COVID-19 (a.k.a. coronavirus) has impacted all of us in some way, whether it’s through the loss of income, feeling the loss of our freedom as we are self quarantined in our homes, or worse – our health or the health of a loved one.
A serious question some are having is “what happens if I can’t pay my rent?” so I want to offer a few tips.
First, if you are impacted financially by COVID-19, communicate with your landlord as soon as possible. Some landlords have been proactive in reaching out to their tenants to let them know that are willing to work with them. In some cases, landlords have offered reduced rates for the next month and other assistance such as waiving late fees. Some landlords own their homes outright and may have more flexibility and some have mortgages to pay, giving them fewer options until their mortgage assistance kicks in.
Secondly, evaluate your finances. Take a good look at your budget and determine what other bills may be waived as many lenders are offering assistance for auto loans and other financial liabilities. This may free up money to pay your rent.
Third, look at other income options. It may sound like “no one is hiring and everyone is getting paid off” but this is not true. There are industries that are hiring because they are being overwhelmed by the coronavirus crisis such as grocery stores, various delivery services, Walmart, and Amazon. Now is a time to “do what it takes” to make our budgets work. Yes, I said, “our” budgets as my family is impacted as well as the real estate industry has definitely been impacted.
Fourth, know that legislation has already passed in some areas to provide some eviction protection. The government is working on legislation that would protect renters in the rest of the country.
Lastly, let’s realize we are all in this together. You may feel that your landlord has the upper hand because he or she owns the property you live in. The reality is that this pandemic has leveled the playing field. Now is a time for landlords and tenants to just shoot straight with one another about where they are. Hopefully, it results in stronger relationships between tenants and landlords.
In closing, let’s all practice compassion and if you know someone in need, do what you can to lend a helping hand.
I wish you all peace and health during this time. Let me know if you need anything that I might be able to help you with.