WASHINGTON, D.C.–Closed signs are in windows all across the country. For many people and companies who own the buildings where those closed businesses are located, there’s no rent being paid, no income. And, they must still pay the mortgages and pay for the upkeep of those buildings.
“With customers sheltering in place, landlords in my district and nation-wide are facing a catastrophic revenue collapse that will create lasting damage in our communities on the property values and on the property tax revenues,” said Pence, in a meeting of the U.S. House Small Business Committee.
He pointed out that some giant retailers are unable to pay rent.
“Retail stores are shutting down and closing. But, there is no relief for the landlords who run the town centers and strip malls which house these stores,” said Pence.
He said that when landlords are forgiving rent, they are suffering from that loss.
“Property owners are also holding on by a thread. We are on the brink of defeating this virus, but when our country reopens will there be stores to open back up? My colleagues on this esteemed committee: we must ensure landlords are not forgotten in this process,” he said.
Some help for landlords may come from rental assistance, where renters get help to continue paying rent on houses. But, as Pence pointed out, there is very little help for commercial landlords.