He decided to do this so that he wouldn't lose his tenants, and they could use rent money for something more useful.
In a bid to be generous and considerate of the Coronavirus situation and to also inspire others to do the same, a landlord from Maine has waived rent collection for April, reports People. The 46-year-old hopes this will decrease the burden on his tenants during the outbreak. As people have enough on their hands to worry about, paying rents should be the last thing on their minds. Nathan Nichols was worried about two groups of tenants that have rented out his duplex in Portland, Maine. They worked hourly jobs, including in the service industry, so Nichols knew there were chances of their jobs being affected. Several places around the world are in complete lockdown, and this is likely to be an issue for hourly wage earners.
"I have two units and one of the units there is a young family who has a one or two-year-old child. They’re on a single income and I know that they’re really living on the edge," Nichols said. "My other tenants are millennials who work at some venues and I knew they would also be impacted. My thinking was, they might not be able to pay rent,” he continues. "If they’re not making any money, they can’t pay me. It’s not like they’re going to somehow magically get money if they’re not working." This was what caused him to surprise his tenants by telling them that he'd waived the rent for the month of April.
This would not only help them save hundreds of dollars, but they could also actually use the money to buy groceries and stock up on the essentials instead. Nichols publicly made the announcement in a viral Facebook post from March 13 with it being shared more than 24,000 times. He wrote: COVID19 is going to cause serious financial hardship for service and hourly workers around the country. I own a two-unit in South Portland and all of my tenants are in this category. Because I have the good fortune of being able to afford it and the privilege of being in the owner's class, I just let them know I would not be collecting rent in April.
I ask any other landlords out there to take a serious look at your own situation and consider giving your tenants some rent relief as well. Update: So many landlords have reached out saying that they want to help, but have to pay their own mortgage. Apparently, mortgage lenders are providing relief to those who qualify, but you have to reach out to them. Talk to your tenants and find out their situation, then talk to your lender and ask for assistance. The post gained a lot of positive comments, but Nichols was mindful of the fact that not all landlords would be in a position to do so, as some may be completely dependent on the rent they receive from their tenants. As Nichols has a full-time job and an emergency fund to support him financially, he wouldn't feel the pinch that much.
Nevertheless, Nichols is surprised by his viral post. For him, helping his tenants seemed like a natural choice. "I’m really grateful to have good tenants who I can trust and are reliable,” he says. “I don’t want to lose them and I’m grateful to them." His relationship with his tenants made him aware of their hardships. He said, "I really think that the more you communicate with people, the more you are able to humanize other people, the more they will humanize you. Once you bring it out of the financial and into the human, then problems are easier to solve."
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