What Should Landlords Do if Renters Can’t Pay Rent in May?

Owning residential properties and renting them to tenants is a business. However, many landlords are currently struggling.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, many states have suspended evictions and tenants are having a hard time paying rent because of layoffs and reduced hours. However, many landlords have mortgages to pay on those properties. So covering expenses and keeping their operations running can be tricky.

Shravan Parsi, CEO and founder of commercial real estate company American Ventures and author of “The Science of the Deal: The DNA of Multifamily and Commercial Real Estate Investing” said in an email to Small Business Trends, “Collections is the most immediate concern. With the large number of layoffs there are many tenants who aren’t able to pay rent. Leasing is a major concern as well. With shelter in place orders, coupled with social distancing requirements, getting prospective tenants to your property is difficult.”



Coronavirus Tips for Landlords

If you’re a landlord who’s not sure where to turn due to the current pandemic and economic crisis, especially if tenants continue struggling to pay rent in May, here are some tips to help you navigate the situation.

Use Reserve Funds

Ideally, landlords should have a bit of extra cash built up to cover basic payments when tenants aren’t able to pay rent. You may not have enough to cover everything when payments are slowed to such a massive scale, but try to scrounge up whatever you can to stay afloat until more people are able to get back to work.

Parsi says, “My advice would be for landlords to find a way to create a reserve fund to cover any cash flow interruptions and do whatever they need to in order to continue making their debt payments. As long as they don’t default and are able to keep their property, I think we will see a rebound once we make it through this difficult situation.”

Reach out to Lenders

If you don’t have extra cash available, reach out to your lenders to discuss what options they may offer for property owners who can’t cover their expenses. Do this as soon as possible, ideally before you default on any payments. Lenders and financial institutions are generally aware of the struggles people are facing. So they may have existing programs available to help you stay afloat until people can start making their payments again.

Try to Work Out Payment Plans

Collecting reduced rent is usually better than collecting no rent. If you have tenants who aren’t able to pay the full amount, you might give them the option of making smaller payments now and spreading out the rest later. This may help you cover some of your expenses in the interim so you can hopefully avoid defaulting on at least some payments.

Offer to Renew Tenants with No Increases

For those who are having trouble keeping residences filled, it’s likely in your best interest to try and keep as many current tenants in place as possible. If you have apartments or houses that you might have otherwise raised rent on, see if you can get more people to stay in place by keeping rates steady. This may serve as an incentive for them to continue paying some rent and help you avoid struggling to fill vacant spaces.

Balance Sensitivity with Realism

The current situation is unprecedented, both for landlords and their tenants. Though the financial concerns of your business are valid, so are the financial concerns of people struggling to make rent payments. As you make decisions moving forward, especially once some industry restrictions are lifted, it’s important to balance your own financial needs with compassion.

Treating people well during unprecedented times may help you keep long-term tenants happy and give them the room they need to recover so they can once again make payments on a recurring basis. This doesn’t mean you need to completely disregard your own struggles. But if you can reasonably give people some leeway if they’ve generally been good tenants in the past, it may help your business in the future.

Make Your Voice Heard

Ideally, Parsi would like to see some assistance provided within the industry to help property owners make ends meet during such a difficult time. You may not have much control over decisions that are made on a larger scale. But in speaking with industry groups, local business organizations, or government entities, you may be able to clearly communicate the needs of business owners like you and encourage positive initiatives.

Parsi added, “I would like to see financial assistance offered to landlords to cover their debt payments or offer deferrals on debt payments. With moratoriums being placed on evictions in most jurisdictions, without also offering assistance to landlords they are left in the extremely difficult position of not being able to collect rent and also not able to make their debt payments.”

Image: Depositphotos.com

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Scotland’s Role In The British Empire – Documentary

Scotland's Role In The British Empire - Documentary

In this video, we discuss the history of Scotland, from the Late Middle Ages, all the way up to the modern day, discussing its path to joining the largest Empire in history.

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“The Pyre”

Picture Sources

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How to Recover When Your Career Gets Derailed

Executive Summary

How do you recover from a huge professional setback or failure? First, if it is financially feasible, take some time to rest, reflect, and reset. If you can’t or don’t want to resume work in your previous field, think about your passions and take a chance on pursuing one of them as a new career. Remember that being resilient doesn’t mean moving on from the trauma; it means moving forward in spite of it. Finally, share your hard-earned lessons with others.

Jakob Helbig/Getty Images

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Most of us have had minor setbacks at work. But how do you recover from a setback so big that it causes you to lose your job or completely derails your career?

An up-to-date LinkedIn profile and your existing professional network will only get you so far. The changes you need to make, and the realities you need to accept, are much more significant.

Further Reading

I know because I’ve been through it. My early career was extremely gratifying. Through hard work, and a bit of luck, I became  the first woman in Massachusetts to serve as chief of staff to two consecutive governors, and then the first woman to head the Massachusetts Port Authority, operating Boston’s Logan Airport, the Port of Boston, and other major transportation facilities. I thought that I would spend the rest of my working life in effective, groundbreaking public service, perhaps managing a federal agency, working in the White House, and possibly running for office.

