We are living in difficult times; the coronavirus took so many lives and also influenced the lives of many people who were left without jobs. The financial issues will be the biggest problem after the coronavirus and during the pandemic itself, people will not be able to pay their rents, mortgages, debts, etc. The struggle will for sure continue, but in these challenging times we should show solidarity and for some people these are not only empty words.
The New Jersey landlord David Placek was well aware of the fact that some of his tenants would not be able to pay their rents and that were facing financial troubles during the coronavirus crisis. Therefore, he did something very noble to help them by waiving their rents for three months. He just asked in return to “pay it forward” by supporting local businesses in Montclair and Toni’s Kitchen, a soup kitchen in the suburb.
This landlord discussed his plan with his wife, Bridget, and initially decided to release their tenants for paying their rent for two months – April and May. On March 18, they shared the good news with his tenants via email.
David wrote in his email:
“We hope to reduce your stress and anxiety by waiving all rent due for months of April and May. To be clear, you do not need to remit rent for these two months.” At the end of his email, he encouraged his tenants to “pay it forward”
Yet, it seems that the pandemic will not be over very soon, so they extended their offer to June. David and Bridget wanted to relieve some stress from their 12 tenants in Montclair, and offered their help in these challenging times. These tenants could breathe a little knowing that their rents which are in average of $1,200-1,500 per month will be waived. Now, they should only focus on their health and well-being.
David never asked them about their current financial position, he just wanted the help, and people were so pleased with his decision and thankful for his gratitude.
David, a 39-year-old father of three, knew exactly what his renters might be going through as he has his own hardships, namely he closed his restaurant last September, but because of his lease he still pays the rent. But, he did not receive the same consideration as he gave it to his tenants. However, that was not his plan; he just wanted to offer some relief to the people when they really need it. In numbers, he will lose more than $50,000 for the three-month rent, but he is not focused on that because his main goal was to help and he feels blessed that he is in a position to do so.
“We know not every property owner can do what we’re able to do, but we are. The dollar amounts, although meaningful, are something we can live without for a few months.”
According to Census data around 35% of New Jersey residents rent their homes or apartments, and since many non-essential businesses were forced to shut down during the crisis many have lost their jobs. These residents are experiencing the hardest hit of the current economic turmoil.
Governor Phil Murphy praised David’s generous act, and wrote on Twitter:
“He exemplifies the spirit we need to see right now of people stepping up to make sure others can come out of this emergency stronger.”
This benevolent act of David is an epitome of solidarity giving us hope that there are still good people. Fortunately, he had the means and most importantly the heart to do something like this.
“It’s hard to help, you can’t go physically do a lot of things, you probably don’t have the financial resources to write a check so what can you do?”
David lifted the spirits of people in these hard times and he hopes that others will also get inspired by his act. The concept of “paying it forward” can bring relief to many people. Therefore, if you can help someone in need, do it, in that way you are helping the community and yourself as we cannot live alone, we need our neighbors, friends to have a fulfilling life.
Check the video below and watch David’s interview with ABC 7: