Local landlord offers tenants rent relief during Covid-19 crisis – only to be surprised by tenant with act of kindness

Real estate agent passing keys to his client. (PHOTO: Ijubaphoto for Getty Images)
Real estate agent passing keys to his client. (PHOTO: Ijubaphoto for Getty Images)

A local businessman has given his tenants great relief during the coronavirus pandemic by offering them rent reductions and in some cases even waiving rent completely.

Jacques Grové, who works in the property industry, spoke to YOU and shared how he’s been helping his tenants out during these troubled times.

“We’re in the unique position that we’re both tenants ourselves, as well as being landlords to our many tenants of the properties we manage and own,” Jacques tells us.

“We were also in a position where we had to ask for rental reductions and assistance from our landlords to survive financially. How could we take that help with the one hand and then not be willing to offer help to our own tenants?

“We couldn’t do that, so we engaged with our tenants in April and agreed on a rental reduction of up to 50% for many of our tenants. For some, we deferred the rent completely.” 

Jacques says one of his tenants, Natalie, has been a shining example of a good tenant, making it an easy decision for him to help her out.

“This tenant has always been a shining example of an honest, transparent, and committed person and tenant. She always pays on time and in full and takes responsibility for taking good care of the apartment she rents from us,” Jacques says.

“She really treats the apartment as an owner would and takes a long-term view on looking after it as her home for years to come. She’s been renting from us for over 10 years.

“Since we knew that she wouldn’t try to take advantage of the situation, we could have an honest discussion with her and help her deal with the reality of her personal situation.”

In a post on the Facebook #ImStaying, Jacques reveals that though Natalie hasn’t been able to afford her rent during lockdown, she’s been painting the apartment to make up for it.

“I’ve painted the flat, started in March,” Natalie wrote in a message to him. “I wanted to surprise you as I did it on my own will.”

Even though he’s been incredibly generous, Jacques admits that it hasn’t been easy for him either.

“The lockdown has been a particularly challenging time for us professionally. In addition to our rental properties and business which many tenants did not pay, we also own three retail businesses. All of these had to close for the lockdown so far,” he tells YOU.

“Cash flow has been very tough since not all business expenses could be stopped. We paid our staff as much as we could afford to in order to also enable them to get through this time and still be able to pay their bills and survive.”

But lockdown hasn’t been all doom and gloom for Jacques and his family.

“On our family side we are extremely privileged and grateful that we had some reserves. We’d saved for a rainy day to carry us through this.

“We always try and focus on the positive things in life and focus on things within our control. We got to spend a lot of time together as a family – me, my wife and our two little girls.”