This generous landlord from Maine said, "Once you bring it out of the financial and into the human, then problems are easier to solve. I’m really grateful to have good tenants who I can trust and are reliable."
Most people in the service industry survive on hourly wages but the latest Coronavirus has dented the livelihoods of millions of Americans workers as the complete lockdown has led to the closure of all but the most essential services. The worst part of this entire ordeal is it is adding to an already strained economy that has been teetering on the fringes of recession. Not to mention the impact losing an income stream can have on people who pretty much live a hand-to-mouth life with rent and utility payments, taking a back seat pushing them towards homelessness. Thankfully, there are still good people like this landlord Nathan Nichols in this world. What Nichols has done is exactly what the rest of the world needs right now as we face the worst-ever human crisis of a lifetime.
According to People, the 46-year-old was aware that the pandemic had affected the lives of two groups of tenants living in his duplex in Port, Maine and instead of choosing to warn them or throw them out, Nichols offered them a much-needed reprieve. Basically, he told his tenants that they don't need to pay the rent for the month of April in a bid to get others inspired by this selfless act. “I have two units and one of the units there is a young family who have a one or two-year-old child. They’re on a single income and I know that they’re really living on the edge,” he said. “My other tenants are millennials who work at some venues and I knew they would also be impacted.”
Explaining further on his compassionate decision to waive rent, he said: "My thinking was, they might not be able to pay rent. If they’re not making any money, they can’t pay me. It’s not like they’re going to somehow magically get money if they’re not working.” So, upon careful consideration, he let his tenants know that they don't need to pay rent for the next month and even shared the experience on a Facebook post, which has since gone viral, receiving over 24k shares. In his post, he wrote: "COVID19 is going to cause serious financial hardship for service and hourly workers around the country. Because I have the good fortune 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." Nichols urged other landlords like him to take similar steps and help them their tenants. "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,” he wrote.
REBNY, the group that represents landlords in New York, pledged to not execute any eviction warrants for the next THREE MONTHS in response to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.— Josefa Velásquez (@J__Velasquez) March 13, 2020
“I really think that the more you communicate with people, the more you are able to humanize other people, the more they will humanize you,” he says. “Once you bring it out of the financial and into the human, then problems are easier to solve. I’m really grateful to have good tenants who I can trust and are reliable. I don’t want to lose them and I’m grateful to them.”