It’s been a year since the start of the pandemic, and Americans have endured unprecedented stress, unemployment, and personal loss. While some industries are beginning to re-open and gain momentum after a long year of economic hardship, many find themselves still struggling with housing issues.
Renters are struggling to come up with monthly payments, and wondering if they should break their lease and move back in with mom and dad. Those investing in real estate are worried about their property; if you can’t collect rent, how will you pay the mortgage? Sure, things are looking up with lower restrictions in many states and a vaccine on the way, but how do you as a landlord deal with pandemic-related problems today?
As a landlord, there are many ways you can address the concerns of your tenants in a way that is beneficial to you as well. If you’re concerned about safely filling a rental unit, handling mortgage costs, or whether eviction is in your rights, let’s discuss a few major issues landlords are facing and how to solve them.
What If I Can’t Show My Properties?
If you are a landlord, you are likely afraid to show a vacant property due to pandemic safety concerns, and even more afraid of being stuck with a mortgage you are strapped to pay. Luckily, there are many ways you can use your creativity to show your investment property online and contact-free.
Many potential renters are stuck inside isolating, spending hours online scrolling social media. Create a Facebook or Instagram page to share engaging photos and videos of your rental properties as well as updated information, or kick it up a notch and invest in ads they can’t ignore. This is a great way to engage with potential renters, exchange information, and gauge whether a potential tenant is serious without meeting in-person.
No luck with Facebook? Try thinking outside the box. Real estate professionals are branching out and using virtual reality to give potential clients contactless tours, as well as using drone footage to give renters a new perspective without leaving the house.
What If I Am Low On Funds?
If you are low on funds, you are not alone. Both tenants and landlords alike are struggling to pay taxes, mortgages, rent, and late fees in the face of unprecedented joblessness and personal loss. If you are investing in a rental property, you can learn about investment property finance options online and get help and consultation from experts at any stage of your investment journey.
Additionally, there are provisions available for both landlords and tenants alike. See if you qualify for rent assistance through the government. The recently signed Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 includes $25 billion in assistance for landlords, and you may be eligible to receive help with your mortgage payments.
How Do I Handle Eviction?
The short answer is: you don’t. As of now, there is an eviction moratorium in place to protect tenants from homelessness and slow the spread of COVID-19. The moratorium is set to expire at the end of March, but the CDC is currently taking measures to extend it further.
As long as your tenants have given you a written declaration that they are unable to pay rent due to the Coronavirus and are seeking government assistance, they cannot, as of now, be evicted. While this is controversial among many landlords, there are now more options in place to seek rent relief, as mentioned above.
With so much uncertainty in the future, you may feel that you don’t have a future in property investment. The good news is that the real estate industry hasn’t lost much steam; people are still buying and selling property, and with the vaccine rollout, there is now hope for life to go back to normal very soon. Charge headfirst into your problems, and don’t lose hope.