I’ve had tenants ask since they are not working because of the outbreak they are asking if there is any assistance in rent offered. I feel for them but I tell them we still have to pay mortgage and utilities. Is anyone offering any assistance for your tenants? What if this pandemic is going to last for months? Courts are currently closed and the eviction process has stopped. Do any of you have plans if this lasts for a few months?
We haven’t seen the financial hit yet, so I cannot comment on what we would actually do if a large percentage of tenants stop paying. However, I would think it is not prudent to force evictions, late fees, etc. en masse. Having a tenant pay less for a while until the pandemic eases is better than forcing the tenant out knowing that you are not likely to find a new tenant for weeks or months. If people cannot leave their homes, they are not going to be quick to sign a new lease and move into your property.
I’m about to roll out a letter to residents with a formal application process to request rental forebearance.
I would like to try and work with residents, and am hoping that once paying rent potentially becomes ‘optional’ in the near future I will have earned some goodwill.
I expect we will be facing this economic situation for a minimum of 6 months. Even when the medical situation turns around the economy will take much, much longer. Many tenants will be buried so deep in debt that they will walk away from their rent debts when things turn around. If tenants can not pay they can’t pay but if they can it would be a mistake to allow non payment. This will need to be diligently policed since it is unlikely landlords will ever recoup their lost rental income.
Regrettably policing our business needs to be a higher priority than good will otherwise all tenants will suffer.
The government has declared there will be no waiting period for unemployment benefits for people who are laid off. If they are on public assistance that should keep coming. Then the government can pay for it all by printing more money which should be inflationary except the zero interest is said to be deflationary.
My approach will be to say, sorry, but I still need to pay all the expenses, and sorry I don’t have a slush fund set aside for contingencies like this. Have you ever heard the saying no good deed goes unpunished? Landlord is a four letter word and a trailer park landlord even worse. I have found when I let tenants get behind it is bad for both of us.
I’m going to be honest I don’t think this comment takes into the severity or potential severity of what the current situation is. Very short sighted. Here is something I just posted in bigger pockets and I’ll share here
My current position is a landlord in the affordable housing segment.
I think right now you need to set the mentality of being a captain of a ship entering a storm. I don’t think we know the duration nor the intensity of the storm though I would think most would agree there is a storm approaching If you have any means to extend on additional capital at this point without exponentially increasing your risk, pull on any credit lines, I would put this into strong consideration so you may maintain course . This is assuming you made reasonably good decisions up until this point. Take this is as your sole responsibility to Sheppard your tenants and yourself through the coming uncertainty. We dont know today if this is 1 month or 1 year or what normal looks like after that. I would operate on this premise so you may stay afloat on the waves as long as you can. Your job is to care for your Ark as well as the passengers on your ark… This is not a game of trying to figure out how to make a dollar today or where opportunity lies tomorrow. This is the time to help your fellow man ( or woman ) to make sure that there is a man ( or woman ) to take care of you tomorrow. Focus all of your efforts on remaining buoyant among the thrashing sea.
People will be put out , people will get behind and not have means to pay. To put them out is short sighted because the world is in this storm together take an approach that encompasses this view. Todays priority is to take care of your fellow man and men as much as possible. I don’t know what all the logical answers are today and they will be ever changing so I feel the philosophy and approach are of most relevance… Do what you can to keep the ship afloat and those within it safe.
My gut tells me that those who operate under this philosophy will be blessed for the future. But don’t do it for that reason , do it because it is the only thing you can do right now and it is the right thing.
Godspeed my fellow investors.
I’ve been thinking along the same lines Marvel. Many of my tenants have been with me for a decade or more. They pay my bills and I offer them a service. Good tenants can be lifelong customer’s. I’d guess half my tenants are “lifers”.
I basically run a “no pay, no stay” policy. But I have always been willing to work with long term customers if the situation is an honest hickup. This is going to be a hickup for most everyone all at once. Now is not the time to be a jerk. Now is the time to be a decent human. This is a good time to show your tenants grace. If done correctly, grace and decency can build great long-term customer retention and loyalty for years to come.
All that being said. I’m not sure I would sent out letter or take any action just yet. I’m just observing and seeing what the government is going to do. I will likely wave late fees and work with many people, maybe charge no late fees for all customer’s April and May or something along those lines. But advertising this policy will advertise a free loan to many people. If you advertise it’s ok to pay late, you will likely be the last bill paid. I wouldn’t go that far just yet.
Good conversation everyone.
No truer words have been spoken….no good deed goes unpunished. There will be tenants that will take advantage of this situation. My approach will be to prioritise the health of my business. I will not suggest to any tenant that there is a rent vacation. Those that can pay will pay, Those that say they can not pay will be encouraged to pay something. It is important for tenants to realise I have responsibilities to all tenants. Everyone, not just the landlord, needs to contribute.
I think we all need to accept the fact that this is not a “one size fits all” event. You can find the current case count by state at this link https://www.livescience.com/coronavirus-updates-united-states.html .
What it tells me is that there is no current parallel between New York and Missouri, or Washington and Kansas, or California and Wyoming.
Each park owner will have to look at what’s going on in their particular area and act accordingly.
There is no doubt that many residents in some properties will try to use Covid-19 as an excuse not to pay rent regardless of what’s actually going on. Any rent concession should include a methodology to fairly address each resident’s story and make a decision based on the facts. If someone has not lost any income from Covid-19 do not allow them to use that excuse simply to get out of paying rent – because we all know that’s exactly what’s going to happen in some cases.
Everyone on this thread has posted very fair and moral opinions. I agree with all of them – but I don’t want to see good people taken advantage of.
