Some of the biggest and most heart-warming news stories in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic were of landlords providing rent relief to struggling tenants who had lost their jobs without any real notice. Landlords, especially those with multiple properties and many units, had the reach to impact hundreds or thousands of lives for the positive during this difficult time.
Expectation of Free Rent
The public narrative, however, in many cases has illuminated a disturbing belief that all landlords should stop collecting rent until the economy recovers and families can pay rent again. Many landlords, such as Taylor Equities, own many properties and serve extensive communities. These multiple properties and associated services come with running operating costs that don’t disappear because renters can no longer pay. In such cases, landlords ceasing all rent collection would be akin to grocery stores giving away all food for free. Either action would quickly lead to business insolvency. The public would be decidedly worse off without access to grocery stores should they all become insolvent. The same holds true if large properties become insolvent.
Domino Effect of Business Closure
Many large property owners, such as Steven Taylor Taylor Equities, are susceptible to being heavily and negatively impacted by the pandemic’s effect on commercial businesses. As restaurant and retail storefronts close their doors and potentially go out of business, the property owners suffer a drastic and equally unplanned loss of cash inflow yet are left with their operating costs.
The wonderful stories of free rent put on display the best of human nature where persons with the means to provide relief did so without hesitation. Extending this expectation to every landlord, however, is unrealistic from a business viability standpoint. People need places to live, and therefore landlords need to remain solvent. During times like these, the best case is where landlords and tenants work together to weather the storm as best they both can together.