BVI News

Landlords should not be made to suspend rent payments for COVID

Stating that the issues surrounding rent in the British Virgin Islands will only get worse, Third District Representative Julian Fraser has given strong indications that he does not support any suspension of rent payments during this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Speaking at a press conference by Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition on Tuesday, Fraser said: “I was listening to the radio, and I heard someone raise the issue about landlords giving tenants a break. I hope no one comes to me and say they need a break because I need my money. These are the things that you hear, and I know it is only going to get worse.”

Fraser shared those sentiments while outlining reasons the government should move forward with plans to reopen the local tourism sector. 

That sector continues to be among the hardest hit from the pandemic, which has caused border closures and damaging disruptions in tourism-related operations.

Difficulty to meet obligations will continue

The Opposition legislator said hospitality workers whose livelihoods are dependent on tourism will only continue to face difficulties to meet their obligations.

“So the best thing that can happen is that we nail it (make preparations to reopen the territory for tourism) now. We should have nailed it already because the more this thing drags on, the worse it becomes. It’s not like having a bruise on your chin or your shoulder that is going to get healed over time. This is a wound that is going to get worse if we don’t address it and address it now. So that’s why we are sounding the alarm,” Fraser explained.

Landlords depend on rent to survive

Weighing in on the discussion, Opposition Leader Marlon Penn said he agrees with the Third District Representative.

He said: “We talk about the tenants but a lot of the landlords depend on the rent for their survival. If the landlords don’t have the rent from their tenants, how can they survive and move forward?”

“These are real issues, so we have to find the balance, we had the same concerns after hurricanes Irma and Maria. We have to learn to co-exist with COVID-19 and our economy,” added Penn, who is an executive member of the National Democratic Party (NDP).

Just weeks ago, former NDP Chairman and legislator Myron Walwyn said in a social media post that he believed the government should implement an interim policy that would prevent landlords from evicting tenants who are not able to meet their rent obligations because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Copyright 2020 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

69 Comments

Disclaimer: BVI News and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the comments below or other interaction among the users.

  1. Govt without a plan. says:

    Govt is playing possum. Just hiding. Not thinking ahead. Just spending money on “stimulus”. What when the money runs dry and nothing comes in anymore?

    Boosting the internal economy? How? There is no value creation!

    Like 13
    Dislike 8
    • Rent says:

      You must rent to the Belonger. This is the rules made by the Belongers. They don’t care about a pandemic, hurricane or anything else. You pay the mighty Belonger. If you don’t then the Belonger court will get you.

      Like 19
      Dislike 17
  2. Hmm says:

    While some will honestly have difficulty paying their rent…there are some tenants who have not been paying their full rent way before this virus and these tenants are now using the virus as an excuse to continue their wicked practice. I know a jam…..who live belle vue that’s guilty of such practice

    Like 19
    Dislike 12
  3. GTFOH says:

    If you are staying in somebody apt. then you should pay your rent unless the place is damaged and the landlord refuses to fix the problems. Just because you lose your job doesn’t give you an exemption from paying rent. You cant walk into a store and expect free groceries because you are unemployed so why everybody think that because they lose their job they can stay in somebody house and refuse to leave. I keep hearing about cases where people are not paying rent for months and still in people apartment. Those landlords are idiots and those tenants have no shame. Go beg a stay by a friend or a church or something.

    Like 49
    Dislike 15
    • @GTFOH says:

      They have to figure out a way to pay their rent or get the **** out the people rental. Correct, most people is using the virus as an excuse to not pay rent. When the virus pass, they are going to be owing thousands of dollars in rent to the landlords.
      My rent is 1, 200 per month and I always figure out a way to pay my landlord his rent on the first of every month.

      Like 13
      Dislike 18
    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with your comments. However, my rent is paid on time every single month, even after the passage of Irma.

      What about the landlords that fully well know the rent is paid on time and still if you mention something needs fixing they keep malice with you?

