So much of real estate feels like a moving target in the era of COVID19. Just this week Gov. Inslee extended the moratorium on evictions until June 4, and also enacted a rent freeze. To help navigate the changes and assist landlords in protecting their investments we’ve assembled a few tips and best practices for landlords and investors amidst COVID19.
As more tenants find themselves in a financial bind and unable to pay rent, here’s a few ideas on mitigating the loss of income.
- Convert all or part of the security deposit into rent
- Offer a weekly payment program (some tenants might have an easier time breaking the rent into smaller chunks)
- Offer a later payment date. Perhaps they can pay by the 10th or the 15th and your mortgage payment isn’t due till after that.
- Offer tenants incentive to pay rent up front - for example: offer a 30% discount on rent if they pay all rent for the rest of the year
- Create a payment plan, here’s one idea:
- Allow month of April/May to be delayed and paid over the course of a 10 month period - for example, 1 month rent = $1000… if not paid for month of May then payments made June - March 2021 could be $1100
- Offer a pay by credit card option and waive any credit card fees associated with that
We also recommend some amount of screening before offering any rent abatement or forgiveness. Creating some kind of simple application for tenants to describe exactly how COVID19 has impacted them could ensure that you are helping actual hardships, not just handing out discounted or free money to tenants who might not need help right now. Also remember to get any agreement or plan in writing and signed by all parties!
- There are some forbearance options for landlords who can’t pay their mortgage. Find out more here. https://dfi.wa.gov/homeownership/covid-19-mortgage-assistance-washington-residents
https://www.rhawa.org/covid-19## Rental Housing Association of Washington has great resources, webinars, and support for both tenants and landlords.