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LETTER: Landlord association speaks out during pandemic

Dear Rental Tenants of the Finger Lakes,

First and foremost, we sincerely hope you are safe in your homes during this COVID-19 crisis. We also need to say “Thank You” for the role you play in the real estate industry. We are landlords of the Finger Lakes region, and we want to tell you that keeping a roof over your head is just as important to us as it is to you. Even though it is our livelihood, it is your life and your home.

Some of us are small landlords, mom-and-pop landlords as they say, some are public agencies, and some are larger companies, but that does not change our responsibility to you, our tenants. Nor does this change your responsibility to us, your housing providers. Of primary concern is if any of you or your family members are infected with this virus, now or in the future, we ask that you privately let us know (as well as your County Health Dept) so that we can ALL plan for increased proper care and cleaning of common areas. We will never reveal your identity, but we do want to do our part to keep our staff and other residents safe.

As you know, maintenance of residential buildings is considered essential but not without proper safety measures in place. If you have maintenance issues during this time, please call us and we will discuss whether this is an emergency and how to perform the work by keeping both our staff and contractors safe, as well as you and your family.

Likewise, we thank you in advance for your rent payment during this stressful time. We also understand that some of you are struggling to pay the rent because of lost income. If so, please contact your landlord today. We understand the issues that you may be facing during this crisis because we are facing them too. We will treat you fairly and objectively, but we expect that you will do the same for us. If we ask for proof of income loss, this is merely to document your account with us and to make appropriate arrangements for future payments. Our mortgage companies work the same way. We must show proof of hardship, but regardless, our mortgage will still be owed, now or later. As we all know, formal court evictions in NYS are on hold until at least June but that does not mean that rent is not due. It is in our best interest to work together through this crisis.

We hope you will carefully consider how to use your resources to secure the home where you and your family can stay healthy and safe. This is the most important aspect of this pandemic, a place to STAY HOME. If your landlord is not a member of the Association, you can suggest they contact us for help navigating the issues. You can contact us as well if you need help communicating with your landlord.

Either way, we pray for God’s help to you personally, to landlords and property manager, to all other businesses but especially to the medical community and first-responders who are working the best they can to keep us healthy and safe.

Onward and Upward,

Deb Hall, Admin for Finger Lakes Landlords Association 

Editor’s Note: The following is a letter to the editor submitted by Deb Hall, Admin for Finger Lakes Landlords Association It was not written by any member of the News team. 

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