      All these problems can be solved by implementing a Rent Tribunal or Bureau and drafting laws to control the unruly tenants and the unruly landlords.

      Like 34
      Dislike 1
      • GTFOH says:

        Check the last 2 NDP manifestos where they promised landlord/tenant act. This was really needed after Irma but what NDP Put as a priority was renaming a hospital.

        Like 20
        Dislike 3
        • GTFOH says:

          My bad for the misinformation, not the last 2, I meant the manifestos for the last 2 elections that they won. I totally ignored the one from 2019 since it was well established that they just put a bunch of crap to get votes then ignore them.

          Like 6
          Dislike 3
    • @gtfoh says:

      Stfu your mind and body nasty

    • matthew tupper says:

      The word “expect” is the issue here. Do not expect charity, do not expect that your landlord will forgive your rent, do not expect that stores will give you food. Do what you can for other people, communicate and hopefully they will respond in kind. If you are forced to leave your apartment, while a hardship, you can feel good that you tried to work it out, and with the fact that your landlord will most certainly not re-rent your place any time soon. Be kind to each other.

      Like 2
      Dislike 1
  4. Smh says:

    Im not a landlord and have to pay rent but i do agree,some landlord need their rent to survive. Then there are other landlords who don’t depend on rent but you know we can’t pick who you should pay rent to and you shouldn’t pay rent to so we all have to suffer. We could only hope some landlords take it upon themselves to give leniency.

    Like 12
  5. Balance and Priority says:

    As a landlady I have over 16 units rented and I had to tell a few tenants that rent payment is not automatically waived because of COVID-19. If you are able to pay your rent please do so. If you haven’t come to me and stated that you have difficulties or lost your job I’m expecting my rent. At the end of the day even if the banks defer payments those payments are still due at sometime. I’m not evicting anyone all I ask is that they communicate with me, other than that it’s rental payment as usual. I still have maintenance to cover and I pay the first $60 of the light bills anything over that they pay. There must be a balance some persons just looking an excuse not to pay rent and other responsibilities but want to be in the last fashion and spending 300 on a hair do. It’s all about priorities and balance.

    Like 71
    Dislike 1
    • Busy Bee says:

      Thank you. A well thought out policy, and it’s polite and honest. Politeness and honesty still count for something.

      Like 15
  6. Father Time says:

    I can’t pretend that this is surprising as I am sure Mr. Fraser is collecting rent as well. So are his family members.

    Like 15
    Dislike 5
  7. ETS says:

    All this talk about opening up the borders to tourism is BS; Most of the crewed charter boats are heading south for the hurricane season, The Mega yachts are gone, Charter companies are starting to haul out boats for the hurricane season and on top of that most of our tourist comes from the USA there is over 94,000 deaths in the us, and more than 1.5 million cases. I think that the government should open the use of local boats, and if you want to put a curfew on it do so but boating is our world and we have been shut out of it for too long. I think that October will be a good time to open the ports by then we will have a better idea of how the world is adjusting to been open.

    Like 13
    Dislike 2
  8. HELL NO! says:

    I am a landlord and a tenant and I expect my rent, as well as, expect to pay my rent. Stop encouraging nonsense. If you are occupying someone’s place, pay them their rent or move the hell out. This is nonsense.

    These people will not pay rent and still go do the bars and beauty salons, etc. and expect landlords to bear the brunt. This entitlement mentality must stop.

    Whatever Government suspend, they must cover in total or else you will have riot in this place. Landlords will not sit back and allow persons to occupy their properties without paying their rent and no one should expect to do that.

    Like 19
    Dislike 5
    • Be Fair says:

      You go to the supermarket, you can’t tell the owner you don’t have the money to pay for the groceries and walk out with a cart full of food. You can’t tell the light company you don’t have the money you will get your lights clipped. You have to pay rent no matter what. If you can’t pay the rent, you have to vacate. There is a nice rental property that I am interested in renting but the tenants is holding things up by not vacating after owing the land lord three months rent. I would say some tenants pays and is still paying their rents but others is using the virus as their excuse. Figure out a way to pay your rent or
      surrender the house/apartment.

