Proactive Strategies to Prepare for Pandemic

I would like to create a forum to note the different strategies that have been developed to help MHP owners cope with the pandemic. Please use bullets in this forum, and avoid repeating any of the strategies that have already been given (read through the posts and only note those that haven’t been mentioned already).

A few from my research and a virtual REIA meeting last night:

  • Check in with tenants by sending out mass voicemails / texts (available with SlyDial, AppFolio)
  • Shift to self-showings for prospective tenants (unlock door before arrive, lock door after leave)
  • Consider a plan to decrease/defer rent. Get this in writing. Require proof from tenants in the form of a letter from an employer or doctor’s note before consider.
  • Encourage tenants to sign up for online payments, or have a lockbox where they can drop them off.

Refine mortgages at lower rates.

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Or to pull out a bit of cash to help weather the storm.

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For each of our cities, we have created an “Assistance” flyer that lists every type of assistance in that city available that we can locate (food, rent, transitional housing, emergency funds, heater repair, transportation, etc, etc).

We locate these through web searches, multiple phone calls, and asking agencies/nonprofits of other agencies, etc. They are all very helpful and love the idea that a landlord would provide this. Some cities have their own flyers/lists already put together.

A copy of this flyer goes out with late notices or given to anyone who comes forth and lets us know they are facing hardships.

For this pandemic everyone in each park received a copy of this flyer along with a letter with basic info that is known about the virus as well contact information for unemployment. We encouraged anyone who has seen a layoff to contact unemployment immediately and not to wait. This was not a cheap print job, but it is money well spent. This provides tenants with a means to help themselves.

In that letter (since this might be a bigger issue now than normal) we reminded tenants of what does and dopes not go into the sewer. Also let them know that a hand-held bidet is cheaper then a 12 pack of toilet paper!

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My boss and I were trying to decide what to do with his park.

On the one hand, we were considering giving information to all the tenants about corona and resources to get help. We would also in this case consider rent reduction / deferring if the tenants provided proof that they had the virus or their income/hours had been reduced due to measures related to reducing transmission.

On the other hand, most people are already getting information about Corona from sources of their own choosing. Giving them information might open the door for liability lawsuits down the line. Considering rent deferment/forgiveness might open the door for tenants to take advantage of the landlord by looking for every reason to not pay rent. If you already have rent delinquencies, this could just compound the issue.

I am taking the position that we should do our best to be good landlords through this time, and that means following as closely as possible our responsibilities outlined in the rental contract. I don’t believe it is a good idea to go beyond that.

I have seen others offering to take rent payments from credit cards, Cozy and other landlord programs offer this as well as PayPal and Stripe.

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Taking credit cards is standard operating procedure. You should be doing that whether there is a pandemic or not.

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I use Paylease with Rent Manager. The only cash taken is the move-in money when they get set-up in system

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Agreed. Though I think this is an opportunity for parks where they still collect cash (which can be embezzled) or personal checks (which can bounce) to convert to certified money orders and online payment via card or bank accounts.

In a previous thread, I believe it was Frank who mentioned that when there was a gas leak his team used this as an opportunity to switch the whole park to individual propane tanks. This took the system from private management by the park to a billing back system for the tenants. I wonder if there are other opportunities with the current crisis to use the time for such changes?

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