A New York City Landlord Just Waived Rent for 200 Tenants

With huge swathes of the population living in quarantine in a bid to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans have found themselves unable to work and unsure how they’ll be able to pay their bills and rent as lockdown continues. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has advocated for a rent freeze in light of these extenuating circumstances, and the New York State Senate is in the process of drafting a bill which would temporarily suspend rent and mortgage payments for residential and small commercial properties, but it has yet to be passed.

Conscious of the financial strain people are facing, Mario Salerno, a landlord from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, has just told tenants in across 18 properties that they don’t need to pay rent this month.

“Due to the recent pandemic of Coronavirus COVID-19 affecting all of us, please note I am waiving rent for the month for April,” reads the notice that he left on the front doors of all 80 of the apartments he owns in Williamsburg.

“I’ve been having in the last 10 days a lot of tenants worried, crying, complaining that they can’t pay, and losing their jobs,” Salerno told NBC New York. “For me, it was more important for people’s health and worrying about who could put food on whose table.”

He added that everybody’s priority right now should be staying home and taking care of each other, not worrying about going out to work and potentially endangering themselves and others because they need to make money.

“I had tenants that said they can’t work, they didn’t have money to pay me,” he said. “I say don’t worry about paying me, worry about your neighbor, worry about your family… God is good to me and we’re successful, and I’m just really concerned about everyone’s health.”

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