      Like 9
      Dislike 1
  9. Ausar says:

    In such uncertain times, governments should waive certain “laws” to enforce the safety of it’s citizens!

    If citizens are forced out of apartments with no where to go, do we not expect them to rob, steal, and “turn tricks” to survive?

    How will that scenario, better serve the country in this “new” normal of survival?

    Perhaps, yes, tenants should communicate their issues with renters, but laws should reflect the social realities of the times, in which we live!

    Thank goodness, here, in the US Virgin Islands, such laws of expulsion of tenants for non-payments were suspended!

    Common sense leadership, is what’s needed dueing these difficult times!

    And I hope that Premier Fahie will apply sympathy, empathy, and compassion, for such a senstive topic such as this!

    Like 11
    Dislike 8
  10. Eyes says:

    All this government have to do is ask does that have lost their jobs due to the virus to give their landlord name and contact information so government can pay half of their rent directly to the landlord and if a bank is involve make check payable to landlord/bank name if you want to help your people keep their property this is a form of stimulus payment.

    Like 3
    Dislike 3
  11. Landlords says:

    Landlords should be grateful they have tenants whether they pay their rent or not. The Christian way would be for all landlords in the BVI to forgive their tenants rent until the end of the year.

    Like 11
    Dislike 40
    • Pay your bills says:

      People should pay their bills. When you go to the supermarket, you pay for your groceries right. Well if you stay in someone’s place, you have to pay.

      Like 13
      Dislike 4
    • To Landlords says:

      You really got to be a big jack @ $$. You’re probably the one working P£g L£g and don’t like to pay her rent….is that you yardie? If yall want to be wicked & selfish by not paying your rent, pack your bags and go backa yard. Evil set a people

      Like 6
      Dislike 6
      • Father Time says:

        @To Landlords

        I swear, y’all were just waiting on a post like this to bad mouth the Jamaicans y’all know.

    • @ landlords says:

      I agree but the banks dont suspen morgage payments if your able to get that done let me know and of course my tentants are welcome to stay free of charge

      Like 3
      Dislike 1
    • Strupes says:

      You sound so dumb don’t put Christianity in it because even Jesus said render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar so just stop. If you renting somewhere you have a contract agreement adhere to your contract. If you run into a tough time once in a blue moon and you can sit and talk with your Landlord to work out something then fine. But don’t come on here saying oh how Landlords shouldn’t be collecting rent. You going go in a store and just pick up the people them groceries and walk out without paying and say, oh it’s the Christian thing for you to let me walk out without paying for them. Strupes. DO the right thing man geez.

      Like 3
      Dislike 2
    • Landlord says:

      @Landlords: Landlords have mortgages as well as other bills to pay. Every month the bank deducts my mortgage payment from my savings. I haven’t gotten a dime from my tenant over the last three months. Thank God my wife and I always save for rainy days. Unfortunately many people don’t so I are left to be a headache for tenants like me who are nice enough to let them remain in our apartment for the last three months rent free but our patience is wearing thin.

  12. Money says:

    Money would be the end of the humans. You mean to tell me a shut down of less than 60 days turn all yall life upside down. This whole pandemic just show me how wrong ppl does live them life. You really cant sacrifice 30 days pay to assure the elderly in your life remain safe. Smh, real virus or fake virus life more valuable that luxuary life

  13. Pay says:

    Who dont pay rent gets evicted simple as that .

    Like 8
    Dislike 8
    • Too high! says:

      I agree tenants should pay their rent, but what about the exorbitant prices that happened right after Irma? There needs to be some sort of control because it will get worse. Everything went up but wages! People have been struggling since then! You can’t get an apartment for less $2000 and then at the end of the month you take home less than $1000. Right now, prices are going up. When last you went to buy grocery? Also, everyone will speak in their favour. No one wants to loose.

