Re-evaluating Rent – by Susan, a Port Townsend landlord

I rent out an ADU in Port Townsend, although I live in the rural Southwest where the cost of living is quite inexpensive and my limited income covers my needs. I paid for the construction of the ADU, which is on my sister’s property, with a small inheritance from my father, as well as loans and help with the construction from my siblings. My sister offered me this opportunity because she wanted me to have an additional source of income beyond my small social security payment. In the beginning, while building the unit and setting the rent, I thought ADU stood for “affordable dwelling unit.” I soon learned otherwise.

Now, 15 years later, the current tenant has lost his livelihood due to the pandemic, and quickly took action to pivot the nature of his work to make ends meet. He asked my sister and me if we would accept half the amount for rent for upwards of a few months. I immediately knew I would, and my sister agreed.