Coronavirus pandemic causes payment problems for renters, landlords

While the coronavirus pandemic has forced life to come to a screaming halt, the cost of living continues to mount. With several Americans forced out of work through layoffs, closures and shift changes, many are left to wonder how to pay their incoming bills.

Rent, for example, is a monthly expense that is looming for many. With Apr. 1 just days away, those who are out of work are anxious about paying their rent charge.

Erik Brontstein, a landlord with HAPCO, says the best thing to do at a time like this is to open a line of communication with your landlord before rent is due. Brontstein says it is possible to work towards an agreement because you both want the same thing.

"Perhaps they would allow them to use some of their security deposits perhaps or a portion of an extra month's rent that was on deposit," Brontstein said.

Brontstein also suggests taking advantage of government programs and unemployment benefits. Some may also find it beneficial to reach out to Philadelphia’s Office of Homeless Services. 


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Likewise, landlords waiting for rent payment also have looming mortgage payments that need to be fulfilled. 

"We have been living paycheck to paycheck so this is really put a cramper in everything," Jose Gamalinda said. 

Gamalinda, a Philadelphia landlord, works in a restaurant with many of his tenants. He hopes the city will forgo real estate taxes.

"I am waiting for the state to see what they say," Gamalinda said. "I mean everything should be postponed, everything should be deferred until everyone is back on their job again."

Meanwhile, in New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy placed a moratorium on eviction, which some believe will soon be necessary for Pennsylvania.

"If we all pull together and work together, I think we can get through it," Brontstein said. "Between what the government is rolling out and all tenants will eventually land on their feet and so will we."


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