Rental Property Owner Considerations During Coronavirus and Economic Crisis

The once-in-a-century coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has turned into a two-headed monster with both health and economic fronts. Approximately one-fourth of all Americans are home from work, and the market has been on a rollercoaster ride, often determined by the latest news from Washington.

With more than 80 million Americans renting their homes, tenants being able to make rent has far-reaching implications. In fact, many investment property owners are also concerned about having income to keep their own homes going. Maybe you’re one of them?

We’re Here to Support You
If you have a professional property manager, you’re likely in good hands. As property managers, we will continue to manage your property. We’ll oversee essential repairs, collect rent, and hold tenants to the terms and conditions of the existing lease agreements. The entire Realty Medics staff is equipped to work remotely, so even under a strict quarantine, we’re here to support you.

Understandably, some vendors who perform maintenance and repairs for us will be impacted. While there could be a delay addressing some non-essential work orders, we will continue to prioritize emergencies and essential repairs. Additionally, to protect inspector safety, usual property inspections may be temporarily put on hold. We understand legal deadlines must be met and will do everything in our power to complete inspections in a timely fashion.

Financial Impacts on Owners
As The Realty Medics have recently communicated to our property owners, we expect renters to adhere to their lease agreements. Rent is still due on the first of the month. We have advised tenants that if they experience financial hardships (or anticipate future hardships) to reach out to organizations that offer assistance immediately.

We’ve created a tenant page on our website with comprehensive lists of organizations offering assistance at the national, state, and county levels. We are also proactively offering financial hardship programs. Our goal is to help tenants find the resources to continue to make rent. This, in turn, keeps revenue streams flowing for our property owners.

Mortgages on Rental Properties
If your investment property is currently mortgaged, you may qualify for relief programs that a number of lending institutions are offering their customers (Forbes maintains an updated list of financial institutions and their specific programs). In some cases, these institutions have offered to waive late fees for late or missed payments or defer payments for up to 120 days. If you’re concerned about not being able to make mortgage payments on your rental property, reach out to your lender immediately to discuss options.

Reliable Information Sources
All the uncertainty and misinformation in the media right now is causing a lot of unnecessary concern and worry. Even Snopes (the fact-checking organization) is overwhelmed trying debunk all the false stories circulating. We encourage everyone to adhere to recommended guidelines from official sources like the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and The World Health Organization (WHO). Locally, please consult Florida Health website for the latest information on statewide guidelines or mandates. Anything else someone shares, remember to take with a grain of salt.

The coronavirus outbreak has literally changed our world, upending our normal routines. We know this is a time of constant change and transition and we want to assure our owners and tenants that we are here to support them through it. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us.