As COVID-19 takes a toll on the economy, property managers all over the world are feeling its effects. Rent payments are continuously dropping, and property managers are finding themselves with less money to clear their property bills.
A lot of these problems arise due to the social-distancing we are engaging in, keeping tenants from work. All over the country, tenants are feeling the impact of not being able to make their payments, and California guidelines have been put into place to help those who cannot pay.
But how do you deal with such a situation as a property manager?
Be Prepared for the Worst
Every property manager should understand that the situation is not only facing your tenants but everyone. Some businesses are not operating while others are comfortable working from home. Still, not every tenant has a reserve fund they can rely on to pay their rent. As the situation escalates, it is better to anticipate and plan for grueling circumstances while still hoping everything returns to normal.
Empathize With Your Tenants
Do not forget that your tenants, too, are going through a rough patch. And since you probably have developed rapport with them, try to be understanding of their plight. Listen to them, talk to them, and empathize with them.
Let Them Know That The Rent Is Still Due
You have the right to remind your tenants that even if we are in a period of crisis, they still have to pay the rent. Usually, when a tenant delays in paying rent, you can impose on them a late fee or give them an eviction notice; however, several cities (including the City of LA) have placed a moratorium on such actions.
While your tenants do not have to pay a late fee or face eviction, it does not mean that they do not have to pay their rent. It is, therefore, essential for you to remind them that their rent is still due.
Come up With a Good Payment Option
Rent does not have to be due for tenants to give an update to their property manager. After having a conversation with your tenants, you can discuss mutually favorable payment terms that you are willing to accept.
Remember to be compassionate but precautious of tenants that take may be looking to take advantage of the situation.