Brooklyn landlord Mario Salerno posted the following notice on all 18 of his residential apartment buildings:
“Due to the recent pandemic of coronavirus COVID-19 affecting all of us, please note I am waiving rent for the month of April 2020. Stay safe, help your neighbors & wash your hands!!!”
New York City has been one of the worst-hit hotspots of the coronavirus pandemic on earth. As a result, with social distancing required to save lives, many businesses have been forced to close, the result of which is unprecedented job loss, leaving people with no source of income.
This sudden and severe economic collapse has left many people panicked not only about staying safe from the deadly virus, but also about how they are going to pay their bills. And for many people in New York, their rent is one of their largest expenses.
A few surveys conducted recently estimated that for at least 40 percent of renters, in the city, April’s rent would need to go unpaid. According to landlords, such a loss of income can have a devastating trickle-down effect, with no way for them to pay their own bills such as water, sewer and tax payments on their buildings.
Yet, Mr. Salerno said he is more interested in relieving the stress his renters are under.
“My concern is everyone’s health,” said Mr. Salerno, 59. “I told them just to look out for your neighbor and make sure that everyone has food on their table.”