Reply To: Hi,We have a Motel in the beautiful town of Whitianga right on the beach front. As you can imagine we have been hit really hard from the result of Covid19. April we are down 75% and as it stands with May and June currently we will be down 100%.  With a loss of around $50k over that period. Never mind beyond that. I guess we are in limbo with how and when things might change. We have a lease where our landlord is not interested in any help to date. We have emailed with no response. We are going into our 3rd year of our 30 year lease. We have recently updated our website. We have been keeping active online. We know others are really struggling too but with little to no turnover or income realistically how long can we continue for? 30% of guests are overseas travelers and our NZ guests cant travel. Yet. Will the NZ travelers pick up some slack? We had a really good business 5 Weeks ago and boom gone. Do we have any rights with our landlord?Should we expect the NZ Market to pick up?Really worried.Cheers Guys


Morena – I suspect forward bookings create comfort and hope. So maybe you can focus on hitting some of the target market e.g. in Hamilton and/or Auckland for School Holidays in the July and September holiday periods for Families and/or in the shoulder periods for others – think about who could travel and what packages you can offer for people paying a deposit, and how you might need it to be refundable if the alert levels change.

On your landlord, this is really challenging – a landlord is still a partner in your business, I would think about how you get them to engage to explain your situation and to ask them for help? Can you ask your local council to help you with this? Who else in Whiti knows the landlord who can speak to them? Also understand and read the terms of your lease – are there any loop holes in that – just be very aware around the landlord’s rights to cancel the lease if you stop paying – there was some comfort provided around timeframes if you are unpaid that was announced by Government – https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/government-backs-business-through-covid-19 – but the short answer, other tenants have stopped paying their rental payments only to get the landlord to the table, not because they don’t have the money, but because the landlord would not answer the phone – this is a high risk strategy. Best option, get them to talk. If you can’t get them to talk, give them a deadline before you talk to the Council, talk to local paper, find out what other properties they have, who their other tenants are, and see if they are doing the same – it may actually be that they themselves have lots of debt. Good luck.