Survival Guide Tips for Tenants During COVID-19

Hey everybody! I hope you are out there staying safe, staying healthy, staying clean. We’ve got our Lysol wipes and staying clean here at Elifin! Make sure you sanitize, because we’ve got the coronavirus going around and there’s serious health concerns there.

But, I’m coming to you with three economic survival tips for tenants. This mostly applies to retail tenants because, in the state of Louisiana, the governor has mandated that dine-in restaurants close down, that gyms shut down, movie theaters shut down, and bars shut down as well. It’s having a huge effect on a lot of small businesses in Louisiana and that’s why we’re here with these survival tips.

1 – Communicate

So tip number one is, communicate. Especially, communicate with your landlord. Your landlord might be out of state or they might be local, but chances are they probably have more pressing things going on that are more personal to them. And they aren’t going to be as focused on your business as you might be. So what you want to do is communicate to them, let them know that you’re shut down, and try to see if they can work with you. A lot of people are empathetic and compassionate and they might be able to work with you during this time so that you can keep your people employed, keep your people paid, and keep your doors open. You want to come out on the other side of this coronavirus pandemic open and thriving!

Tip number two is, check your lease. A lot of leases have a clause in them called force majeure. Sometimes this clause will make a provision that your rent abates during times where you can’t operate your business because of acts of God or government decrees – like the one we’re currently experiencing. So, check your lease because you might have an ‘out’ there, or at least some relief.

My third tip for you is to… get creative. There’s a lot of people out there – restaurant owners, small business owners – getting creative. One of the coolest ones I saw is Nick Hufft with Curbside Burgers. They started as a food truck and now they have a great location on Government Street. But, what they’re doing in light of the government orders is that they’re going back to their roots. They’re firing up the food truck, keeping their employees employed, and generating some revenue. Super important!

So those are my three economic survival tips for tenants. Communicate, check your lease, and get creative. Good luck and stay safe!

Mathew Laborde, CCIM
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