The world as we knew it is no more, everything has taken a turn for worst. The current pandemic situation is more or less the same across the globe. Businesses are suffering, and economies are crashing. Amid all of this, the landlord and rental property business are suffering as well.
The COVID-19 is making it hard for people to hold on to their jobs, go about their business, and earn an honest day's work. Landlords are losing their tenants left, right, and center as they are unable to pay their rental dues. With tenants having a hard time affording and paying rent on time, the vacancy rate is increasing day by day, and this is a huge burden and stress on any landlord's life and business.
Thousands of employees have lost their jobs in the United States alone; now, think about how this pandemic is affecting developing economies around the world. We are all in limbo at the moment, and we don't see this changing any time soon.
As a sympathetic landlord, you would think about waiving rent for the tenants whom you have known for a long time, who you know are struggling with payments and kitchen income. However, your kindness might not be a kind thing for yourself. You need to pay the mortgage for your rental property; if no funds are coming in, how will you pay for your mortgage? Apart from that, there is maintaining money, bills, insurance payments, and other emergency expenses. So, all in all, waiving off the rent isn't going to solve anything for you, and you might not be able to support your tenant for more than a couple of months anyway.
As per the US government, there are some protection provisions against evictions, but that doesn't mean that the landlords are going to suffer unnecessarily. So, if you are looking for an answer to this problem, here are some tips that will help you collect rent in these hard COVID-19 times.
Nothing solves problems faster than communications. If you have been bad at communication all this while, now is the time to buckle up and open communication channels for your tenants. Not only that, but you will also need to make sure they feel safe and confident in coming to you with their issues about rent payments.
Your tenants will come to you and will communicative effectively if you give them a chance and away to do so. Make sure you give your tenants an empathic listening ear when they come to you. Do not think that it's irrational or unreasonable to ask them to vacate the property if they can't meet the payments; this only means that you are treating all of them the same, and no one is being taken advantage of.
Payment Plans For Tenants:
If you are the kind and empathic landlord, you should consider giving your tenants an easy way out with rent payment plans.
These plans will help your tenant pay the rent in easy ways like:
- Monthly payments rather than quarterly will help ease the burden.
- Take no advance payments that way the rents can pay when they have enough funds
- Reduce the rent to help the tenant and generate some ROI
- Excuse late rent and charge no fee for that
- You can also let your renter pay as much as they can, and the rest can become their debt that they can pay after the situation settles down a bit.
- You can also utilize the security deposit, communicate to the tenant that this is an option as well, and if he is okay with that, use it to your advantage.
Apart from all of these, stay updated with all government's advice and help plans to facilitate the rents and landlords. Also, help your tenants stay updated and educated on the current situation. The only way we will be able to get out of this situation with little damage is by helping each other out.
Department of work and pension is open for tenants who are unable to pay their rents on time or pay them altogether. You can always point your tenants in the right direction. Universal credit is being offered to tenants who are unable to pay their rent by the department of work and pension. However, many tenants are unaware of this, and as a landlord, you are in the perfect position to help them see the right path.
Digital Payments – Less Human Contact:
Things are changing; we might be living with this situation for an extended period, so it's time we change a bit too. If we want to keep our businesses going and earn like usual, we will need to make some very drastic changes. Landlords everywhere take cash or checks as rental payments, but it's time to switch to digital payments.
Opt for digital payment methods that let the tenant pay through credit or debit cards, so your tenant doesn't need to worry about cash at hand or go to the bank to issue a checks. Another reason to switch to digital payments is keeping the social distance that is being promoted and also suggested by the government as well as medical health experts.
Here are a few more benefits of digital payments:
- Auto-payment collection: This way, you don't have to go door to door to collect the payments.
- Proper Accounting: With digital payments, you can easily keep tabs in who has paid the rent and who hasn't.
- Reminders: Setting up online payment methods and using online tools for payments, you can easily send reminders to your tenants. This reminder ensures that your tenant will be notified to pay their rents on time.
- Tenants Convenience: Your tenant can pay from the comfort of his home; there will be no need to leave home to deliver cash or checks to the landlord.
As a landlord, there are relief plans for you just like there are relief plans for the tenants. Keep in touch with your lenders and keep the communication going, let them know how the business is affected and how much you can pay at the moment.