People all around the world are concerned about their health and well-being, as well as the business implications, related to the spread of the Coronavirus. Our first priority is the safety and well-being of our owners, tenants, vendors and our team. As you all know the challenges presented by COVID-19 have continued and we know that it is a scary time for our world. During this difficult time, it is very important to try to stay calm and focus on how to overcome the next couple of months.
Owning a rental at this time of crisis can be challenging. You have to take every precaution to keep yourself and tenants safe. You don’t want to put anyone at risk because you don’t know if the person who answers the door is an elderly or someone in a vulnerable state.
At House Match, we would like to support our community during this time of crisis. We have been starting to get guidance from the CDC and have been consulting experts in the field. Our people are doing what we can to achieve social distancing while continuing to provide the services our clients rely on. We want to continue to do our jobs and protect people at the same time.
How does the coronavirus (COVID-19) affect my property?
After reading Hanson Bridgett considerations for Landlords & Property Managers here are the main points on how COVID-19 might affect your property.
- Landlords will want to assess their exposure to the risk of lease terminations and defaults due to the economic impact of the virus.
- In the event tenants are unable to pay rent as a result of the COVID-19, landlords will need to assess both the legal and business issues affecting their right to evict tenants.
- Landlords may find that eviction is not immediately their best or preferred option. In such cases, landlords may need to negotiate with the tenants and should be prepared for the possibility of rent reductions or rent forgiveness for a period of time, or the deferral of rent and potentially spreading deferred rent over the remainder of the lease term.
The legislation is changing daily and you need to continue to research to find the most accurate laws. March 27, 2020, Gavin Newsom issues an executive order to halt evictions statewide according to ABC news. This order will last through May 31, 2020, and may be extended or changed. According to the article “In addition to prohibiting landlords from evicting tenants for missing rent payment, it also requires tenants to declare in writing that they cannot pay their rent due to COVID-19 within seven days of rent being due.” Tenants are required to keep documentation on the reason they can not pay rent, but landlords are not allowed to mandate this documentation.
In other words, you need to work with your tenants and talk to them about partial rent payments or other methods that can help both of you out. Tenants are not exempt from paying rent for this time period, their payments have just been delayed, if they can not pay due to COVID-19 until the order has been lifted. At House Match we had 100 percent of our tenants pay March’s rent. We have great tenants and we are glad to work with them in getting through this Pandemic. The rent is still due after it has been lifted so we plan on trying to put tenants on payment plans to help them out and so that the owners receive some funds.
Landlords that elect to pursue eviction may find themselves subject to legal and practical limitations on their ability to do so. Government authorities are already restricting the ability of landlords to evict tenants affected by the pandemic. Learn more about the Executive Order N-29-20.
Information that will help you and guide you: clean and disinfect
- Clean surfaces using soap and water. You must increase the cleaning of all common areas, especially tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc. Practice routine cleaning of the previously mentioned places.
- Electronics are part of our daily lives so don’t forget to clean all electronics, such as tablets, touch screens, keyboards, and remote controls. To clean electronics use the manufacturer’s instructions and if there are no instructions on how to clean you can use alcohol-based wipes that contain at least 70% alcohol. The CDC suggests that we consider putting a wipeable cover on electronics.
- Cleaning always goes before disinfection. Surfaces should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water before disinfection.
- The first step to disinfect surfaces is to check the expiration dates of the products that you are using such as bleach or alcohol. If bleach is suitable for surfaces then use it to disinfect. To make a bleach solution add 5 tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water. You must never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. You can use gloves to protect your hands and make sure you have good ventilation while using bleach. If you want to use alcohol as a disinfectant. Your alcohol solution must be at least 70% alcohol.
Here is a list of other disinfectants you should use: