Brooklyn tenants woke up last week to shocking a sign on their front doors announcing their April rent payment is canceled.
Meet Mario Salerno, a 59-year-old Brooklyn landlord who posted signs on 18 building he owns, informing he won’t be charging them for April’s rent to help alleviate their worries.
The kind-hearted man owns around 80 apartments, housing more than 200 tenants in Greenpoint and Williamsburg. He decided to waive the tenants’ rent payment to make sure they will have enough money to buy food.
It all started when he heard some of his tenants struggle to pay rent due to the devastating outbreak. Salerno couldn’t turn a blind eye and made a dramatic decision that probably saved many people from drowning economically.
The sign reads: ‘Please note I am waiving rent for the month of April 2020. Stay safe, help your neighbours and wash your hands!!!’
The highly respected member of the local community is well-known for his generosity but still managed to surprise everyone with his ‘life-saving’ announcement.
One local member described him as ‘truly one of the kindest people I’ve ever met.’
According to NBC New York, the Brooklyn landlord said that he doesn’t mind losing his rental income for this month as long as people are safe.
He continued to say, “I want everybody to be healthy. That’s the whole thing. For me, it was more important for people’s health and worrying about who could put food on whose table. I say don’t worry about paying me, worry about your neighbour and worry about your family”.
Like many people around the world, Kaitlyn Guteski, Salerno’s tenant and an owner of a hair salon, had been struggling to come up with a rent payment plan after her business was shut down recently. But thanks to Salerno, she can now focus on getting food and stay healthy. ‘He’s Superman. He’s a wonderful man,’ she said.
Paul Gentile, a lawyer for personal injury firm, is another tenant who lost his job as a result of the crisis. The 28-year-old lawyer had been working in courthouses till March 18 when a decision to close them was made.
He admitted that although he was surprised to see the notice on the building’s front door, he wasn’t completely shocked. Gentile explained that during the four years that he has been Salerno’s tenant, the generous man has been a model landlord.
He explained to The New York Times: “You don’t see that, especially in a landlord-tenant relationship in New York City. He’s amazing. It has alleviated a huge amount of stress that I have been having with the unemployment system in the state”.
Mario is surely a hero, and he hopes that the rumor about his act of kindness will spread to more landlords that will ease the money situation for many tenants.