The reason: coronavirus, or COVID-19. It started in China, and now it’s a pandemic.
Many people have had their lives drastically changed by the government measures taken to slow down the spread of this new virus. Many people are working remotely for the first time. Many people are suddenly finding themselves responsible for homeschooling their kids. Many people are finding themselves without a job.
Remember all those closures? Hourly employees aren’t getting a paycheck, and if they’re living paycheck to paycheck, this creates a huge financial problem. Then, there are people who still have a job to go to but have to choose to stay home with their children while schools are closed. Again, no hours worked equals no paycheck.
One landlord in Maine had an idea of a way to ease the financial burden on his tenants, and he’s hoping other landlords will join him. In a Facebook post, Nathan Nichols shared his idea.
“COVID19 is going to cause serious financial hardship for service and hourly workers around the country. I own a two unit in South Portland and all of my tenants are in this category. Because I have the good fortune and of being able to afford it and the privilege of being in the owner class, I just let them know I would not be collecting rent in April. I ask any other landlords out there to take a serious look at your own situation and consider giving your tenants some rent relief as well.”
Many people are praising Nichols as a hero, but he did not create this post for praise. He created it to encourage other landlords to join him in waiving rent for April. He told WMTW, “I am quite surprised and I am happy that it got shared a lot because I do seriously hope that people who have some privilege will see this and take a hard look and see what they can do.” He went on to say, “If more people do this, which is the only reason I posted this in the first place, to hopefully get people to take a hard look at what they can do to keep things working.”
Do you think more landlords should waive rent for April?