Rent and COVID-19: How to Help Your Tenants During This Time of Crisis
As a rental condo owner, the current market is a difficult one to navigate. Across the world, people are under stay at home orders, with millions of people having lost their employment status. In the US, the federal government has provided stimulus funds, but many people still have not received this money, nor is it enough to sustain everyday life. With your rental properties, you may begin to see your tenants have a hard time paying their monthly rent. Use your Chicago property management company to work on several ways to help those who need assistance and still stay in business.
Rent collection should continue as normal based on the lease agreement you have with your tenants. However, you should recognize that some residents may have trouble financially due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Consult with your Chicago property manager on which tenants have reported financial issues.
Once you know who needs help, you can look at their track record. Are they reliable? Do they always pay their rent on time? Consider allowing for alternate payment schedules or waiving late fees so that your tenants can pay their rent for the month at a later date. If the option is available in your area, consider providing tenants with financial resources that could be helpful during this time.
You can even consider offering split payments, where tenants pay half their rent during the first section of the month and the second half during the latter part. Understand that many people are on unemployment and have yet to see payment. This can cause a delay in rent as they must choose how to spend what little money they have and most people will opt for food first.
As mentioned, one option that might work best is a payment plan. Talk with your Chicago condo management team about each tenant and come up with ideas on how a payment plan could be instituted. For many people, paying $50 a week is much easier than $400 at one time, especially during this time of crisis.
By consulting with your team, you can come up with ideas that work for you and your tenants. Every business is different as well as tenants, so coming up with your own strategy helps to find a way to offer a payment plan that helps you stay afloat and your tenants inside their homes.
While you may be tempted to evict tenants at this time due to no payment or other issues, it is recommended that an attorney is consulted before an eviction is started. In the current climate, the tenant may try to challenge your eviction claim and they could have a case. By consulting with an attorney, you can consider federal, state and county laws before making this type of decision.
Remember that this is a trying time for everyone. Take time to think about how you can help your tenants and continue to operate a successful rental property business.