Tough time to be a landlady


To the Editor:

First and foremost my heart goes out to those who feel they can no longer pay their rent due to the coronavirus.

That said, as a landlady I am also facing a similar dilemma, except proportionately it’s of greater magnitude … at least to me.

It’s about losing my home, as I count on receiving the rent and a stipend from Social Security in order to pay my bills, which include: the mortgage, property taxes, electric bills, water bills, homeowner’s insurance, propane bills, cable and internet, phone, home repairs, garbage, recycling, lawn maintenance, and snow removal … not to mention health insurance, auto insurance, car payments, gas, credit card debt, medical prescriptions, and food.               

The bills seem endless, and not a single entity from the above list has offered to put a moratorium on the services they provide, whether I can afford to pay them or not.

Although I was told I could make more money with Airbnb, I decided to continue renting my apartment year-round, primarily because I hoped it would help mitigate our housing situation.

Did I make a mistake? …. Maybe. All I would ask is that before everyone jumps on the proposed “no eviction moratorium” bandwagon that they reconsider by: A) renegotiating the rent, B) offering to subsidize some of the expenses the landlord normally includes, C) barter something you’re good at like; gardening, painting, lawnmowing, pet sitting, etc.

You’d be surprised how willing a landlord might be to accept these small gestures in order to reduce the rent to something you both can work with.


June Parker

Vineyard Haven