Editorial: Empathy and Flexibility, Not a Rent Strike, Are the Right Responses to Coronavirus
The Chicago Tribune Editorial Board explains why a rent strike would only hurt communities that need support during the coronavirus pandemic.
A rent strike? Come on.
There’s a simpler, common sense solution with empathy and understanding as its fulcrum. Landlords and tenants should start by working together to carve out plans that defers some or all payment until the COVID-19 crisis subsides. If landlords and tenants are looking for inspiration, consider how Ryan Tracy handled coping with April rent for his craft beer bar and shop in Park Ridge. The Tribune’s Josh Noel and Ryan Ori reported that Tracy worked out an agreement with his landlord that allowed him to pay half of April and May rents on the first of each month, and then the other halves across the rest of the year. A second landlord Tracy also owes rent to agreed to the same arrangement.
In a letter to the Tribune this week, Peter Lucas, a landlord from Highland Park, summed up the mindset needed by both landlords and tenants at a time when individual health, psychological well-being and bank accounts are under attack from an invisible menace.
“Renters who reach out to their landlords about difficulty paying rent are likely to find their landlords are not ogres or looking to throw them out in the street,” Lucas wrote. “Most mom-and-pop landlords are small business owners trying to figure out how to weather this economic storm. We are all in this together.”
We couldn’t have said it better, Mr. Lucas.
Read more here.