No matter where you live or what you do you have been effected by the recent outbreak of the Coronavirus/COVID-19. As I write this on April 1st over 873,000 confirmed cases and over 43,000 deaths the world over. 189,000 cases and 4,000 deaths in The United States. All of this seemed to come out of nowhere. As everyone does their best to keep out of harms way, stay healthy and stay safe I cant help but wonder how much farther this will go before it begins to fade away while leaving a massive scare across the Earth.
As apartment owners we provide a necessary service to those that live in our buildings. We need to remember that during this time of unprecedented events that this basic need will help keep those people safe and secure. Although we are owners we should remember that fact and realize that our tenants may have been affected by a loss of job, or could have been infected by the virus themselves or have an infected family member.
That being said we do still have to pay our debts, our bills and keep up on critical maintenance and repairs when possible. We are working very closely with our management company as we always do but the talks have been different as of late. We are suspending late fees for the time being and will work with affected tenants to create payment plans where necessary. On renewals we have decided that we will not raise the rental rate, our hope is to keep tenants in place and keep our occupancy as close to 100% as possible. Evictions are currently on hold in many states as the court systems are closed to non essential cases. If for some reason a tenant is unwilling to work with us on the payment plan we are still filing the paperwork and using it as a place holder. We are only completing emergency repairs and are making sure that the schedule is acceptable and safe for our tenants. We have temporarily suspended our capital expenditures in order to save capital and keep unnecessary people off the property.
Things are constantly changing right now and we are doing what we can to stay on top of the information at hand. We must continue to be as fluid as possible in our businesses and lives. We need to protect our investments as well as we can and weather this storm while doing what we can to help affected tenants. This will all pass in time. There will be many that come out weaker, but also many that come out stronger and well positioned to take advantage of the new economy, whatever that may be. We plan to be the latter, we hope that you do to.
Stay healthy, stay safe.