COVID-19 has affected all of us, and left many people on unemployment or with reduced income. As property managers and owners in the 2nd month of a stay-at-home order, we may be getting calls from tenants who are struggling to pay their rent. At the same time, our owners typically have mortgage and other expenses associated with the home. How can we work together to ensure rent is paid? You can start by ensuring your tenant has applied for all available resources.
- Many people may not be aware that self-employed people, gig workers, and those with reduced income can all apply for unemployed due to the COVID shutdown. Be sure to ask your tenant if they have applied and be willing to help them with the process if needed. Share the link with them and encourage them to apply. The link for PA unemployment can be found here:https://www.uc.pa.gov/Pages/default.aspx
- Look for local COVID rent assistance grants and programs. Philadelphia has announced a program that will be available to take applications from Tuesday, May 12th - Saturday, May 16th. Learn more here: https://www.phlrentassist.org/
- Finally, if your tenant is still struggling, look into other options that you may not normally consider. Are you holding last month's rent in Trust? Maybe that could be used to help during this time? Do they expect this to be a long-term issue and need to break their lease in order to move to a less expensive place? Whatever agreement you come to, be sure to put it in writing and have all parties sign off on it.