Ave, Stockton, CA 95204
Office Hours: Monday-Friday 10am-1pm; 2-6pm (excluding holidays)
Office: 209-464-9441 Cell/Text: 209-992-1301
Property Owners: Mgmt/Tenant Placement Svcs