Among my Bourke Accounting colleagues, the number of homeowners and home-renters are about even. Naturally, I might be a bit envious when a co-worker mentions what color she’s going to paint her bedroom, as my landlord doesn’t allow redecorating. However, it sort of balances out when another co-worker is forced to replace an air-conditioning system, since my landlord is responsible for all of the big things at my place. And, whether owner or renter, 100% of Bourke Accounting employees are still working.
It made sense to me that, in most states, landlords aren’t allowed to evict tenants during the lockdown. Obviously, putting more people on the street during a pandemic would do absolutely nothing to stem the flow of infection. Also, homeless shelters, during the best of times, are not ideal; whereas tuberculosis was the lurking threat in communal living situations, now the homeless must deal with Covid, too. And, just to up the stakes, Nature.com cites projections that show that “21,300 homeless people in the US will need to be hospitalized for Covid-19 and 3,400 will die.” So, of course, creating a new wave of homeless people would not be a great idea.
Also, as a renter for my entire adult life, the thought of landlords being stiffed made me vindictively happy. When I say I’ve encountered some slumlords…seriously, I have met the worst! I once went eight months without an oven because my slumlord dodged my calls. He only fixed it when I started paying less rent. Regarding rent moratorium, my mentality was very much: Ha, Ha! Evil landlord! No new Benz for you this year!
Then, I started speaking with unemployed friends. Unemployment for my friends has proven to be way more lucrative than their jobs ever were; economists at the University of Chicago estimate that, for some people, unemployment is paying them two to three times more than their former jobs did (NPR.org). Most of my friends are paying rent and are happy that they have a little extra money. However, some of my friends have told me that they’ve stopped because, “What’s my landlord going to do? Throw me out?”
Between that asinine question and a New York Times article, I started feeling a little bad for landlords. Craig L. Price, a real estate lawyer, pointed out that, because “real estate is considered a ‘passive’ industry, landlords do not qualify for a small-business loan or paycheck protection under the…CARES Act” (NYTimes.com). Well. I didn’t know that. So, if these landlords aren’t getting paid by tenants or the government, how are they supposed to pay for essentials – like medicine – let alone mortgages and taxes? Leave it to me to feel bad for a vague enemy.
If you have money, pay your rent. If you don’t have money, speak with your landlord. There are a lot of decent ones out there and, if you don’t try to dodge, they’ll probably be understanding. I hate to admit that my wayward friend is right, but it’s not like your landlord can throw you out right now – however, it’s always best to keep things civilized.
Your Bourke Accounting bookkeepers and tax preparers are working, even if you’re not. While they can’t give you extra money, they can help you save the cash you have. In addition, all Bourke Accounting employees are pretty good decorators and, whether you rent or own, we can give you neat little pointers to make your place a bonafide home. See! You receive full service with Bourke Accounting.
Written by Sue H.