Then the unimaginable happened on my watch.

Logan Airport became the launching pad for the two hijacked planes that destroyed the World Trade Center on 9/11. The horrific terrorist attacks cruelly ended so many lives and devastated thousands of families. My experience is not at all equivalent, but my life and career were also shattered. I was blamed in the media and by political leaders for supposed security flaws at Logan. I was forced to resign, and later, a 9/11 victim’s family sued me personally for wrongful death.

Even though, the national 9/11 Commission ultimately found that Logan’s security was no different than that of any other airport and the federal courts dismissed the airport from pending cases, the damage was done. The “Virginia Buckingham” I had built from the age of 17 when I moved to Boston for college — hardworking, smart, successful — was gone.

A couple of years later, I started down a very different path as a writer for a major metro-daily newspaper editorial page. A mentor declared that I had made a  “complete comeback” and after doing this well for a few years, I then moved to the private sector, where I’ve applied my communication  and strategic skills to corporate public affairs. I am now among a few hundred of the most senior executives at a Fortune 500 company. But I have come to understand that “comeback” is a misnomer. I would never be able to get back on the same track. But I did find a rewarding new path. If you’re facing a setback that feels impossible to overcome, remember that it is possible, provided you keep a few simple things in mind:

1. Take your time

I didn’t start looking for a new job for more than a year. If you can swing it financially, the decompression and time to think and regroup is essential. Don’t underestimate how flattened you are after a career debacle. Give yourself time to recover, gain perspective, and, simply, rest. You need this separation from the crisis to dispassionately evaluate whether it’s possible to pick up again in the same function or industry, or whether you need a wholesale change. Even when you’ve made that choice, don’t take the first new thing that comes along. A setback is an opportunity to thoughtfully reset your path.

2. Take a chance

I recently read a story about a finance executive who returned to his first love, woodworking. His change was a choice, but even if yours isn’t, it’s worth reflecting on your passions. What is that gift you nurtured when you were younger and didn’t pursue for any number of reasons? Now may be the time to take a chance. For me, that was writing. It was something I’d always loved. So, when my government career ended, I made a list of media and business contacts I knew, then made the rounds inquiring about jobs and got one at the Boston Herald. My salary wasn’t anywhere near what it had been, but I was being paid to read and use words, which was a dream come true. I then took another leap and moved into the corporate world to a role that used the same skills in an industry that I am passionate about.

3. Redefine resilience

If I had a nickel for every time someone told me to “move on” from what happened at Logan, I would be writing this essay from a lounge chair in the Caribbean. The societal notion that “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is in fact dissonant with most people’s experience of setbacks and loss, be they in a career or in a life. There is a big difference between moving on and moving forward. The former means that you’ve slammed the door on the pain and frustration and, therefore, the lessons learned from your setback. That’s impossible and undesirable. Moving forward means you carry the full experience with you, painful loss alongside your hope for the future. In my book, I offer a different definition of resilience using the metaphor of sea glass — created from something broken but still valuable.

4. Pass it on

You didn’t ask for the career setback, but you sure learned from it. The wisdom and perspective gained from your experience is a gift to share with others. That’s why I tell my story. The power of traumatic, intense, and unplanned  — Warren Bennis called them crucibles — in a career can transform you as a leader. Offering a compassionate ear, a steady hand, and calm suggestions when your colleagues face their own turbulence is the kind of leadership you have learned — and earned.

If our free content helps you to contend with these challenges, please consider subscribing to HBR. A subscription purchase is the best way to support the creation of these resources.

Why The Fourth Crusade Happened

Why The Fourth Crusade Happened

In this video, we, along with the channel Eastern Roman History, review the Fourth Crusade, and find out why a crusade against Christians happened.
His video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X66SHY_4E6M

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Music performed by Kevin Macleod Available under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.
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The Pyre
Dark Times
The Descent
Crusade

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By ExploretheMed – http://www.explorethemed.com/Crusades.asp?c=1, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17377676
By Kandi – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=56789387
By Didier Descouens – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=55013263
By © Ralph Hammann – Wikimedia Commons – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18606983
By en:User:Bigdaddy1204 – Photograph taken in June 2006 in Istanbul by en:User:Bigdaddy1204. All credits go to him., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=880970
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Executives and Boards, Avoid These Missteps in a Crisis

Executive Summary

Executive teams and boards of directors are facing unprecedented challenges as they simultaneously contend with the immediate pandemic crisis and try to plan for the uncertain world that it is creating. In such high-anxiety situations, executives and directors often fall into three traps: They settle for existing remedies, defer to the leader, and agree to conform. This article, which is based on the authors’ research and consulting work, offers ways that executive teams and boards can avoid those traps.

xxmmxx/Getty Images

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The scale of Covid-19 pandemic’s impact is fully sinking in. Organizations of all types are feeling the pressure to simultaneously wrestle with surviving the immediate crisis and planning for a radically changed future. How do they share the economic pain among stakeholders? How should they revamp their supply chains in order to make them more resilient? How do they avoid the mistakes they made in the last financial crisis — whether that was waiting too long to respond, overreacting by cutting so deeply it hampered their recovery, or simply cutting in the wrong places?

