Times are tough around Savannah and tenants are having trouble paying rent. Here is a guide for landlords during COVID-19 to help keep the rent coming in while waiting for the economy in Georgia to recover.
Start A Dialogue With The Renter
People hate to bring up bad news, and many times your tenant will know that they are facing trouble paying rent long before they bring it up to their landlord. Sometimes they just want some time to figure it out, sometimes they just hope that the situation will pass. As a landlord, you need to know if the rent will not be paid so you can make arrangements to keep your mortgage paid.
If your tenant is not communicating with you, reach out to them and just ask if they are going to have trouble paying rent. The key to both the landlord and the renter working through the tough situation is early communication.
Develop A Rent Payment Plan
Every tenant you have is different, and every situation they are facing is unique. COVID-19 has wrecked havoc on the Savannah economy, some people are forced to work from home, some had their hours reduced, and some get laid off entirely.
Once you have talked with the tenant to understand what they are facing, you could develop a rent payment plan. Work with your tenant, perhaps they can’t afford the entire monthly payment, but maybe they can afford half of it.
Whatever terms you agree to with your tenant, make sure to get it in writing. Be clear with the new payment terms and the duration of the new agreement. Make sure that the new agreement is something that is realistic and manageable. There is no sense in having this conversation every week to adjust the terms.
If you have a commercial property, you could do what the landlord for Moon River Brewery did and adjust their rent to a portion of the sales revenue.
Talk To Your Mortgage Lender
Just like how you want communication from your renters, you need to communicate with your mortgage lender. Keeping them updated with what is going on in your situation is key to successfully working through the situation.
Your mortgage lender is likely going to have a list of resources available that you can utilize should you find yourself in a situation where you aren’t able to make the mortgage payment.
The CARES Act
One resource that can benefit both your tenant and yourself, is the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). There is a lot of information for landlords about late fees, mortgage forbearance, and suspension of legal proceedings.
In addition to the resources provided by your mortgage lender and the CARES Act, your lender is most likely more than willing to work with you and change the terms of your payments. Things like spreading missed payments over the duration of the loan, adding missed payments to the back end of the loan are not off the table. Again the key is communicating with your mortgage lender.
Keep Track Of Your Tax Bills
While many mortgage lenders are willing to be flexible with the mortgage payments, tax bills are still going to be due in Savannah. The city has been holding virtual meetings regarding the tax bill, and one thing is for sure, the bill is definitely not going down.
Keep checking the city/county website for any future updates about the tax bill, but it is recommended to have funds set aside for when the taxes are due.
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If you no longer want to deal with the pains of being a landlord, we at Cash Homes Savannah buy houses around Savannah, and this includes rental properties. We buy houses in any condition, as-is, even with tenants in the property. If you are interested in selling your house fast, click this link, or fill out the form below!