As a landlord, finding ways to partner with your tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic is vital to the future success of your business, your tenant?s business, and your relationship.
While we all transition to social distancing and working from home (and maybe with your kids at home too), you may not know where to start or how to get organized. At Hutton, finding solutions to roadblocks is part of our DNA.
Read on to find out some of the things we are doing as a team during these tough circumstances so that we and our partners come out stronger on the other side.
Establish A Process
Start by setting up an internal ?rent relief? task force with key members from various areas of your business including property management, leasing, legal and finance. Once you have the team in place, set up a strategy session to determine a workflow chart so the team knows who is handling what and how you are handling each type of request that comes in.
With many tenant sector groups closed or operating at a much lower capacity, proactively reaching out to tenants to understand how their business is being impacted will show that you care. Building on that, you can open up the discussion to possible rent relief needs. Record your communications in a spreadsheet to ensure the team knows what has been sent out and what each response has been. When you?re communicating with your tenant be sure to ask them what proactive measures they are taking on their end as well.
For example, the CARES Act includes the creation of loan programs and tax relief measures for businesses and individuals, as well as enhanced unemployment insurance benefits. Our colleagues at ICSC have put together a summary of provisions in the CARES package that is most relevant to shopping center related businesses here.
There will not be a one size fits all solution. We suggest developing some type of ?rental assistance application? where you can gather additional information and to help assess each tenant?s situation. Encourage your tenants to provide all readily available information so that you can determine how to best move forward ? together.
In conclusion, be sure to let your tenants know that you are aware that this is a difficult time for all businesses, individuals, and families and that you are here to weather this uncertain time together. Empathy goes a long way, especially during a crisis.