Coronavirus: New York City landlord waives rent for over 200 tenants

Mario Salerno has let his tenants off April's rent.
Mario Salerno has let his tenants off April's rent. Photo credit: Mario Salerno Newshub

A landlord in New York City with more than 80 apartments has waived the rent for April to help his 200 tenants. 

Mario Salerno owns a number of apartment blocks in Williamsburg in NYC, and made the philanthropic gesture after a number of his renters told him they were worried about paying the rent. 

Last Monday US time he posted a note at the entrance of apartment blocks he owns telling tenants they will not have to pay April's rent. 

"I'm really not concerned about the rent right now, I'm concerned about peoples' health," he told local news organisation Greenpointers. 

"Not only are we up against an epidemic, these poor people have no jobs and they're worried about getting sick. I didn't think it was much on a person like me, who God was good to, to help them all out."

Salerno, who also owns the Salerno Service Station in Williamsburg, told Greenpointers his tenants were all very appreciative of the gesture, particularly the ones who had lost their jobs. 

According to Greenpointers, Salerno built up his property empire over a number of years and has around 200 tenants in over 80 apartments. 

New York state is one of the new epicentres of COVID-19 now with the city virtually in lockdown. Almost as many people have died in the state of COVID-19 than did in the terror attack on the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. 

New York state recorded 562 coronavirus-related deaths in a single day on Friday, bringing the statewide total to nearly 3000, or about the same number killed in the 9/11 attacks, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Friday.

There are more than 102,863 coronavirus cases in New York state, up from 92,381 a day earlier, Cuomo told Reuters.

The city has suffered more than a quarter of US deaths in the outbreak.