Coronavirus pandemic has become a nightmare to everyone globally with many business closed, students at home and even some rendered jobless hence causing severe financial strain for millions of people across the world.
This has become very challenging not only to people but also landlords who expect rent from their tenants amid the coronavirus outbreak when they know that most people are facing financial crises.
The government has on the other hand requested landlords to show compassion on their tenants during this difficult period and allow tenants who are affected to remain in their homes. However, the government haven’t instructed landlords to wave rent or reduce rent for their tenants, this is a personal decision for landlords and homeowners.
It might be difficult for landlords to offer rent reduction to tenants as some are still paying mortgages but it is better for your lender to have some revenue from you than none. This is by ensuring that you have explained the situation to your lender so as not to enforce any breach of contract against you.
It is understood that tenants are still liable for their rents, however, if they are facing financial hardships it is important as the landlord to keep your lines of communication with them open and work together to put a rent payment scheme in place.
If tenants ask for rend reduction, first of all talk to them and understand why they need a reduction and look favorably on it if they have been good tenants in the past and agree on a temporary rent reduction. However, make sure you make it clear whether it is a temporary rent reduction or a deferral.
We have witnessed some landlords generously offering tenants rent reduction without even being requested to during coronavirus epidermic. This is a personal decision depending with their long term plans because every landlord has different approaches when it comes to managing their tenants’ payments.
However, it is so unfortunate when some homeowners are seen sending their tenants on streets because of rent arrears when people are currently experiencing financial crises.
Therefore it is important as a homeowner to have a written agreement confirming what you have agreed with the tenant, the amount of rent they will pay and the dates the reduction applies and have them signed by both parties.
While we continue fighting COVID-19, landlords are urged to be sensible having in mind that some tenants may ask for relief and you’ll need to respond accordingly, weighing up both their and your situation.