I’m not sure I’d do that, it seems like it would invite trouble that isn’t here yet. I plan to handle this on a case by case basis as it’s brought to our attention.
I sincerely believe that we have many great tenants. We did receive notice that some were losing jobs shortly etc.
How we are handling this ( today , which can change tomorrow ).
We are proactively reaching out to our elderly residents to make sure they are ok and that they are in the loop of what is going on and if there is anything we may be able to assist with.
We will work on this with a case by case basis with those who have immediate economic hurdles to jump over and how we may be able to accolade them . Seeing if they would like to keep living at the property etc. On our most recent acquisition we have POH that we have been converting to TOH . Moreso on the POH if they want to remain and see if their is a way we can work together where we have proven residents with track records.
My wife and I talked about this 1 week ago about being very proactive. and working to provide a one size fits all solution. I dont think that will be proper now after revisiting this topic today. We will work to make the best out of this situation as needed with everyone. As people are not able to make it work, we will see what we can do.
I believe these are unprecedented times that will require unprecedented solutions. I have always been of the mind that my success is dependent upon the success of our residents and I am fully willing to take steps to execute this.
Even If government takes steeps to help those in need, there is so much ripple that at this point, its just not possible to predict on how the coin drops.
I feel that those who can adapt , pivot and adjust will be those who make it out alive and I fully intend to be in that group.
I disagree Frank, the economic disruption will be universal and not proportional to the case count at the state level. Here in Michigan, we are shut down and our case count is small. The shutdown creates the economic problems for my tenants, not the virus as of yet.
I do agree on the case by case approach. I have many tenants on some kind of government check so their income won’t change plus they may get a 1K check from Trump.
If you look at the trend. Its not so much about the case count today… I remember from when I was a kid you could get something like 1000 dollars or a penny and double each day and after a month you were a millionaire ( not fact checking this right now). I honestly done think anyone knows what they are up against. We are just at different points on the time spectrum. Its too early in the game to know , as frank says, how the movie ends. Wait and see how it goes and adjust accordingly. And honestly, I dont know if government has a big enough bazooka to take down the economic efforts of this one. I hope it does, im not advocating gloom and doom, but I think you need to have eyes wide open and see how it unfolds.
We’ve both been watching this post. As I was reading your post, I was thinking to myself, “I’ve said my part and I am done talking in this thread for now” but then I read what you wrote.
I have always been of the mind that my success is dependent upon the success of our residents and I am fully willing to take steps to execute this.
I’ve been in this business 18 years now, I started at the age of 19. Over the year’s I’ve had a more and more profound realization of the about quote. When our tenants are doing well, we do well. When I sell homes, I won’t sell the home to the person if I don’t think its right for them in the long run, even if I have to turn down money “now”. Planting long term “seeds” of tenant’s who succeed, wins the race in the long term. It’s best for both parties when the tenant can afford their payment, and has a chance at owning their home without decades of payments.
I have had the pleasure of meeting and becoming friends with @jhutson through the forums and we have both talked on occasion of some threads from like 11-12 years back that we each have seen several times that make your bones chill on how things got . @mobilehomepark several of which you have been in and for that reason I have reached out to you personally.
If nothing else if today, this gets overlooked, 10 years from now may it help some active or aspiring investors.
I love your comment on the affordability. The Frank and Dave Mantra was always my foundation . You can have park with older homes the homes are paid off and the tenants are " rich" ( ie 300 lot rent versus 1000 all in payment for 23 years) . I have signed the stupid community waivers for new homes brought into the park even though I dont think you need to , why? Because your tenant gets a lower interest rate as ive been told ( or suckered? ) but its been the foundation of what I do. Affordability, I feel that those within my meager portfolio are some of the richest customers one can have. I guess Im about to find out if I was right or not .
In normal times I’m a very strict ‘no pay no stay’ operator
However, I feel that operators showing reasonable, measured compassion during unprecedented times may be rewarded at least somewhat once moratoriums are placed on evictions. Meanwhile, the landlords who were completely inflexible and didn’t show appreciation for their residents may have more trouble down the road collecting on rent when the only collection method the landlord has left is to ask nicely. To each their own though.
Noel_S, have you considered sending the letter only to tenants who ask for help? Sending it to all tenants may open the forebearance request floodgates.
I recently sent a letter stating that while times are tough the rent must still be paid - and shared information about unemployment applications being fast tracked and possible government assistance… I will wait to see who doesn’t pay on time and talk to each late payer personally about their situation.
I structured the letter and application to be intrusive. The applicant has to provide details on their job, and their supervisor’s contact information. My hunch is someone tempted to game the system won’t be willing to BS completely and try and fabricate all of the information necessary. We will see though. The application explicitly says we don’t guarantee anything ahead of time or any sort of approval.
I share everyone’s thought process on this. We’ll take it on a case by case basis and will be more lenient with people we already know well and have a history with. We will waive late fees, and will expect everyone to pay something, even if it’s just 5-10% of the monthly rent. We also will not blindly accept that the economic disruption as an excuse, and will require a letter of termination or anything that gives us a sense of what happened at that person’s job. I don’t necessarily expect McDonald’s workers to produce a letter of termination, but i think it’s important to require something that will hopefully help weed out the scammers/liars and make them think twice about taking advantage of this to completely miss the rent payment.
I think on the White House speech today they just announced a ban on foreclosures and evictions I haven’t seen if the details are out yet but it sounded like your something along those lines. If you are not watching the daily White House coronavirus team updates you really need to So you have a very comprehensive an accurate picture of what is occurring at this moment in time