‘Don't Worry About Paying Me': NYC Landlord Waives Rent Because of Coronavirus

Mario Salerno decided no one at his 80 apartments would have to pay rent for the month of April

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What to Know

  • A Brooklyn landlord waived all rent for his tenants this month because of the coronavirus
  • Now more than 200 tenants in roughly 80 apartments won't have to pay rent this month
  • The landlord, Mario Salerno, says he did it because wants his tenants to "worry about your neighbor and worry about your family."

A Brooklyn landlord announced that he will waive rent fees for all of his residents because of the coronavirus pandemic.

On March 30, Mario Salerno posted a notice on the front doors of all his buildings with the announcement that rent would be waived for the month of April 2020.

“Due to the recent pandemic of Coronavirus COVID-19 affecting all of us, please note I am waiving rent for the month for April,” the notice stated. 

Salerno, 59, owns roughly 80 apartments with 200 tenants spread out across Williamsburg and Greenpoint. He said he made the decision after hearing from multiple tenants who were having trouble making ends meet because of the virus.

“I want everybody to be healthy,” he said. “That’s the whole thing.”

Born in the heart of Williamsburg on Metropolitan Avenue, Salerno inherited his father’s gas station and has become a well-known figure in the community.

“For me, it was more important for people’s health and worrying about who could put food on whose table,” Salerno said. “ I say don’t worry about paying me, worry about your neighbor and worry about your family.” 

Kaitlyn Guteski, one of Salerno’s tenants, has been out of work since the hair salon she owns was shut down. She didn’t know how she would make rent -- but now she doesn’t have to. 

“He’s Superman,” she said. “He’s a wonderful man.”

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