One landlord in New York City, now widely regarded as the epicenter of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak in this country, has decided to pardon the rent of the 80 apartments he owns for the month of April.
What We Know:
- On March 30th, Mario Salerno made the announcement to his Brooklyn tenants by posting a notice on the front doors of all his buildings, according to a local NBC affiliate.
- The announcement stated, “Due to the recent pandemic of Coronavirus COVID-19 affecting all of us, please note I am waiving rent for the month for April,” along with the simple reminder to practice good hygiene.
- The 59-year-old New Yorker made his decision after hearing from his nearly 300 tenants in the Williamsburg and Greenpoint neighborhoods after they unfortunately reported having a hard time making ends meet during the pandemic.
- Panic has started to erupt between the landlords of New York City, as it has become clear many will not be able to afford rent now and possibly in months to come. The NY Times reported surveys estimating over 40 percent of renters in the city would not make April rent, which was due last Wednesday.
- One of Salerno’s tenants, Kaitlyn Guteski, owned a hair salon that was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She has been out of work ever since and gave her thoughts of how kind and unexpected this gesture was. “He’s Superman,” she said. “He’s a wonderful man.”
Salerno’s only thoughts on the matter was the importance for people’s health and worrying about who can put food on the table to survive. He continued by saying he was also born in Williamsburg. “Don’t worry about paying me, worry about your neighbor and worry about your family.”