Hi. My name is Andrew Weltchek. I’m a partner with the law firm of Cohen, Hochman, and Allen. And let me first say that I hope for each of you watching this, that you and your family are healthy, safe, and sanitized. It’s a hard time we’re all going through. In my practice, I represent individuals and businesses who own property in New York City and have problems. They need to close a deal or they need to resolve a dispute, and I help.
One of the things that my clients are asking me now is, ‘Should I pay my rent?’ The short answer is sure. If you can pay your rent, you should. But what if on March 16th, you who owned a restaurant and woke up and found out the city said you could no longer have customers inside?
Or you were my son and you woke up and you found that you were laid off. You might not be able to pay your rent. You might feel it is the smart, responsible thing to hold on to your money. And there’s nothing wrong with that. And in fact, if you don’t pay your rent, the landlord can’t evict you right now because the courts are closed. Now the landlord has the same problem you do. He’s got to pay his mortgage. He has to pay taxes. She has to pay utilities and maintenance.
But we’re all in this together. And the point is that if you can’t pay your rent, you should not be in the witness protection program. You should pick up the phone. You should call your landlord. Call whoever your creditors are and tell them what you can do. I could pay reduced rent. I could pay a deferred payment later when I’m reopened. I could tack it onto the back of my lease.
I could offer you to go ahead and collect my security deposit. I’m here to work something out with you because we’re in this together. If your landlord is reasonable, he will recognize that he needs you… it more now than ever perhaps. There are not going to be a lot of people lined up to take that space if he decided somehow to get you out. So you are in it together. And by all means, you should stay safe and sanitized and in touch with your creditors and your landlord is one of those.
Again, my name is Andrew Weltchek with the firm of Cohen, Hochman, and Allen. As you can see, I’m talking to you from my home office. You can call me on my cell at 973.223.4567, and be well.