Good Neighbors

Why A Landlord Is Letting His Tenants Stay Even Though They Couldn't Pay The Rent

"That's a mountain of stress off my shoulders" said his grateful tenant when the knock on the door wasn't an eviction.

There's been a lot of desperation during this coronavirus pandemic. But there's been a lot of kindness too. That's what happened in Westwood, OH where Wes Moberly and his family was out of money when the landlord came knocking.

Wes was laid off from his IT job several months ago. He and his fiancee had exhausted their savings caring for their 5-year old twins. "You know, make sure they have food to eat and a place to live and clothes to wear," Moberly told WKRC-TV.

The couple was in a panic when they realized they wouldn't be able to pay their rent. So when landlord Ellery Lewis came by, they figured they were about to be evicted. Instead, Lewis told them to stay in the house, and even gave them $100 so they could pay some bills, including getting their phone and internet turned back on so Moberly can continue to freelance and look for a job.

Ellery Lewis (L) is allowing Wes Moberly and his family to stay in his rental house, even though they can't pay the rent right now.WKRC-TV

"He has two daughters. I happen to have two daughters as well, so I put myself in his shoes, and if I was in his shoes, I would want someone to do the same for me," said Lewis. "They always pay their rent on time."

Lewis is working out payment plans with many of his tenants who are having trouble making the rent, and, good news, the county where they live is putting in place a program to help people who have fallen on hard times because of the pandemic pay the rent.

Wes Moberly said the relief at being able to keep a roof over his twin daughters' heads was like a "mountain of stress" off his shoulders.WKRC-TV

Moberly is more than grateful to Ellery Lewis for the chance to keep a roof over his family's head. "Now that we don't have to worry about that for the time being, that's just a mountain of stress off my shoulders."

"Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you," said Lewis. To that we say a big "amen"!

How can you start something good?

Most of us aren't landlords, so we don't have the opportunity to do what Ellery Lewis did. But chances are there are people in your neighborhood who are struggling to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table right now.

Why not take a couple of minutes and find a non-profit social service agency near you where they help people with rent and utilities, and support them with a donation? Or find a food bank near you (this link will help you locate one by just plugging in your zip code) and make a donation of money or food. The person you help might just be your neighbor!

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