- Property manager Nat Hyman went viral on Monday for an insensitive letter to tenants who cannot afford to pay rent
- The letter from Hyman Properties informed residents that regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic if rent was not paid they would be evicted and have their cable service cut
- Hyman apologized on his personal Facebook account and said the letter was supposed to be informative
Editors Note: While putting this article together, Hyman once again disabled his personal Facebook appearing to be in response to negative comments.
On Monday, as millions of Americans share a concern over how they are going to be able to pay rent and bills due to the COVID-19 pandemic currently tearing through the country, property manager Nat Hyman went viral for a letter that was sent to tenants of Hyman properties.
The cold and insensitive letter assured renters any issues that are out of their control is not an excuse to not pay their April rent on time. “We understand that these times and some of you may have lost your jobs/or be on unemployment,” the letter began. It goes on to say, “Despite these circumstances, you are required to pay your rent on time.”
According to the letter, rent is due April 1. From April 2 through April 5 rent is due with a $50 late charge. If you are not able to pay your rent by April 6, “Evictions will be filed and cable service will be disconnected for all tenants who have not paid their rent in full.” The letter says those that cannot pay rent in full can call the office to “arrange a date for you to move out of your apartment.” In other words, if you are not able to work due to the COVID-19 outbreak, you are about to be homeless.
Adding insult to injury, the letter went into a bizarre rant about people who cannot pay rent having cable. “It is very offensive to us when tenants continue to pay for a non-essential service, like cable service, but do not pay their rent in full for the essential shelter.” The letter continues, “Accordingly, IF YOUR RENT IS NOT RECEIVED BY APRIL 5th, YOUR CABLE SERVICE WILL BE DISCONNECTED BY US.” So not only are the good people at Hyman Properties ready to evict families in the middle of a global pandemic, but they are also willing to take away their access to information on said global pandemic before kicking them to the streets. A real example of the patriotic behavior required to get our country through this crisis.
Can Hyman Properties actually disconnect cable though? It turns out yes. The letter explains that even though you pay a separate company for cable service tenants’ rent the wiring to use the cable. “While you do pay RCN for cable service, part of your rent payment to us includes payment for the use of wiring from the cable connection to your apartment,” the letter reads. “Accordingly, we are well within our legal rights to disconnect the cable.”
The letter ends with one last slap in the face to tenants by claiming, “We hope you and your families are safe and healthy.”
Since going viral, Hyman has received incredibly negative backlash on social media. It did not take long for people to find Hyman’s personal Facebook account, which was briefly disabled on Monday afternoon. Hyman currently has a Facebook post apologizing for the letter. “Let me start by apologizing to you all,” the post begins. “I have been informed my company sent out a very insensitive document regarding rent and tenant policy.”
Hyman claimed to take full responsibility for the letter then immediately pushed the blame on an unnamed manager that “should have been more sensitive.” He goes on to claim he has to “own this because I am the boss.” Hyman then added a paragraph he claims was supposed to be included in the original letter that reads, “we will not be evicting anyone during this time.”
A second screenshot now being shared on social media shows an email response from Hyman. The email reads as insensitively as the viral letter. The email reads, “There is no delay in getting your unemployment checks. They passed a law for this coronavirus crisis that unemployment benefits are paid immediately. Go file tomorrow and you should have no problem having your money in time to pay the rent.”
Hyman caused some concern in 2017 when he ran for mayor of Allentown, Pennsylvania. Some believed Hyman being mayor would create a conflict of interest since he would have been setting policies and executing laws that would directly affect the value of real estate. Hyman boasted that his company owned a million square feet of building space in Allentown, along with developments in Pittsburgh, Pottsville, Williamsport, and Dubois, Clearfield County. In 2017, Hyman properties owned about 400 apartments, 189 units under construction, and had proposed 163 apartments that had not begun construction, according to The Morning Call.