      Like 20
    • Greenlands Landlady says:

      All tenants should pay their rent, I am not running a damn halfway house nor a prison here, you can’t pay get out, the bank still waiting on their loan, I have a commitment with the bank every month you have a responsibility to pay your bill.
      You have (3) three choices in my opinion
      (1) pay your rent
      (2) I rent a backhoe and push it down in the middle of the night when everyone is sleeping.
      (3) I burn that s%it down again in the dead of night.
      Take your pick, I am serious as Redd Foxx heart Attack.

      Like 1
      Dislike 15
      • Indee says:

        You sound so stupid. You are not a lady, you are a monster. You give the people notice. You going burn house or break down house with backhoe. Redd Foxx heart attacks weren’t serious

      • GTFOH says:

        You dont have to do all that. Just give them at least a month notice if they refuse to leave do some maintenance on the Apt. Cut the power and water to the apt. or change the locks to the main door and dont give them a key. You can also arrange for pest control to fumigate the place then they have no choice to leave. If they still refuse to leave it may be time to fight for your rights literally.

        Like 5
        Dislike 2
      • @ Greensland Land Lady says:

        @Land Lady, you sound like an ignoramus planning murder and preparing for a life sentence. There is a legal process for evicting tenants from your property; the BVI is a rule of jurisdiction. Perhaps you can maintain your freedom by getting out of the rental business and taking up residence in the wild.

        Like 5
        Dislike 1
  14. one love says:

    HAHAHHAH HAHAHHAH HAHAHHAH ??? I HAVE MY OWN HOUSE.AND IT FINISHED PAYED FOR.

    Like 4
    Dislike 6
  15. Observe says:

    This f***ing one sided news site need to post my comments .

  16. Oh boy says:

    I am a land lord and i have one of the best tenants anyone can ask for never late no excuses sometime pay before time. Saying all this to say when a lock down was talked about i went to her and ask her if she would have difficulties and if so i can lower her rent to something more manageable since i k ow one of her business would be interupted. She i dicated she is ok because she still had her job that pays. I was greatful sometime you have to know how to choose your tenants especially for times like these

    Like 19
    Dislike 1
  17. Quiet Warrior says:

    Everyone needs shelter; birds have trees, foxes have holes, fish have the sea……etc. The Covid-19 economy has caused some economic hardship for many renters and landlords. Renters may not have the money yet landlords need rent to pay mortgages, live, eat……etc. Many children are caught in this crossfire, this untenable situation with no easy way out. What is the way out?

    If the economy roared back and ramped up quickly to pre- Covid-19 levels that will solve the cash flow problem. However, that is unlikely for the near-term. Further, tenants and landlords will need to have an active listening discussion and try to work out some reasonable plan. Churches and other organizations may need to step up to lend a helping hand. The cash-strained and-strapped government may need to step in an offer a temporary rent stipend.

    True, landlords may want their rent but in many cases are not going to get blood out turnip. No doubt landlords are assuming the risk for the construction, maintenance and management of their housing inventory and are providing a valuable service and should be rewarded for their risk and effort yet there must be some understanding and compassion demonstrated. During an established pandemic period, no one should kicked to the curb.

    Like 12
    • Daffy Duck says:

      The man who sh$t out in the road never remember but the one who step in it never forget the stench.
      All of you locals who want the island people to go back from whence they came should really do so when they can travel, leave so you idiots can see how much ah you need them to pay off your mortgages.
      God don’t like ugly but Covid will be back with a vengeance in December so wait on the tourists to come to this shore next season. All my father’s tenants pay their rent and he never had a problem with them, all 14 tenants pay their rent on the 1st of each month and his cattles stay out of the yard. 10 Vinci’s,2 yardies and 2 Kittes. All nice people, very clean too.

