Landlord provides rent relief to struggling tenants

Posted at 11:45 PM, Mar 20, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Bars and restaurants across New York State are closed except for take-out and delivery. Timothy Walton knows the hit bartenders and waitresses are taking.

“A lot of people live paycheck to paycheck, or you know tips to tips," he said.

He manages Venue and Bottoms Up on Chippewa Steer in Downtown Buffalo, but he's also a landlord in Depew. He has five groups of tenants, who are all in the hospitality industry. With bar doors shuttered and lights turned off all across the state, Walton is making sure his tenants have one less thing to worry about.

He's canceling their rent payments for April.

"It’s not deferred, it's not you owe me it in June, July, once everything's settled," Walton said. "You know I waived it for them as a way to kind of take a little stress off them say, 'hey you know what don't worry about this, you guys have enough other stuff you need to take care of.'"

As a bar manager, Walton is taking a financial hit himself, but says he’s fortunate enough to be in a position to give back.

“It wasn’t right for me to profit off people right now, especially people who are in the same industry that I’m in," he said.

On a state level, Governor Andrew Cuomo said there will a 90 day moratorium on evictions, and mortgage payments will be waived for 90 days based on financial hardship.

You don't have to be a governor or a landlord to lend a helping hand.

“You know my thing is just think about what you’re doing, where you’re incomes coming right now," Walton said. "If you’re making extra and you’re thriving at this time, you know, see if you can help other people.”

You just have to be a good neighbor.