WHAT DO I DO IF MY TENANT DOES NOT PAY RENT DUE TO THE CORONA VIRUS?
The COVID -19 pandemic is ravaging almost every aspect of our lives and has caused us to reorient our lifestyle. It has changed the way we go about our daily activities and has affected many businesses. It is disheartening to say that many people have lost their jobs and even their lives and that of their loved ones to this outbreak. As a result of this, many New Jerseyans are worried about the future. There is a tremendous fear and uncertainty right now.
Of course, we are in a troubling time full of uncertainty. This uncertainty has spread even more rapidly than the Coronavirus itself and there’s no doubt about it!
The COVID-19 outbreak has led to drops of the stock market and caused several businesses to halt without knowing when or if they’ll be able to open once this is over. However, something is pretty certain; many people are currently unable to work due to this and the different measures kept in place to combat this dreaded virus. Many of these now unemployed individuals will not be able to pay their rent.
Paying the rent is a problem facing landlords and tenants across New Jersey. So, as landlords, what do we do?
I know what you are thinking! You expect landlords to be nice and don’t make anyone pay rent. However, rent is due on the 1st as normal. But if the tenant does not pay, landlords will have to deal with it. Here’s a strategy for dealing with missing or late rent.
1. Make A Plan
This is the very first and most important step to consider. So, commit yourself to having a written plan of how you are going to handle this issue because this is not a question of IF but WHEN.
2. Consider the Present Situation
Remember you are not the only one going through trauma. Your tenants are facing a remarkably scary moment, as well. So, before taking any decision, talk with your tenants and listen to them. We are all affected by the Coronavirus. Try to be objective and put your tenants first. Offer different solutions as payment plans as they will still be responsible for the entire portion. Waive all late fees during these times.
3. Let Them Know Their Rent Is Still Due
There is a super interesting piece of human behavior at play for as long as there are landlords and renters and bills to be paid. Most often, many people will pay those bills that give them the greatest consequence of not paying. This the reason why late payment fees are very important.
Thus, after talking and sympathizing with your tenant(s), you have to let them know their rent is still due.
4. Give Your Tenant Options
Once you’ve made your tenants understand they’ll still need to pay their rent, now it’s time to help them navigate this hard time. This is a rapidly changing period and many renters do not know how they can come up with their rent. So, you need to help them by giving them the different available options.
5. If you have a mortgage give your lender a call
During these uncertain times, a lot of finical institution are proving COVID -19 assistance programs and could offer a forbearance program which could temporarily suspend any payments up to 30 - 90 days.
The Murphy administration is aware that many New Jersey tenants are facing financial difficulties due to the Coronavirus. They are currently assessing how to best ensure that tenants feel secure during this period and the ways forward to alleviate the impacts of the ongoing financial hardship.
Therefore, keep your eyes on the assistance programs that the local government has kept in place to help tenants.
If this job loss, social distancing, and potential economic meltdown persist, we’ll make new rules as it happens. I am certain the federal government will provide more programs in an attempt to help.
- ARC Property Management | A New Jersey Property Management company