The COVID-19 crisis has left millions of Americans in a tight financial spot. Many have been furloughed, laid off, or had to close their businesses. Others are saddled with medical bills from hospital stays or are dealing with grief from losing a loved one to the novel Coronavirus.
With so many tenants begging for rent relief, landlords across the country are also in a tricky spot. Property management is expensive, and while being able to cancel rent would be great, it could do a lot more harm than good.
If you’re trying to figure out how to help tenants through these difficult times, there are still a few things you can do. Read on to learn some other ways to offer landlord help and show you care without losing out on rent.
Stay Up-to-Date on the Pandemic
First and foremost, make sure you’re getting your Coronavirus information from a reputable source.
Turn to accredited entities like the World Health Organization for updates. Don’t listen to the speculations of friends on Facebook or biased media outlets. The number of cases in your area and new safety recommendations may inform how you approach property management.
Consider sending weekly email updates to your tenants about the pandemic. Let them know the current status in your area, instructions for safety procedures, and any restrictions you have in place on your properties. This lets them know that you’re aware of the situation and have their best interests in mind.
Reduce Points of Contact
Early in the pandemic, all but the operations deemed “essential” were either put on hold or switched to remote work to flatten the curve. Even though many businesses are open again, reducing contact is still the best way to protect yourself and others.
Whenever possible, close down the office and conduct your duties remotely. You may want to allow one person at a time to hold office hours or offer in-person meetings by appointment only. Ask all parties to wear functional masks and practice social distancing when a meeting can’t be avoided.
Stay on Top of Your Landlord Duties
Even in the midst of a pandemic, the need to provide services to tenants continues. Even so, to cut disease transmission, you may have to change how you approach them.
With evidence that COVID-19 can spread through touch, frequent cleaning and disinfecting of all common areas is vital. This includes your office space, building lobbies, and apartment hallways and stairwells. If you manage single-family residences, offer a guide on how your tenants can disinfect their own spaces.
Keep home visits for routine maintenance inspections to a minimum whenever possible. Try using a video chat app like Zoom or Facetime for check-ins instead.
Revise Rent Regulations
Even though you can’t cancel rent entirely, you may be able to make it easier for your tenants who are struggling. Take a look at your policies for late fees to see if they can be relaxed, and try to offer flexible payments on a case-by-case basis. It’s better to help a responsible tenant through hard times than to be faced with an unexpected vacancy.
Follow These Tips for How to Help Tenants Through the COVID-19 Crisis
In an ideal world, we could offer total rent relief without any negative repercussions. Until then, though, using this guide on how to help tenants in other ways can show them you care while still covering expenses.
If you need some extra help providing exceptional service to tenants during these difficult times, Keyrenter Property Management of Merrimack Valley is here for you. Contact us online or give us a call today to learn more about our comprehensive services.