Landlord and tenants need to work together during the coronavirus pandemic

Landlord and tenants need to work together during the coronavirus pandemic

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - If you’ve had your hours cut, or have even been fully laid off, you’re facing a cash flow problem.

That means you may have to make a hard choice between your rent and something like food.

But, don’t worry. The courts are closed at least through April 26th for everything that is not an essential emergency.

Evictions are not an essential emergency, so you can be assured that you won’t receive an eviction notice.

That doesn't mean you should ignore your rent though, even if you can't pay it.

Call your landlord to talk about a payment plan. This shows that you intend to pay, but are having trouble coming up with the cash.

If you are a landlord and you're worried about missing your rent money, call your lender and ask for a forbearance or extension.

Marty Wegbreit with the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society says that everyone has to work together on this.

“It cannot be business as usual for anyone, not for tenants, not for landlords, not for anybody landlords have to pay. Everybody has to be flexible. Everybody has to be reasonable. Everybody has to be given accommodation, and understand that’s the only way we’re going to get through this on the other side, with everybody in reasonable shape," Wegbreit said.

We also caught up with Patrick McCloud the executive director of the Virginia Apartment Management Association. He says if you can pay your rent, you should because you’re also helping others.

“Those individuals keeping cash in the system is what allows industries like the multi-family housing industry to work with those individuals who maybe can not afford to pay their full rent,” Patrick said.

If you live in federal housing, you are covered under the CARES Act. There is a 120-day moratorium on evictions and late fees, that started on March 27th.

It's important to note that this doesn't mean you can ignore your rent either, but it does give you some breathing room.

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