As an owner, investor or landlord, navigating the tenant hardships right now can seem like an uphill battle, and at minimum, is a difficult task to undertake. 

Businesses everywhere are struggling right now to make sense and face the uncertain financial implications of COVID-19 on their businesses. Culmen is working with our clients to find creative solutions for their tenants that work out as viable options for everyone. 

“It’s about looking for the win-win,” said CEO Ed Blake, “But sometimes, the win-win, isn’t a win-win, but a plan that is livable for everyone.”

Culmen has been an essential business throughout the stay at home order in Ohio, working to make sure properties and tenants have what they need to operate essential businesses and to maintain properties for when non-essential businesses come back. Blake said the company has been working with owners and investors to make sure they provide necessary support to tenants, but also protect their own assets and interests throughout the uncertain future.

Many businesses occupying space in buildings managed by Culmen have been asking for rent forgiveness, but forgiving rent isn’t as easy as just making a decision, Blake said. 

“There’s an assumption that property owners are huge, capitalized public entities, and particularly in a smaller market, like Dayton, they aren’t,” Blake said. “That’s not true for the majority of the industry. When you don’t want to pay rent, it could be your neighbor who is an investor in that building, and now won’t be able to pay the bills, or the mortgage or complete necessary maintenance.”

Blake said much of Culmen’s work right now is about finding the right solutions that keep everyone afloat. 

“Maybe it’s not about free rent, but deferred rent,” he said. “Or if the tenant is in a position for a renewal, maybe we can give them free rent now, but extend the lease.”

Blake said his number one recommendation for owners and tenants right now is open, honest communication.

“People have to consider drawing together putting their cards on the table and working toward a solution that all parties can live with,” he said. “Win-win doesn’t necessarily mean coming out ahead, neither party is at fault. We all just need solutions we can live with because neither party is at fault for the situation we are in right now.”