How is COVID-19 impacting your rental property income and operations?

Let’s use this thread as a real-time resource to track best practices for landlords to weather the coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic. Financial assistance programs are emerging to assist renters and homeowners, but there isn’t much out there yet for landlords. We all surely want to keep our tenants in their homes and keep up with our mortgages. How do you plan to accomplish this?

What are you hearing from your tenants? How are you handling issues related to loss of income, rent payment hardships, etc. Have you spoken to your lender yet? Are you having trouble completing routine maintenance?

Please share your experiences, practical tips, resources, or strategies by posting a reply below.

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Thus far, only one tenant across my portfolio has said they will be unable to pay April rent although multiple have informed me or my property managers that they have been furloughed or laid off. At this point, there is still a lot of uncertainty, but I have taken a very proactive approach working with my property managers to make sure lines of communication are open with tenants.

My portfolio spans Northern California and Chicago, so shelter-in-place has been in effect across all my buildings. A couple interesting tidbits from the last couple weeks:

  • At the start, tons of new maintenance requests came in due to people spending all their time at home. That leaky faucet all of a sudden became a real annoyance.
  • Very quickly thereafter, all maintenance went on hold as no-one wants maintenance workers in their units for health safety, and repair people would rather only work on vacant units.
  • Construction projects and unit turnover for recently vacated units has been continuing (as an essential service) although the department of building inspection in SF is now closed leading to delays in permit sign-offs. Will wait and see, but we are going to have to revise a number of timelines and budgets as a result.
  • A couple refinances that I locked a couple weeks ago to take advantage of the low rates are still moving forward, although appraisers are doing everything remotely (no building entry due to tenants) which is leading to some issues and extra challenges at the bank.
  • Tenant lease renewals in Chicago are quite high at the moment, as tenants are deciding this is not the ideal time to move.
  • There has been a surprisingly high number of new requests for pets and service animals.

Will be very interesting to see how things play out over the next couple weeks especially around April rent collection.