Amid the coronavirus pandemic, a landlord in Maine has pledged to help his six tenants by declaring that he will not be collecting rent in April.
Nathan Nichols understands that the COVID-19 outbreak has taken a heavy toll on the finances of his residents, and he hopes this act will give them some relief. He owns two units in the area of Meeting House Hill and Ocean Street neighborhoods of South Portland.
Many US cities have imposed shutdowns of businesses in hopes of curbing the spread of the deadly virus. Nathan knows that his tenants are among those who will be impacted by this drastic measure, given that they won’t be able to work in the coming months.
The compassionate landlord made the announcement on a Facebook post he wrote last Friday.
“COVID19 is going to cause serious financial hardship for service and hourly workers around the country. I own a two-unit in South Portland, and all of my tenants are in this category,” Nathan began the post.
“Because I have the good fortune and of being able to afford it and the privilege of being in the owner class, I just let them know I would not be collecting rent in April. I ask any other landlords out there to take a serious look at your own situation and consider giving your tenants some rent relief as well,” he added.
At the time of writing, the post has garnered 3,600 reactions and 21,000 shares. Nathan received praises from people online, and positive comments flooded his post.
“This made me cry. Such a beautiful act of humanity and empathy. I hope good karma comes back to you in abundance,” one user wrote.
“Hats off to you Mr. Nichols! What a great thing to do,” another commented.
One of his tenants is a family with a young child living on a single hourly income. They struggle financially, even on regular days, according to Nathan.
Despite the amount of praise he’s been receiving online, Nathan says that what he’s doing is really simple.
“I am literally just not taking some money that people were giving me,” he said.
Nathan added that losing tenants would cost him more in the long run. So, granting them a month’s relief from paying rent will also be beneficial for him. Ultimately, his goal is to inspire other capable landlords to follow suit.
“If more people do this, which is the only reason I posted this in the first place, to hopefully get people to take a hard look at what they can do to keep things working,” he said.
In a separate post, Nathan reported that he has convinced at least one other landlord to do the same. He shared a screenshot of the comment from a fellow landlord who said that she would “be following suit.”
In these challenging times, it’s great to see individuals who are spreading the spirit of generosity. Let’s hope that Nathan’s kind act will inspire more landlords to help their residents!