NYC landlord cancels April rent on 80 apartments due to coronavirus

Mario Salerno said it was more important to make this offer for people’s health than have them worrying about who could put food on the table

Mario Salerno
Mario Salerno (Credit: screenshot)

One landlord in New York – which has widely been called the epicenter of the coronavirus in this country – has decided to forego the rent of the 80 apartments he owns for the month of April.

According to a local NBC affiliate, on March 30, Mario Salerno made the announcement to his Brooklyn tenants by posting a notice on the front doors of all his buildings.

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“Due to the recent pandemic of Coronavirus COVID-19 affecting all of us, please note I am waiving rent for the month for April,” the message read. “STAY SAFE, HELP YOUR NEIGHBORS & WASH YOUR HANDS!!!”

The 59-year-old whose approximately 80 apartments house between 200 to 300 tenants in total in the Williamsburg and Greenpoint neighborhoods said he came to the decision after a number of tenants reported they were having a hard time making ends meet during the pandemic.

“I want everybody to be healthy,” he told NBC New York. “That’s the whole thing.”

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“For me, it was more important for people’s health and worrying about who could put food on whose table,” continued Salerno, who was born in Williamsburg. “ I say don’t worry about paying me, worry about your neighbor and worry about your family.”

Kaitlyn Guteski is a tenant and owns a hair salon that was shut down due to the national health crisis. She has been out of work ever since and admitted that this was an unexpected kind gesture.

Guteski had no idea how she would make rent and is floored by her landlord’s generosity.

“He’s Superman,” she said. “He’s a wonderful man.”