Becoming a property investor seems like a great idea—until a crisis hits! Renters have to pay the rent every month for investors to generate consistent income. When a recession hits and your renters lose jobs, Baltimore property investors quickly feel the pain of lost rental income. 

Don't give up! A widespread crisis (or even an emergency that only affects your properties) doesn't mean you have to give up on Rent Estate™ investment income. A crisis is never easy (or enjoyable), but with proper preparation, investors can make it through tough economic times and on to a successful financial future!

Long-term success requires short-term adjustments when the unexpected happens. Prepare yourself and your investment property business with these crisis planning and rent collection tips from expert Maryland property management!

Plan for the Worst and Expect the Best


When you plan for the worst, you can expect the best outcome—despite difficult circumstances. 

We don't mean that investors should worry about bad things happening or operate out of fear that everything will eventually go wrong! However, smart investors know that having a contingency plan to put into action when a recession or crisis comes along is the best way to stay successful through any circumstances. 

You Became an Investor for the Long Haul

Getting into Rent Estate™ isn't a short-term, get-rich-quick scheme. Whether you move and put decide to rent your home instead of sell, or you're building a significant real estate portfolio, property investors know that choosing rental properties is one of the best ways to build long-term wealth. Consistent monthly income builds over time to help you reach your financial goals. 

A crisis is temporary. Whether it's a one-off event, like a fire at your property, or a widespread health crisis and recession that goes on for months, there will be an end to challenging situations. However, how you prepare for and respond to tough times can either help you prolong your real estate investment success, or end your venture sooner than you planned—and impact the income for your retirement lifestyle. 

Planning Prolongs Your Success

It won't be the most fun you have as an investor, but it will be worth it to tap into the experience of Maryland property management experts like Renters Warehouse to create a crisis plan.

Before a crisis takes place:

  • Set aside some of your rental income as cash reserves
  • Develop a communication plan to address renters quickly and efficiently about changes in maintenance protocols and other operations
  • Know how you'll temporarily adjust operations and rent collection
  • Research local resources that can help renters struggling through a tough financial time

When you respond proactively at the start of a crisis, you contribute to positive relationships with your residents! We hope a crisis never happens, but if it does, it can be an opportunity to rise to the occasion as a Baltimore property owner. 

Instill confidence in your residents that you've got everything under control—even as the economy or other disasters spin out of control.


Help Your Renters Pay the Rent


We don't mean that you should give out free rent! Even in a crisis, the rent is still due, and the rules in the lease agreement don't change. Your renters must continue following the rules and paying the rent on time every month. 

However, as the property owner, you have the discretion to offer flexibility to residents who struggle to pay the rent during a crisis. Offering payment plans can help renters reduce the amount of rent they pay now while they recover from income loss. Payment options also help keep some rental income coming in for you. 

Offsetting "some" rental income with your cash reserves is better than burning through your savings without any rental payments coming in!

When creating your payment plans:

  • Offer them only to residents who need it: If a resident can continue paying their full rental amount, there's no need to lower their payments. 
  • Define and document the agreed payment option on a case-by-case basis: Make sure your resident understands that paying less now means paying more later when the crisis ends, and it's time to catch up on the amount they still owe. 
  • Enforce the rules: Even with a payment plan, renters need to honor the flexibility you've offered to help them through a difficult time. 

Don't let Baltimore residents mistake your empathy and flexibility as an opportunity to take advantage of your kindness. Enforce the rules, collect the rent, and maintain professional, positive relationships with your renters. 

Manage Residents for Success


While it's important not to lose significant income during a crisis, it's also critical to stay professional and do everything you can to care for your residents (within reason). Showing compassion and flexibility will help build good relationships with your residents. A crisis is difficult for everyone, but it could also help you build lasting relationships with renters who stay beyond the crisis! 

When renters realize they have a Baltimore property owner who treats them as more than "just a rent check," they're more likely to renew a lease. They'll also tell others about what an excellent property owner you are! However, not every resident will rise to the occasion and follow the rules during a crisis.

Bad Residents Need Careful Attention

Enforcing the rules during a crisis can bring out the worst in some of your renters. In difficult times, bad renters love to take advantage of struggling property investors. Even "good" renters can see an opportunity to withhold rent or ignore the rules of the lease during a crisis. 

However, as we've seen, property investors might have limited options to deal with bad residents during a recession. When the government puts eviction and other renter management tools on hold, property owners have to exercise patience and professionalism until these options are available again. 

Successfully managing Baltimore renters during a recession requires a plan! Adjust your approach to include:

  • Flexibility and compassion for struggling renters who genuinely need help
  • Thorough documentation of communications and interactions (or lack of responses) for residents who withhold the rent and refuse to follow the rules in their lease agreements.

If you can't evict a bad renter during a crisis, documentation becomes your best protection until evictions can resume. Your renter might enjoy their time in your property while refusing to pay the rent or follow the rules, but when eviction moratoriums lift, you have a ready-made case for removing the renter as soon as you can. 

Don't Adjust Screening Best Practices

Make sure you don't compromise your renter screening process in a crisis! Even if you are desperate for a new renter to move into an empty Baltimore rental property of your to offset rental income loss from other residents on payment plans, never sacrifice the careful attention you give to selecting quality residents. 

  • "Professional Tenants" and scam artists love to use a crisis to find their way into a new rental home. Let your screening process keep bad renters out of your properties to protect your investment properties and income throughout a crisis.
  • Stay consistent in other areas of your operations, as well. Even if you need to adjust "how" you perform standard property management tasks, make sure you stick to your schedules and responsibilities outlined in the lease agreements.
  • Never give residents a reason to withhold the rent! Keep your properties well-maintained, respond promptly to renter requests, and stay accountable for providing the best possible service to residents—despite a crisis.

Choose Maryland Property Management for Success!


Collecting rent and managing your properties and renters during a crisis is challenging for any property investor. If you have multiple Baltimore properties, balancing your rental income while building positive relationships with renters and protecting your investments are tough tasks to accomplish on your own. 

Professional Maryland property management is the best way to find success through a crisis! At Renters Warehouse, we help investors set themselves up for success throughout good times and despite challenging events. When the bottom falls out for your residents, a thorough crisis plan helps you sustain success while helping your renters stay in your rentals while recovering financially.