The Greed of ‘Keep Your Rent’

April 1, 2020 Updated: April 2, 2020

Commentary

“Keep Your Rent” is a radical collectivist mob-style campaign based on greed and jealousy that encourages tenants not to pay rent due on April 1.

In March, about 1.6 million Canadians have applied for unemployment insurance due to the CCP virus outbreak. The government has put relief programs in place for contract and self-employed workers who qualify.

During a crisis, it’s important to stay rational and follow the law. It’s not a time for collective activists to try to overturn the free-market system that has proved to be the most stable and prosperous system in history.

“We’re all in this together” has been the rallying call from all levels of government. But when groups like “Keep Your Rent” organize a movement to take advantage of the eviction ban, it creates unnecessary division and is irresponsible, putting tenants and landlords against one another.

Responsibility Doesn’t End During a Crisis

Paying rent is a basic obligation and responsibility set out in a legal contract between tenant and landlord. In times of uncertainty, prudence and thinking of others should be paramount, not selfishness and greed.

As economist Thomas Sowell stated, “I have never understood why it is ‘greed’ to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else’s money.”

Landlords still have to meet their obligations to banks, municipal taxes, and property managers. Will the group behind this rent strike be able to help repair the damaged credit scores and cover the legal fees that could arise when landlords are put under pressure to meet their obligations and use legal means to recoup their losses?

If everyone decides to walk away from their obligations, the economy collapses.

Keeping a roof over your head with hot water to wash with and food to eat is essential. Non-essential services should be the first thing to cut back on if you’re in financial distress. Have those keeping their rent reduced their cell phone, internet, and TV bills?

Temporary Pain

This crisis is going to be hard on many people. Sacrifices will need to be made. Tolerance and kindness will be more important than ever to get through this.

For renters who are out of work and really struggling to afford rent with the relief programs in place, talking to their landlords might offer a way out. Explaining the situation sincerely and getting creative could lead to a win-win solution for both landlord and tenant.

Remember the Real Cause of the Crisis

If you’re tempted to take out your stress on your landlord, it might help to remember what brought us here in the first place: the mishandling of the virus outbreak in Wuhan by the Chinese Community Party (CCP).

If you want to take action, ask your government officials to stand up against the CCP’s influence over our educational institutions and policymakers. If you want to take out your frustration, stop buying products made in China; stop using surveillance technology such as Huawei and TikTok.

Don’t create more hardship for yourself by becoming a rent-withholding activist. You’ll be breaking your contractual obligation with your landlord, which has legal consequences that could follow you long after this crisis is over.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.