In our last blog, we discussed the unique challenges faced by millennial renters and how they can create conflict between them and property managers. With COVID-19 creating a tense and uncertain environment, millennials are looking for safety and security, which is not always available when renting out a property. When coupled with severe financial difficulties and millions of lost jobs, it means that millennials that would be interested in renting are instead moving in with family, while existing millennial renters are often unwilling or unable to cover rent.

However, there are ways for property managers to restructure or expand operations to take advantage of current market conditions.[i] It all comes down to working with renters, showing that you are willing to work with them rather than against them.


[i] Tierney, J. E., IV, &; Van Someren, M. (2020, April 20). Strategies for Landlords in Dealing with Tenants in Light of COVID-19. The National Law Review. Retrieved from https://www.natlawreview.com/article/strategies-landlords-dealing-tenants-light-covid-19/

The Importance of Communication

Communication is always important in the renter-manager relationship, but especially so during uncertain times like these. The first and most important way to maintain tenant relationships is clearly and frequently communicating with them, acknowledging and addressing their concerns in a way that is mutually beneficial to both the landlord and the tenant.[i] Many landlords and property managers are struggling right now, leading them to behavior that only antagonizes renters and hinders their relationships with tenants. 

Rather than play an antagonistic role, property managers should be empathetic and understanding of millennial renters and their situation. After all, if you are understanding of them and their situation, they are more likely to be understanding of you and yours. A good way to start is to reach out to tenants to see what their financial situation looks like and how COVID-19 has impacted them. From there, landlords should “|ask for updated financials and cash flow projections to help understand which tenants are in the worst positions.”[ii] If done right, these steady communications can build up the tenant-manager relationship while keeping informed.


[i] Tierney, J. E., IV, &; Van Someren, M

[ii] Tierney, J. E., IV, &; Van Someren, M

Making a Deal

For those tenants who are struggling more, there are potential options you can consider. Perhaps the most obvious is a deferral of rent in exchange for modifications to a rental agreement.[i] Of course, this is only an option if the property manager can afford it, but it is a viable option in some cases. Some of the modifications that could be made to an agreement include:

  • Term extensions
  • Removal of purchase options, termination rights, or similar provisions
  • Changes to permitted sales and use clauses
  • Adjustment of tenant security deposits or letters of credit
  • Amortization of deferred rent over a longer period of time (until government relief arrives, or business interpretation pays out)
  • Addition of “percentage rent” or other terms to enable landlord rent recovery
  • The addition of personal or corporate guarantees
  • Redefinition of property, premises, or common areas
  • Reallocation of any remaining tenant improvement allowances

When making such modifications, landlords should be sure to review any co-tenancy or existing percentage rent provisions. It would also be wise to include ‘no waiver’ provisions to protect themselves from waiver agreements, as well as general releases to prevent tenant suits on unrelated issues.”[ii] Regardless, it is vital that both parties keep in touch in case their situation changes so that they can look back on their agreements and reassess their standing, rights, remedies, recourse, and relationships.[iii]


[i] Tierney, J. E., IV, &; Van Someren, M

[ii] Tierney, J. E., IV, &; Van Someren, M

[iii] Rose, F. B. (2020, March 23). “Three Real Estate Contract Questions to Consider Now.” The National Law Review. Retrieved from https://www.natlawreview.com/article/three-real-estate-contract-questions-to-consider-now/

Encourage Safety and Transparency

Along with these financial considerations, landlords and property managers need to encourage transparency regarding COVID-19. Request that tenants give an immediate notice if they or someone they’ve been in direct contact with has or is suspected of having COVID-19. From there, be certain to disclose all known or suspected cases of COVID to tenants.[i] Be as up-front as possible in these situations, as many tenants will understandably be concerned about their health and wellbeing.


[i] Tierney, J. E., IV, &; Van Someren, M

A Collaborative Effort

With everything that’s going on right now, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, but it’s not a challenge that needs to be taken on alone. Landlords would be wise to work with their millennial tenants to come up with creative solutions that would allow tenants to continue their tenancy and landlords to maintain compliance with their loans and other obligations.[i] COVID-19 has created a number of difficulties for property managers, but by working closely with millennial tenants and maintaining clear communication lines, it is possible to manage their situations and prevent major financial or legal problems before they begin.


[i] Geis, E. C., &; Van Someren, M. (2020, March 18). Coronavirus Challenges for Commercial Landlords. The National Law Review. Retrieved from https://www.natlawreview.com/article/coronavirus-challenges-commercial-landlords/

About the author

Author profile

Isaac Isaiah Carr, JD MBA is founder, CEO, and business attorney of CCSK Law, a kingdom-driven law firm. Launched 5 years ago, CCSK Law grew from a single member firm to a 10 person team. His areas of focus include business formation and strategy, contract writing, sales, and corporate finance. Often referred to as an entrepreneur with a law degree, Isaac is able to offer business strategy utilizing creative solutions guided by legal and accounting principles that are then well executed in law. Experience in a variety of industries including real estate, hospitality, automotive, e-commerce, professional services, and healthcare. Successfully negotiated and closed multi-million-dollar transactions, ranging from $1.8M to $10M, with private investors, corporate leaders, and municipalities. Ultimately, he builds sustainable structures for systematic growth. Graduated from Valparaiso University Law School summa cum laude with his Juris Doctorate as well as the AACSB-accredited Valparaiso University School of Business with his Master’s in Business Administration. Passionate about education in all forms, Isaac is involved in the nonprofit organizations of SCORE, Neighbors’ Educational Opportunities (NEO) and New Vistas High School, ValpoNext, and Music Neighbors.

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