2: Open Up Communication With Your Landlord And Have A Conversation
SIMPSON: And then once you realize you're in the situation where you may not be able to pay your next month's rent, open up communication with the landlord and have a conversation, 'cause this is, you know, a shared event, so everyone, including that landlord, is in the same position.
Don't run away from the problem. Don't try to hide from it because, honestly, if someone wants to follow the letter of the lease, they can begin proceedings against you quickly if you don't pay, and you haven't communicated.
You don't necessarily want to call and say, "I'm not going to pay you." Because that would be [similar] to default, so it's more of a conversation, "Hi, this is an unprecedented situation. This is an unusual event. We don't want you to panic, because we're not panicking. You know we are still committed to this lease. We want to figure out, you know, creative ways to make this work for both of us."
So, let's say you have a 10-year lease, and you're in month three. So, if you were to miss a month or two, now you have a 10-year plus two-month lease. So, it's conversations like that.
CRAYTOR: In the places where we have landlord relationships, there's not been one who has not been willing to work with us. But there also hasn't been one that beforehand we didn't have a relationship with. At least in terms of general speaking terms or monthly check-ins or quarterly check-ins that type of thing.
So, it's get to know your landlord, get to know your bankers. Don't try to start a relationship in the middle of a crisis.
I think, have the relationship, and then during that crisis situation, you're more likely to get what you need from that. And it's not too late to start. Look, as Brad said, initially communicate. Be open. Be honest.
We all know that this, we all know about this issue, we're all going to be affected by it. So no one here is ever going to ... say that they're immune from some of the pressures that are being put on the economy.
SIMPSON: I mean, it is daunting to pick up the phone and call someone that you don't regularly communicate with, and yes, that's difficult, but understand that as soon as you do it, you will feel better.
I mean there were certain landlords that we don't talk with a lot or all the time. We do have great relationships with them, but it's not, you're not necessarily going to have coffee with your landlord every week. You know, most of us are not.
So, it's honestly just as, and I make it sound simple, and it's not. Just call them, and even if you're leaving a message, you know, "Hey, I need to talk to you about our lease." And when they call back, it's just an honest conversation about, you know, "Hey, we're in an unprecedented situation. I know you're affected, too. We're trying to figure it out. We're reacting day-by-day. We're not panicking. I don't want you to panic. We're still committed to your location."
CRAYTOR And the key element there is call. There's far less chance of a conversation going wrong than an email. … Especially in tense times when you're looking for things to go wrong. There's a lot to pick apart in the written message that maybe was not even intended. So, by all means, call, when available.
And you know, there is no stigma here. Look, I mean, there's no stigma for wanting to go out and get this deal. 'Cause guess what? Your landlord's going out to get the same deal.
Your landlord, if he or she is doing their job, is calling their bank and saying, "Hey, give me a deal, and let me know if I can defer my payment." They're having the same exact conversation.
So, I think they're going to be surprised if you don't call as opposed to worried that you might. Pick up the phone. Go get the relief that quite honestly should be available to you.