AboutTime no 42 #42 - Page 8

GENERAL NEWS Lockdown living By John Kelly John Kelly outlines some of the measures in place to assist tenants during the lockdown As we have all experienced by now, the lockdown has affected everybody in more than one way. This change has in some ways been positive whereby we have spent valuable time with our families, as well as having time to reminisce about the past. However, the negative effects are everywhere and it will take many months until we return to normality. We, as landlords, would like to shed light on the challenges we have faced and how we have addressed them. We hope that it may provide understanding and clarity for tenants and landlords. Communication between landlord, tenants and financiers Communication is the key to all parties’ survival. Throughout the last few months, many of our tenants have sent us emails and letters asking for rental consideration through this tough time. We have been very grateful for their co-operation and understanding that we too have our obligations towards financiers. Our property managers had drawn up a schedule of all our tenants, indicating the correspondence that was received and released. This included requests for rental discounts and in some instances, complete rental waivers over the affected period. Property management and maintenance issues Unfortunately, a property will always have maintenance issues which need attending. Although this may be true, our maintenance manager has not been able to get an Essential Services Permit to deal with many of the pending issues which are on site. As many of us have experienced, supervision is key to making sure a job is carried out properly. Luckily, through cellular correspondence, we have been able to ensure the following are still attended to and functioning: Sanitiser distribution From early March up until now, measures have been put in place to ensure our properties have hand sanitisers upon entry as well as throughout each building. Security services Fortunately, all the security companies whom we deal with were able to acquire Essential Services Permits and continue to operate at each of our properties in the portfolio. We have been continuously engaging with our banks and other financial institutions and payment holiday negotiations are ongoing. Our financiers have certainly shown their consideration towards our company and our tenants. After much consideration and a confirmation from these financiers, our property managers were able to offer our tenants rental discounts over the affected period. Many tenants have expressed their gratitude for this and we are glad to continue with a strong working relationship. 8 Cleaning services Similarly, the same has applied for each of the cleaning services contracted within our portfolio. Whilst it is not always easy for us as we are also not immune from the economic and other effects of the lockdown, we do our best to keep our tenants happy. We may not always grant them all their wishes, but we do our best to find solutions to their issues. ISSUE 42 - JUNE 2020