Being a good person and a good landlord - help me achieve the impossible.
March 19, 2010 8:15 AM Subscribe
Newbie landlord in training - how can I help a person in desperate need AND be business savvy? (Long winded, please forgive me).
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I am learning the landlord ropes from my 78 year old mom and am trying to fill an empty flat in San Francisco. Along comes a potential tenant I will call "Leah". Leah is in a really tough bind - she has to relocate to San Francisco because she has a critically ill child on the organ transplant list. Her family has been living in temporary housing while her child recovers from surgery and her time at this housing is almost up. She has been told that her child's chance at an organ transplant will be adversely affected if she cannot stay in San Francisco. We have checked out her story and it is 100% verifiable, no scam. She has a good employment history and will be able to return back to her job once she has a permanent residence. However, the problem is her credit history. She is, understandably, in collections for outstanding medical bills.
I don't have the power to make the ultimate judgement call here. My mom is the property owner and the decision is solely hers. She is legitimately concerned that the situation with the collection agencies could make it impossible for Leah to make rent on a monthly basis. We are strictly small potatoes and don't have a wide enough financial margin that would allow us to take a hit if a tenant can't make rent.
On a personal note, my mom is a bit fragile physically and emotionally and I don't want to push her into a business situation where she is going to be stressed out and anxious all of the time. I am also a bit on the fragile side (emotionally) and having a rental situation blow up in my face would be really bad for my mental health too.
Nonetheless, I want to help this woman - she's been though hell and she needs a break, damnit! I look at her and all I can think is, "What if that were me and my kid? What if nobody would help me?" Again, I don't have any real power here to give her the apartment. All I can do is advocate for giving her a break under the "WWJD" rule.
Any resources you can provide that could help "Leah" and at the same time help us mitigate any problems due to her financial situation would be greatly appreciated.