New Jersey landlord cancels rent for 3 months due to coronavirus pandemic

Posted at 7:34 AM, Apr 13, 2020

MONTCLAIR, NJ — A New Jersey landlord received praise from his state governor after he canceled all rent for his tenants for the next three months.

David Placek, the managing partner of BDP Holdings and a father of three, owns several rental properties in Montclair.

"Candidly, there's still stress today," Placek said. "When am I going to get my job back? Is it going to be there when I get back? Why not eliminate all that stress if you can? Just why not rather than why would we?"

He canceled rent for all his tenants in March when New Jersey began issuing stay-at-home guidance.

"We hope to reduce your stress and anxiety by waiving all rent due for the months of April and May," Placek wrote to his tenants.

Since then, Placek has extended rent cancellations through June. His tenants now don't have to pay rent until July 1.

"Those who responded to me were appreciative of the gesture," he said.

So was New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, who thanked him publicly during his daily press briefing.

"Certainly not every landlord is in a position to do the same," Murphy said. "But David exemplifies the spirit we need to see right now. "

In all, Placeck is forgoing about $50,000 in rent. He said he hopes that his story resonates with landlords who have the ability to do something similar, that they hear his story, and have an open dialogue with their tenants.

This story was originally published by Cristian Benavides on WPIX in New York.