Landlord Waives Rent for Hundreds of Tenants During Coronavirus Pandemic

An unidentified woman walks in front of a Breukelen Houses building where the mother of two girls who were abandoned lived in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Monday, Jan. 30, 2012. Police say the girls, ages 3 and 5, were left alone mid-afternoon Sunday. The mother, Dalisha Adams, was …
AP Photo/Kathy Willens

A landlord in Brooklyn, New York, is making sure his hundreds of tenants have one less thing to worry about during the coronavirus pandemic.

When 28-year-old Paul Gentile lost his job in March due to virus concerns, he had no idea how he was going to pay April’s rent, according to the New York Times.

However, a few days after being let go from his position at a personal injury firm where he worked as a lawyer, he spotted a sign on the front door of his apartment building.

“Due to the recent pandemic of coronavirus COVID-19 affecting all of us, please note I am waiving rent for the month of April, 2020,” the sign read.

“Stay safe, help your neighbors & wash your hands!!! Thank you, Mario,” it concluded.

The note was from Gentile’s landlord, 59-year-old Mario Salerno, who posted it at all 18 of his residential buildings in the Williamsburg borough.

Thursday, Salerno said he did not care about losing his rental income for the month, nor did he even calculate what his loss would be.

“My concern is everyone’s health,” he explained, adding, “I told them just to look out for your neighbor and make sure that everyone has food on their table.”

While the city has reportedly become the country’s “hotspot” for the disease, Gentile said his landlord’s kind gesture during the health crisis was surprising but not shocking because he regularly takes care of his tenants.

“You don’t see that, especially in a landlord-tenant relationship in New York City. He’s amazing,” he commented.

As the number of coronavirus cases in the state continues to soar, Salerno said his renters were grateful for his decision and hopes his community will work together to get through the pandemic.

“They’re all very appreciative. I told them ‘make sure you help your neighbor,'” he concluded.


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