Organizations across the world are facing a level threat not seen since World War II. Their leaders and board directors  are experiencing enormous anxieties fueled not only by the threats to the survival of their companies but also by the health dangers confronting customers, employees, and themselves and their own families.

Further Reading

Just at the time when leaders need to be adaptive to deal with the extreme number of unknowns and dangers, this stress means that many executive teams and boards could fall victim to “threat rigidity” — that is, essentially freezing innovation and resorting to actions that have worked in the past rather than coming up with crucial new approaches.

This tendency and social-distancing restrictions that prevent members of leadership teams and boards from meeting face to face for collective formal meetings or informal side conversations greatly increase the odds that they will not rise to the occasion. Based on our recent research and consulting work and longtime interest in studying the effects of pressure on workplace collaboration, we have come up with ways they can avoid three main traps.

Trap #1: Narrow thinking  

You might think that crises make people more innovative (i.e., “necessity is the mother of invention”). But the reality is our natural tendency is to seek comfort and certainty — to fall back on existing remedies (i.e., “what we do well most of the time”). Executive teams and boards can overcome this propensity by asking these critical questions:

  • What are other organizations doing right now — especially potential new competitors in our space? The focus on entrants in your industry, geographic, or customer niche is helpful because they are less likely to have outdated routines to fall back on.
  • Is the disaster plan we created and rehearsed fit for this particular crisis? Explicitly discussing this question will help executives and directors understand whether they’re unintentionally adopting all or part of an existing plan because it really is the best way to deal with challenges or because they are inadvertently avoiding the discomfort of having to devise a brand-new approach.
  • Which external advisors could you lean on to help you challenge your assumptions and see across industries and geographies? A number of the company’s existing advisors (e.g., lawyers, consultants, and auditors) who work across a very wide array of companies, industries, and countries can help the members of the group think more expansively and customize potential solutions.

Trap #2: Deferring to the leader

When feeling threatened, people tend to look up to the leader for inspiration, insight, and strength. But executives and directors should resist the urge to instinctively defer to the highest-ranking leader and instead make sure that they are taking advantage of the skills and perspectives of all leaders and directors. Asking these questions will help:

  • Are you getting the perspectives of your independent directors? Especially if the board chair is also the CEO, it’s crucial to make sure that independent directors feel comfortable offering alternative points of view.
  • Are directors overrelying on the chair to make decisions? For example, are board committees convening to handle hot topics and then providing sufficient input for full board discussions?
  • Are senior executives overrelying on the chief executive to make decisions, plan the path forward, and communicate with stakeholders? The entire team should be involved in creating solutions and communicating what is happening. Be sure everyone is doing his or her part.

Trap #3: Conformity

Research by scholars such as psychologist Irving L. Janis. shows that there are strong pressures to conform in a crisis to achieve harmony. Some of is innate: We don’t want to disrupt or slow actions to resolve a crisis, so we censor ourselves in discussions.

Another source is the tendency of a group’s majority, once it has reached a preliminary decision or agreed on an initial plan, to pressure dissenters to fall into line with the consensus view in order to have unified action. As a result, the group doesn’t take more time to explore potentially better options. This kind of groupthink contributed to such blunders as the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba during the Kennedy administration and Ford Motor Company’s decision to build the Edsel.

To avoid these traps, the group should ask these types of questions:

  • Has everyone received the full set of information and been given a chance to form his or her own opinion before hearing others? Does everyone fully understand and appreciate the problems and have an opportunity to ask questions before they are presented with any proposed solution? Have directors, for example, been given access to relevant executives outside the C-suite whose knowledge is essential in addressing the crisis (e.g., the head of the supply chain who normally doesn’t have board access).
  • Are all experts sharing their expertise? Every expert will see the same problem through his or her own lens and be likely to have a somewhat different recommendation. Is the senior leadership team and board getting all those different perspectives?
  • Does the senior leadership team or board simply accept the first plausible solution, or does it continue to search for alternative, potentially superior solutions? The group should strive to come up with a range of possible futures and different options for each scenario.

Asking these kinds of questions and seeking honest answers may sometimes be seen as slowing down the response in a crisis. However, executive teams and boards that ask the tough questions now are less likely to waste time and money protecting what turns out to be an outdated approach and more likely to do the best-possible job of preparing the business for whatever future ultimately emerges.

If our free content helps you to contend with these challenges, please consider subscribing to HBR. A subscription purchase is the best way to support the creation of these resources.