It’s no secret that COVID-19 has affected the bottom line of many hard-working Americans. If you own residential rental properties, you have probably experienced this first-hand if your tenants have struggled to pay rent or if you’ve had a hard time filling vacant units. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to protect your rental income not just during the pandemic, but as the world begins to slowly return to some semblance of normal.
Offer Payment Plans to Tenants
Many tenants are having a difficult time paying rent, especially if they have been furloughed from their jobs as a result of the pandemic or have had hours cut. If this is the case with any of your tenants, you may be understandably worried about how you will collect your rental income.
This is where it can be wise to begin offering payment plans to tenants who are struggling financially. In doing so, you can ease some of the financial burden on your tenants while ensuring that you receive at least some of the funds to which you are entitled.
Screen New Tenants Thoroughly
One of the biggest mistakes landlords are making right now is rushing to fill vacancies in their rental properties without properly screening their prospective tenants. The problem with this is that you could end up with tenants who don’t have sufficient income or even a reliable job to pay rent. This means that not only will you lose out on rental income, but you may even end up having to go through the drawn-out (and expensive) eviction process. Even though you may be eager to fill vacancies in your rental units during this time, proper screening is actually more important than ever.
Direct Tenants to Resources
With so many Americans struggling financially as a direct result of the pandemic, the government has made many assistance programs available. Some of these even include rental assistance. Take some time to research these options for your tenants and point them in the direction of these resources when appropriate. From the Housing Choice Voucher Program to unemployment assistance, there are plenty of resources available to those struggling.
Fill Vacant Units Remotely
Even though more people are getting vaccinated, many people are still hesitant to go out in public. This may make it difficult to fill vacancies in your rental units unless you’re offering virtual tours, digital lease signing, and other means of finding and approving new tenants remotely. Make sure you’re posting detailed listings of your vacant units online and accepting lease applications digitally as well. When tenants are approved, you can even collect rent and security deposits online to make things more convenient for everybody.
By taking the right measures, you can protect your rental income even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more financial assistance as a real estate investor, reach out to our team of Arizona hard money lenders today by calling (480) 576-5788. We offer a number of loan programs and other options to help fund your next real estate investment quickly, easily, and remotely!