      Like 12
      • TRUTH says:

        BUT I THOUGHT THEY DIDN’T NEED US AND WE SHOULD GO BACK TO OUR HOME. HOW COME WE ARE VITAL TO THERE SURVIVAL NOW. ONLY IN HARD TIMES THESE PEOPLE NEED US BUT AS SOON AS THINGS SWEET AGAIN THEY SING A DIFFERENT SONG,SMH.

  18. LOL says:

    Yes my friends and family school children says ISLAND PEOPLE MUST LEAVE.most of all when they leave /gorn who’s going to pay for those big houses? so stop the crying they are going and the BANKS ARE COMING MI FROM HERE.Ihave my own house island people help me pay for it respect them.

    Like 9
    Dislike 1
  19. Insurance says:

    I dont have the solution but insurance premiums are a massive cost, if Government could find a way to set up a fund directly with reinsurers or another solution some of the savings can be passed on. If a landlord has a $20,000 insurance premium and pays the first 2% of all damages they cant rent for free

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  20. annudda2cents says:

    i believe i am among the few that has been affected by both Hurricanes Irma/Maria, as well as Covid 19. i have experienced both reduction in salary as well as temporary lay off. but yet and still, my landlord cannot say that I owe him for so much as a single month pay. as long as I am conscious that my place of abode does not belong to me, I cannot in my good concsience (and if in good health and state of mind) deprive my landlord of his money that he depends on so much. as Balance and Priorities say, if you cannot pay, have a conversation with the landlord/lady. if you can, do not use this pandemic as an excuse and pay up.

  21. light bulb says:

    I just read what Walwyn said on the link. He said that persons should not be evicted for non payment of rent due to covid 19. That doesn’t mean that you don’t have to pay your rent. Tenants will have to make arrangements with their landlords for payment later on.

  22. Sam says:

    Fraser you very wicket man a long time. No one do any thing good for you. Leave you to God

    Like 5
    Dislike 3
  23. Redstorm says:

    There were some twenty three Vincentians who leave on One Caribbean airline. If those person where renting , it would mean some ten apartment or more or less are vacant. It is best as some of you stated to talk with the tenants, and agreed to lower the rent or use a payment plan. It don’t go to the tenant and threaten them to plug out there lights and water and remove their door, it does not reflect good on the BVI. May I suggest that the people who are not working and are the sole provider should leave when the boarders open. It is the best thing for you, stress is a silent killer , look out for yourself as no one will look out for.

  24. down2earth says:

    According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, people need shelter. Tenants, cut your eyes at the unnecessary and pay your rent!

  25. Oh says:

    All of a sudden y’all realize y’all need rent to survive? Y’all been asking to send expats home for years. Y’all even went as far as saying y’all can get by without expats. Could babe fooled me.

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  26. Storm says:

    You know i think they should allow out going flights for those expats who are jobless and cant pay there rent to go home that way they have a option. While i agree that all landlords must get there rent, I also think that tenants are humams just the same and have to servive and at the present moment does not have many options and if you are going to force them to pay your rent when some of them cant even eat then atleast give them the option to leave

    Like 12
  27. Yeah! says:

    Definitely landlords should crack on with extortionate rent on people and business and screw the territory into the ground. Then they collect 100% of nothing and be happy.

    Sure the education and immigration and landholders laws are set up to encourage this as a systemic feature of the BVI and some depend on rent alone but they in turn should be and are given breaks from banks for exactly the reason that it’s better for banks to hurt a bit for a few months but emerge with mortgage payers than to foreclose on something that plummets therefore in value.

  28. Smh says:

    We have the opportunity and the power to suspend electricity,but with stipulations…Fraser I agree with you again,

  29. You people in the bvi need Jesus says:

    Remember Jesus Christ is taking a record of all the evil talks. Honestly I have not been anywhere else in the world and meet so much wicked and evil people like the BVI. I pray God soften your heart to love and show sympathy and be empathetic.

