At Realty Solutions, we’re having a lot of discussions and sharing a lot of resources with our landlords and our investor clients. We’re also speaking daily with our tenants and residents about how procedures may be altered during the COVID-19 crisis that we’re all dealing with right now.
We want to share some of the most pertinent information publicly in case you aren’t currently working with a New Jersey property management company and you’re unsure about where you stand on things like collecting rent, renewing leases, and managing maintenance issues.
As we talk about the changes we’ve made to keep our staff and our clients and residents safe, we sincerely hope you and your family are healthy and well.
Communicating Openly About Rent Collection
Obviously, this ongoing crisis requires a different approach to collecting rent. We have been proactive in making outbound calls to tenants to find out how they’re doing and where they stand financially. We’re speaking quite often to our residents who may have already raised their hands and indicated that they’re having an especially difficult time due to layoffs or reduced hours and pay.
We want to continue welcoming those conversations.
Currently in New Jersey, there is a moratorium on any evictions. We have a law office affiliated with our property management company, so this will be an easy matter to handle when and if an eviction becomes necessary. We can quickly send out letters depending on where we are in the situation and how our tenants are responding.
We will start filing evictions after May if tenants have not reached out to us or had a conversation about the help they need. We’re asking owners to be patient and to be sensitive to residents. This is an active crisis, and we need to remember that people are uncertain and anxious.
Our team has been providing a lot of information for residents and owners who have been hit especially hard. We can talk to you about the stimulus package and how you can access help. If you need some of those resources, please contact us right away.
Prioritizing Maintenance and Repairs
The process for handling maintenance requests is also a bit different. We’re still coordinating repairs when there are emergencies, and asking tenants if there’s a habitability issue that needs a critical response. If not, we are slowing down the routine and ongoing maintenance calls so that we can be available for true emergencies.
Many of the vendors we work with are not going into homes. So, when owners and tenants are cooperative about holding off on unnecessary repairs, everyone can stay a little safer. It helps tenants who may have anxiety about people entering their home and it also keeps some extra money in the bank for owners who may feel vulnerable.
Leases and Lease Renewals
Lease renewals are paused for right now. We don’t know how long the stay at home order will be, but we aren’t renewing any leases in the interim. This is fair to both owners and tenants. We don’t want to increase rent on any of our tenants who may be struggling, and we don’t want to enter into a new lease agreement without an increase because that’s harmful to our owners.
So, we’re adopting the fair process of pausing lease renewals. This has been good for our team and it’s also been good for our owners and our tenants.
At Realty Solutions, we’re staying on top of the self-quarantine recommendations. All of our team is working remotely and we’re all in touch on a daily basis. Please take this quarantine seriously.
Our wish is that any other New Jersey property management company is doing the same sorts of things. If you’re a landlord who wants to talk or needs some advice, contact us at Realty Solutions. If you’re a resident who isn’t sure about your legal rights, get in touch with the Realty Solutions team, and we’ll refer you to our law office.
We’re here to help when our community needs us the most. Contact us at Realty Solutions.