It’s appearing in the news now … unemployed renters who propose to PAY NO RENT until the COVID-19 epidemic has past.
“Why should a wealthy landlord take advantage of and profit by my suffering?” is the common unspoken thread being used to weave this fabric of discontent!
“I’m not making any money so my landlord shouldn’t either.”
“I need my money more than they need their rent!”
I do understand the feelings of people whose job and income has been put ON HOLD until these tough times pass … but the demonization of landlords does nothing to help and is myopic.
Before you join the protest, please ask yourself:
“WHO IS MY LANDLORD?”
Consider the 3 predominant types of landlords that will suffer if you stop paying your rent:
1 – ACCIDENTAL LANDLORDS – More than 80% of the property owners we manage for are folks who never intended to own a rental property. They became landlords “accidentally” due to military or job transfer, health issues, family emergency or other issue beyond their control. They HAD to move away and they HAD to rent out the home they left behind here to cover their mortgage payment on it. Most owners in this situation make 0- $100 I month PROFIT from the rental of their property. Some don’t even break even.
2 – RETIRED ON SOCIAL SECURITY – About 15% of the owners are retired and rely on their little bit of rental income to supplement their meager Social Security Income. Some have mortgage payments, some do not … but they DEPEND on the income from their little rental house to make it through each month.
3 – REAL ESTATE INVESTORS – Less than 5% of our owners are successful investors that own rentals as part of their investment portfolio.
“So … “, you proclaim, “I’m going to find out if my landlord is one of those rich investor types … and if so then they won’t get any of my rent money anymore until the epidemic is over!”
Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it.
But did you know that many of these INVESTOR OWNERS have, on their own, offered RENT REDUCTIONS to their suffering tenants of up to $500 I month? It’s true.
For some of us, in our churches we are challenged to ask ourselves:
“WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR … and how should I treat them?”
Renters, I ask you …
Is not your landlord your neighbor?
And landlords … Is not your renter your neighbor?
Please carefully consider the facts before joining up with on any protest march. Consider your neighbor.
What if, thru no fault of my own, I just CANNOT PAY MY RENT IN FULL! What should I do?”
Don’t be embarrassed and don’t worry that your landlord will find out. You are not alone! Many others are in the same temporary situation who WANT TO PAY RENT but, simply put, THEY JUST CAN’T!
Here’s what we recommend you do:
1 – CALL YOUR LANDLORD – Be sincere and speak from your heart by saying some of the most powerful words in the English language: I NEED YOUR HELP!
2 – BRIEFLY EXPLAIN YOUR SITUATION – Get to the point and say that you would love to pay your rent on time and in full… but due to the present situation you are unable to do so. Be honest and transparent. Don’t blame anyone or be demanding. Don’t quote the “law” to your landlord. Instead, ask that a small measure of mercy be extended your way.
3 – PROPOSE A TEMPORARY RENT PAYMENT PLAN – Be specific with how much you can pay and on what date. Don’t propose something that you know you really cannot do. It’s got to work for you!
4 – OFFER TO PAY AT LEAST A PORTION OF THE RENT EACH MONTH – You should “have some skin in the game” … don’t just ask that the owner give you a “free ride”! Certainly you can come up with some to put towards your rent… so do that.
5 – OFFER TO REPAY YOUR UNPAID RENT – Don’t expect the owner to write off your debt. Repay your unpaid rent at a specific future date… maybe within a few months after the situation ends.
6 – MAKE A GENTLE PLEA TO THE PROPERTY OWNER – Don’t be afraid to plant a seed by saying “Any other assistance that the owner might chose to give us would be greatly appreciated by our family at this difficult time.”… and leave it at that!
Remember, you will get further in life with sugar than with vinegar!