By Terry Savage on May 29, 2020 | Wild Card

I am a landlord of two properties. One is vacant, and I can’t rent it or sell it because of COVID-19. The long-term tenant (7 years) of the other property has not paid his rent for the past couple of months because he lost his business due to COVID-19. These 2 rentals are my primary source of income.

I already filed for regular unemployment and was denied; so, I filed for PUA, and today, I just received a call from IDES stating that, as a landlord, I’m not eligible for unemployment benefits. In the meantime, I received an email stating that my information was breached. I’m in desperate need of help. Mortgages, property taxes, and insurance are due. What can I do? Please advise.

Thank you.

Terry Says

OK, you are in a tough situation. YOu don’t qualify for unemployment because you didn’t have either wage or 1099 income. You had “rental income” — and that does not count toward unemployment, as you just found out.
But you should get a stimulus check — if you qualify based on total income. Have you received that yet? That’s the first step.
Next, contact your mortgage lender and request a workout or extension. I think it’s likely that you had a federally insured mortgage. So the lender must work with you. Contact them immediately, and ask them to add any missed payments to the END of your loan, without penalty.
Similarly, when your property insurance comes due, pay monthly instead of the whole year. That will lower the burden. There is likely to e a period to extend your property taxes, as well.
In the meantime start advertizing that condo for sale as a “Covid Bargain”! Transactions are still taking place these days — as most closings are done virtually. Get a realtor who is active in your area. Getting the cash from that property will tide you through with the other rental.

And the renter who is not paying should sign an agreement that they will repay a certain extra amount every month over the next 6-8 months. That protects you legally if you eventually must kick them out for non-payment. Create that agreement and ask them to sign it.

What you are doing is “buying time” for the economy to recover. It’s better than sitting around and worrying. Take action now.



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