Small Landlords and Coronavirus

Unfortunately, we landlords have been put in a difficult position, required to maintain our housing for our tenants but without income in many cases. Other businesses are forced to shut down, stopping their income but free to seek other income. Still other businesses considered essential – grocery stores, pharmacies, etc. – are staying open and allowed to charge for their products.  

This situation will harm not just us landlords but our tenants as well, in the form of reduced or no services or, in the worst cases, abandoned housing especially in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods where rents are substantially lower and landlords operate on tight margins. When landlords just walk away in utter frustration, the tenants are left to maintain their housing on their own with no financial resources – or forced to move out. As we explained with evidence in the special March-April 2020 SPOA Newsletter, the risk is loss of much rental housing in these lower-income areas, valuable housing with substantially lower rents. This loss will force lower-income households to move elsewhere, with reduced supply of the rent-appropriate housing they need.

Our strategy is to rally small landlords across the country to tell their legislators what is happening “on the ground” regarding extensive nonpayment and abandoned housing, and rent strikes and their outcomes. We can operate only for two or three months before we face very difficult decisions for our rental housing and our tenants. Please click on this link to read the Coronavirus issue of the March-April 2020 SPOA Newsletter. It deals in greater depth with our predicament as landlords, potential impacts on tenants,  and what our strategy must be from this day forward.

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