coronavirus

Landlord Says He Won’t Collect Rent Due to Coronavirus Outbreak

Nathan Nichols says he wanted to "ease a little bit" of stress among his tenants

Nathan Nichols went viral on Facebook after he published a post saying he would not collect rent from his tenants, who were hourly workers.
Courtesy Nathan Nichols

One landlord is not collecting rent in April because of the coronavirus — and he’s encouraging others to do the same.

Nathan Nichols owns two units in Portland, Maine, and both are occupied by hourly workers. One of the apartments is home to a couple with a young child.

“My sister is in the service industry and she was getting stressed out about the income she was going to lose,” Nichols told TODAY. “I knew my renters were feeling the same way. I wanted to ease a little bit of that. I know how damaging it can be for a kid to live through this kind of stress."

COVID19 is going to cause serious financial hardship for service and hourly workers around the country. I own a two...

Posted by Nathan Nichols on Friday, March 13, 2020

In a post that has gone viral on Facebook with more than 23,000 shares, Nichols urged other landlords to “take a serious look” at their own situation and consider giving “some rent relief.”

The computer programmer has since been inundated with messages from strangers who are out of work because of the coronavirus.

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“Everyone's on edge right now,” Nichols revealed. “A lot of people are like ‘Can I be your tenant?’ They’re just a few paychecks away from big trouble. Some have reached out asking if I have more apartments to spare.”

Praise continues to pour in for Nichols with several Facebook commenters calling him a “hero.”

“So many people (including myself) were told that our jobs have shut down for 2 weeks maybe even longer and right now we have no money - it’s scary. So this simple act of kindness is truly amazing. God bless you!” wrote one person.

“Thank you for being so generous. We can all learn from you,” added another.

Nichols' tenants continue to express their gratitude.

One of them recently sent him a text that read in part, “I realize you’re taking a hit for us, and that means so much.”

This story first appeared on TODAY.com. More from TODAY:

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