Here Are Tips for a Rent Abatement Request from Your Landlord
Gather the sales history of your store – the first question asked will be how you have been impacted so prepared to show the numbers.
Know what you are going to ask for. This needs to be a practical request. This is not a time to become greedy, but you do need to address the needs you have today and the needs you anticipate in the coming months. For example, you could ask for rent abatement until you reopen, and then to be charged only half of your normal rent for the first two months that you are back open.
Prepare to offer an extension to your lease. Remember the landlord has bills to pay also, so you and your landlord are in this together. For example, for every month that you have rent abatement or pay reduced rent, you will add that many months to the end of your lease.
In preparing, know that your plan might not be what the landlord accepts and they might propose something different. That is okay, but when this happens, do not immediately accept it or decline it, evaluate it. It is okay to say, “let me evaluate this and I will call you back in an hour.” Make sure it achieves your needs. It is okay to say it does not. Make sure that you’re prepared to say why it does not meet your needs and propose a different plan.
Start with a phone call. This will be to the property manager or to your landlord. If you are not sure who that is, look in the Notice section of your lease.
Be polite. The person you are speaking with might be a decision maker or a gate keeper to the decision maker. Confirm you are speaking to the right person in the organization.
Be confident and positive – “This is a bump in the road, but we will get through it and will be better on the other side.” You could point out how unprecedented this situation is. You should provide a realistic view into how viable your business will be with no/minimal income, if they refuse to work with you.
Make your request and be prepared to show what you are doing in other areas to control or reduce your operational costs. “We are cutting all unnecessary costs to survive this shutdown.”
Tell them you will be submitting your request in writing and confirm their email address and mailing address.
Make your request in writing.
Address the letter to the person you spoke with and, if it is different than the contact in the Notice section of your lease, CC the contact in the Notice section.
Follow-up after you have sent your request.
Confirm that your request was received and set a time for when you can call to follow-up with further conversation. It is ok to convey a since of urgency, but do not convey panic.
Urgency looks like this: “This a part of my overall plan and I will need to make my adjustments soon.” Panic looks like this: “I need an answer now or else I don’t know what I am going to do.”