First and foremost, my heart goes out to those who feel they can no longer pay their rent due to the coronavirus.

That said, as a landlady I am also facing a similar dilemma, except proportionately it’s of greater magnitude, at least to me.

It’s about losing my home, as I count on receiving the rent and a stipend from Social Security in order to pay my bills which include: mortgage, property taxes, electric bills, water bills, homeowner’s insurance, propane bills, cable and internet, phone, home repairs, garbage, recycling, lawn maintenance and snow removal, not to mention health insurance, auto insurance, car payments, gas, credit card debt, medical prescriptions and food.The bills seem endless and not a single entity from the above list has offered to put a moratorium on the services they provide, whether I can afford to pay them or not.

Although I was told I could make more money with Air BnB, I decided to continue renting my apartment year-round, primarily because I hoped it would help mitigate our housing situation.

Did I make a mistake? Maybe. All I would ask is that before everyone jumps on the proposed no-eviction moratorium bandwagon, that they reconsider by: a. renegotiating the rent; b. offering to subsidize some of the expenses the landlord normally includes; c. barter something you’re good at, like gardening, painting, lawn mowing, pet sitting, etc.

You’d be surprised how willing a landlord might be to accept these small gestures in order to reduce the rent to something you both can work with.

June Parker

Vineyard Haven