Whether you’re a landlord, property manager, or tenant, there’s a good chance you are being impacted in some capacity by the current viral outbreak. Here are 4 ways property managers and landlords can be proactive during this time.
It’s important to remember that this is a period of great uncertainty and it is key to be empathetic. That being said, there are a few proactive actions you can take to be prepared and take precautionary measures during this time.
Communicate with your tenants
If you have a plan for how you are going to handle rent during this time, communicate that proactively with your tenants. Renters who have experienced sudden and unexpected job loss are probably very worried about how they are going to cover living expenses during this time. Be proactive and reach out to tenants letting them know what your plan is and draw up any agreements in writing. (I.e., if you and the tenant agree to a deferred payment plan, layout those terms clearly and concisely and have both yourself and the tenant sign it.)
Cancel any in-person meetings
If you have scheduled in-person meetings, be proactive in cancelling them. This is important as the CDC has encouraged social distancing recommendations. There are plenty of alternatives (see below) to follow social distancing protocols and set up online meetings or calls.
Encourage social distancing
Especially if your building or property has community spaces, encourage tenants to restrict their activities to their personal dwellings (i.e., not using communal lounges or gyms) to help mitigate the risk of people gathering and interacting. Social distancing means deliberately avoiding being near people and maintaining at least 6 feet away from other people. Encourage your tenants, neighbors, friends, and family members to practice social distancing.
Set up an electronic way of communication
If you or your tenants are used to communicating in person or face-to-face, set up methods of virtual communication instead. If you are a person who prefers “face contact”, there are plenty of video-chatting platforms, such as Zoom and Google Hangouts. Additionally, if you and your tenants have iPhones, you can Facetime as well.
Importantly, if you’re managing your rentals from home, stay in touch and communicate with your team members and tenants during this time. If unexpectedly unemployed tenants are especially concerned about late rent or fees, be proactive in letting them know your plans or policies for deferred rent payments.
Setting up channels of communication, following CDC-approved cleaning and sanitization procedures, and practicing and encouraging social distancing are important ways to be prepared and cautious during this time.