Normal Heights

Normal Heights Landlord Gives Tenants 3 Months Free Rent

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Times are hard, particularly for those who've lost their job and are struggling to make rent, but one Normal Heights landlord is trying to make the lose-lose situation a win for everybody.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused a financial pinch for everyone, leaving some unsure how they’ll get through the next few months. Small office building owner Jeff Larabee knows that, and decided to let his 18 tenants go rent free for the next three months.

“In one day three of my tenants reached out to me and expressed the same concern that they were going to have challenges paying April rent,” Larabee said.

His tenents weren’t the only ones feeling pressure. Larabee said he’s still paying off the loan that helped him afford the building on Adams Avenue, and no rent income means he’ll default on his loan.

So he decided to phone his bank and argued his way into paying for these next three months later.

“Pick up these three months and tack it on the back,” he said. “If we do that the bank wins, the owner wins, the tenant wins.”

Defaulting wasn’t an option, but neither was evicting tenants.

“We are cooking together cleaning together we are all taking care of the space together,” he said.

Larabee hopes his story will inspire other landlords to be empathetic to tenants during this tough time

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