Thousands of people will make a rent payment tomorrow without a steady income

Local News

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Tomorrow – April 1st – hundreds of thousands of people, will for the first time, have to make a rent payment without a steady paycheck.

With hundreds of businesses shut down by the pandemic – tens of thousands of people are now without work – and unemployment checks and stimulus payments are still weeks away.

But, Jennifer McQuerrey, president of West Virginia Landlords Association says she is willing to work with her tenants.

“I certainly do not expect everyone to pay their rent … In April,” she says.

And tens of thousands of people across the nation won’t be able to. it’s a frightening reality – but if your finances are a shambles because of the coronavirus pandemic – there is a glimmer of hope. As West Virginia Governor Jim Justice urged landlords to be lenient, “as far as landlords, please, please for crying out loud, now is the wrong time to be ugly, now is the time to be loving and that’s what we need to do.”

So, if you are feeling stuck, landlords suggest that you:

  • Check your lease – to see if there is any leeway for certain circumstances
  • Workout a payment plan – and see if you can suspend payments and slowly pay unpaid rent or
  • Lookout for government programs – like a stimulus package or unemployment pay

And another reminder to renters – your landlord is probably in the same boat. McQuerrey adds they realized that I got a mortgage, doubled real estate taxes, insurance, maintenance, I have a lot of costs, they understand that so the ones that are able to pay are paying.”

Landlords are also advising that any changes to your current lease should be made in writing and signed by both parties.

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