    Don’t worry man…God will make a way for all expats to back home. Let us who you gonna rent too.

    Let all work together to overcome the challenges we all face.

    In acts those men of old sold their possessions and share what they had. They were in one accord and God multiplied what they had.

    I pray God change and prepare you for the new Jerusalem. Peace out.

  30. ÓGÙN says:

    Yea landlords need rent to survive too smh lol. If you can’t pay the landlord move out. Casper the ghost will pay it smh so government getting BANK BREAKS for home owners suggesting a year moratorium

  31. One more year says:

    I hoppe mr Gov is aware of all this .thst should be his concern too. He is part of the responsibility of issues face by territory..talking piss about wat he think ..wat u seeing going on …

  32. @land lord says:

    I hope the Christian way is to stop pay ur rides and 10 %

  33. @money says:

    Tell that to the bank or where u put urs.or give or spend it …

  34. To island man de stupid ones says:

    To the stupid and lazy grugful ones u kno how much of u all living here who are landlords…..u one there talking p**s thinking u well favored about island people going home and landlord cant pay rent …s**t this unrealistic sh%t about who from here and who not

  35. .@u people in bvi need jesus says:

    U cart ur out of content preaching vengeance…if u were living like u speak ur tongue would be still……hypocrite..bvi need jesus yes maybe like all do .but we don’t need people like you ..

  36. Bizzy Bee says:

    Wait? Did I just roll my eyes?

  37. Yes sah says:

    @GTFOH AGREED ???????

  38. Captain says:

    I think if the renter is having a hard time making the full rent a compromise could be made for a few months to reduce the rent. After the boarders open the rent can then resume at the agreed upon price. To evict renters during a pandemic would only help spread this virus and prolong everyone’s suffering. A healthy community is necessary to the economic recovery of this country. We work together in these times of strife so we can emerge a better safer community with pride at what we can accomplish. I pray God shows us the wisdom and compassion to do right by our brothers and sisters.

  39. SMH says:

    IT WAS BETTER THAT YOU HAD SAID NOTHING ,THAN TO OF SAID ANYTHING AT ALL,SMH.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Nobody shouldn’t have to pay s**t you ppl must be stupid or wha…. how can we pay or even focus on bills if the world is on lockdown everyone fighting for their life til today it’s stil curfew going on… around the world ppl are getting help especially for sure wherever that their is US$ dollar flowing but…. nobody cares over here for no one but them self that’s y even thinking like idiots…. then again how can I pay bills if am not working collecting a check on top of it I cnt go out…must b legal to rob n kill ppl now huh exactly what they doing to us rob us n lol us slowly

  41. It been said says:

    Well well well I never thought after voting for and supporting I am very surprised honestly from those men wooooow ,But I understand,Lord have mercy ,,,,,Well I am giving mines a break, and I am shore bet not coming /running to you after your not God ,my help comes from the Lord,if it’s one thing this lockdown taught and show us,let rephrase shown some of us,it’s only God who can see us through no country ? and certainly no politicians ,it also shows you can have lots of money but it’s is of no use and can be taken away are die leave it , landlords know quite well many of there tenants has been paying for years honestly some miss out yes but they make it gradually and now just to be leanant just for a few months,it’s clearly shows were our hearts lies and there idols they serve,Banks doing it ,it not there fault ,if we as a landlords/country can’t show and have mercy but wants God to show and have mercy upon us blessed us we are hypocrite,love thy neighbor as thyself ,do good and good will follow ,let me tell you God is well able he rules in the affairs of men ,and when we think that we are high and mighty vengeance belongs to him who sit high and looks low ,it’s not ours lands all of us has a cut off point doesn’t matter what or who we are we all are just passing through ?,I know there are many person who are defending this land /world ,which is good but it’s killing them softly, listen it’s doesn’t matter how much we achieve one day we will die go leave it .

Leave a Comment

Shares