One of my tenants contracted COVID-19 virus and contacted the property manager. It's an unfortunate situation, but I'm seeking some advice on how to proceed.
The tenant is located in Baltimore City and there are some resources available in the event the tenant is unable to pay rent. I am hoping for the best but want to be proactive; I also don't want to ignore that they have COVID-19. I'm at a loss of ideas and am hoping that the Bigger Pockets community has some ideas on how to tread this water.
1. I've reached out to my property manager on how they handle situations like this, but have yet to receive a response from them.
2. Do you write a letter to the tenant expressing your sympathies? Provide them with a list of City Resources?
Your input is greatly appreciated.
I recommend providing a list or resources in a sympathetic letter such as:
1. how to apply for unemployment https://www.dllr.state.md.us/employment/uibenefits.shtml
2. A search engine of local social support programs - https://www.auntbertha.com/
3. How to apply for Maryland's renters tax credit - https://dat.maryland.gov/realproperty/Pages/Renters'-Tax-Credits.aspx#:~:text=The%20dwelling%20must%20be%20the,legally%20responsible%20for%20the%20rent.
Unfortunately Baltimore city's covid rent support program is now closed. I have seen providers discuss the unprecedented stimulus checks and increased unemployment payments and how rent is still due. From your sympathetic tone this may not sound like a strategy that aligns with you however.
You have a Property Manager so you don't get wrapped up in these details. The PM most likely has more experience in this by now than most of us. Let them handle it. If they come to you it will most likely be with some options (In my experience they figure it out and then give some suggestions). They may already have a template letter all set for this very thing.
Just my 2 cents and good luck!
If providing a letter regarding resources, many are listed on this site:
You can also direct them to Baltimore City landlord help application. If still open they can cover some portion of the rent.
Let your Property Manager take care of it. There may not be any problems at all but if there are hopefully your PM is well in tune with all of the resources available and what actions they need to take. This is one of the many reasons you hire a PM, let him do his job and you just relax.
I agree to let your PM handle it. Do you know for sure that they won't be able to pay rent? They could have sick leave, savings, etc.
If you want to express your sympathies, that's appropriate. A list of financial resources in the same letter might not be. Your PM should communicate to them that if they are unable to pay rent, to please reach out. In fact, given that PMs have been doing this since March, it's likely your tenant has already received protocol and a list of financial resources from the PM.
The state of Maryland also has a program, but it's only for state-assisted housing.
The details are here