This pandemic has hurt lower-income service workers and in many cases been financially positive for white collar workers with jobs that can be done remotely. A similar thing seems to be happening to small-time landlords. Some are barely seeing any impact from the pandemic and are benefiting from the tightening of rental supply and others are getting absolutely destroyed by opportunistic tenants bleeding them for as much free rent as they can get.
But at the same time that is happening, real estate prices are soaring just about everywhere. A deadbeat tenant puts a little bit of a damper on the deal but there are still investors lined-up hoping to snap up any property they can and if you put it up for sale it will sell and almost certainly for more than you paid for it. That gives landlords that are really struggling an enticing out and I’m not surprised that some people are choosing to sell right now.
Personally, despite the huge appreciation I’ve seen especially on my fourplexes, I am not seriously entertaining selling right now. Real estate is part of my retirement plan and I’m going to see that through, at least for now.
I have lower income tenants and some have struggled during the pandemic but we’ve been as flexible as we can be and have also become experts at connecting tenants with social safety nets that can help them pay their rents (and other bills). We’ve converted two of my tenants to Section 8 and have the Salvation Army guaranteeing most of the rent of a third. We’ve waived a lot of late fees and have had a couple of tense periods where it felt like the back rent was piling up to be a mountain bigger than we could climb but the stimulus checks come and most of my tenants use them to catch up.
If I had thirty percent of my tenants decide to stop paying rent and drag the eviction out as long as they can? Then yeah I’d have to sell. So far my tenants are only not paying when they can’t and they’re doing their best. With everything going on that’s all I can ask for.