Honest Conversations Needed Between Landlords And Tenants - Honolulu Civil Beat


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“We’re in this together” is a common phrase or mantra that we hear a lot these days. No one is exempt from the impact of the coronavirus.

Job loss, financial loss, isolation, stress, and uncertainty are common threads that tie everyone together. No one is exempt.

Landlords and tenants are no exception.

While tenants who have lost their jobs are worried about where they will go when the moratorium on evictions has lifted, landlords stress over how they will pay their mortgages, support their families, and maintain their properties, without their needed rental income.

As the moratorium on evictions continues to be extended, landlords and tenants need to be proactive in working together to negotiate agreements that support both their needs.

Left, 5-year-old Katin Tilton and right, brother 6-year-old Dayten Tilton enjoy a morning bike ride in their cul de sac off of Booth Road in Pauoa Valley. 29 nov 2014. photograph by Cory Lum
Homes in Pauoa Valley. COVID-19 has made it difficult for many renters to make payments. That’s why landlords and tenants need to communicate frankly. Cory Lum / Civil Beat

In the highly acclaimed negotiation book, “Getting to Yes,” by Roger Fisher and William Ury, the authors explain that negotiators don’t have to choose between either waging a strictly competitive, win-lose negotiation battle or caving in to avoid conflict. Rather, they argued that bargainers can and should look for negotiation strategies that can help both sides get more of what they want.

By listening closely to each other, treating each other fairly, and jointly exploring options to increase value, negotiators can find ways of getting to yes that reduce the need to rely on hard-bargaining tactics and unnecessary concessions. This is the approach that landlords and tenants must take.

Landlords and tenants must engage in honest conversations about their current situations. Gaining an understanding of what’s important to one another can lay the foundation for successful negotiations that result in agreements that support the immediate needs of both landlord and tenant.

The key to success is talking and working together.

Payment plans, rent reductions, forgiveness, deferred payments, or work maintenance agreements are all possibilities. Working together to access funds from the state’s new rental assistance program is another option. The key to success is talking and working together.

The coronavirus has taken a toll on everyone, financially and psychologically. Albert Einstein once said, “In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity.”

Now is the time for landlords and tenants to work together. Landlords don’t want to evict good tenants, and tenants want to pay their rent.

Engaging in honest conversations is the first step in negotiating successful agreements that will lay the foundation for a stronger relationship and a future success for all. We truly are in this together.

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Latest Comments (0)

Wish this worked in all states I was honest with my landlord and still got evicted after they said I missed a month and did not let me know until a month later then made a virabe agreement I had wrote it up like they asked he then would not take it and set a date day before payment was due got a summits to go to court went to court with all the money and still had to be out  but would not fix repairs had a leaky roof for over a year applied for section 8 got it and they would not fix apt for approval for section 8 and now still living on the street with nothing I'm disabled and homeless since March of 2020 

Sunnym · 1 year ago

I've been posting this dilemma on CB since April, & am glad that this article has highlighted the real financial calamity for local citizens who are renting, as well as those who own the rentals. Thus, with $hundred of millions of dollars still left in the Cares Act for Hawaii, the Governor must address this issue utilizing those funds to keep citizens from becoming homeless as well as providing relief to rental owners from foreclosure or bankruptcy! Can you imagine Thousands of Ohanas, Individuals, and Seniors evicted because of the CV-19 Shut Down orders that annihilated Tourism, Restraunts, and Small Business? All with Past Accrued Debt, How will they Pay 9 months of past rent? This is  he "Elephant in Da Room!"Governor and Mayor must Act Now!!!! 

2020HS · 1 year ago

Disagree with the phrase, "we'er all in this together," as financially its not true.  All government workers are somehow considered "essential" and have not lost a cent in income to date.  Conversely, the private sector has lost so much it's difficult even fathom.  Specifically, landlords are barred from evicting a tenant that refuses to pay, or negotiate.  The owner has no power, or leverage.  Even barring the current order, the landlord/tenant code is written favorably for the tenant, thus when a renter fails to pay rent, it quickly becomes insurmountable over several months and even if/when the tenant returns to work their burden of expenses make it impossible to pay back and current rent.  Who looses, the landlord.  Has the city forgiven it's property tax?  Never.  Are the banks forgiving all interest payments?  Not a chance.  So who does a landlord "work with?"  Bankruptcy court?

wailani1961 · 1 year ago

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