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Part 2: Communicating With Your Landlord | Vantage RES Top Tips for Rent Relief

Posted on Apr 4, 2020

As trusted real estate advisors, everyone at Vantage RES will continue to do our best to guide you, our tenant clients, through the COVID-19 crisis. Listed below is part 2 of our Top Tips for Communicating with Your Landlord during this complicated and dynamic situation. Just as we mentioned in part 1, we will continue to advise on and review specific lease agreements, but also encourage and advise you to speak with your legal counsel as well.

  • Be proactive
    • Don’t wait for your landlord to come to you! Showing your landlord that you are on top of the situation will go very far. Be prepared for the conversation – over phone, Zoom, or email, of course – with all the necessary documents and with your lease agreement at the ready.
  • Be ready
    • In addition to being prepared with your paperwork, it is advised to have answers ready for questions that your landlord is likely to ask. These, of course, will vary, but we suggest preparing answers to the following:

-Are you looking for total rent relief or a deferment?

-How will you use your savings from this relief to help your business at this time?

-What are your sales numbers?

-Are you currently applying, or have you applied, for any other help or assistance?

-Has the government mandated that you close your business?

-Have you laid off or furloughed any/all of your employees?

Your landlord is simply asking these questions to determine who actually needs help and who is attempting to take advantage of the current situation (we know you are in the first camp!).

  • Rent Relief Application
    • Once you answer your landlord’s questions to his/her satisfaction, he/she will send you a Rent Relief Application. This could include a request for:
      • Personal Financial Statement and past 3 months of bank statements
      • Credit Check (refuse this if you think it could hurt your standing)

Your relief, should it be granted, can materialize in a number of ways including rent reduction, deferral or abatement. Your landlord will likely encourage a rent deferral, as this protects them from diminished long-term valuation of their asset.

Once there is an agreement on your rent relief, it will be documented as a lease amendment and will include a confidentiality clause, both of which your attorney will need to review.

Our hope is that these tips help you move through this process with ease and assist with a mutually beneficial agreement between you and your landlord. Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have as you begin the process!

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