Landlord Waiving Rent at Colorado Properties

A generous landlord decided to waive two months’ rent for his tenants living at eight different properties in Denver, Aspen, Lakewood, and the Western Slope. “Everyone’s kind of getting the bad end of the stick on this,” the landlord, Christopher Armeli, told KDVR. “I think the biggest fear is most people want to make sure they have a place to stay to catch up.” Armeli, the CEO of Huaka’i Investment Partners, said his decision was not easy even though it felt like the right thing to do. “We don’t want to lose tenants, because getting them back will be twice as hard,” he says. “Sometimes being the person that offers you that olive branch, gets you more repayment in return.” Armeli is hoping he can recoup some of his losses from the federal stimulus package. For Armeli, his losses are not as big of a concern as what some of his tenants have to face. Curtis Haines, a door-to-door salesman in Lakewood who had been making a transition to working remotely, began to get anxious as his April 1 rent date drew near. “There were definitely some short checks,” says Haines. “It’s not a comfortable feeling, that’s for sure.” But on Friday, Haines received a letter from Armeli saying that his April and May rent had been waived. “I opened it up, and it wasn’t like a full-on cry,” he says. “But I definitely welled up a little bit. It was big. It means a lot.” Armeli is one of a growing number of landlords waiving rent for their tenants for a month or two during the coronavirus pandemic because many people have lost their jobs. One Maine landlord, Nathan Nichols, said in March that he needs his tenants as much as they need him because it would cause him greater financial hardship to lose a tenant than to lose a month’s rent. Another landlord from Brooklyn, New York, also made sure his tenants had one less thing to worry about by waiving their rent for April 2020.

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