Articles > Business > What Would You Do: Covering Rent For Pregnant Booth Renters
Last updated: January 19, 2018

What Would You Do: Covering Rent For Pregnant Booth Renters

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One of your booth renters shares that she’s expecting and wants to discuss her maternity leave—i.e. rent. As the salon owner, do you offer a rent-free grace period or should you expect her to pay in full while she’s away? One member of our #btcfam reached out with this question…read what she asked, then keep scrolling to see what advice the BTC community offered! 


“I manage a busy salon where most of the stylists are booth renters. I’m curious what other managers/salon owners do when a booth renter gets pregnant and takes maternity leave. It doesn’t seem fair to charge full-time rent while they are away, but does that mean the salon owner eats the cost of the empty station? Should there be a grace period where they can freely take a few months off but after that it’s time to pay up?”


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Offer A Discounted Or Rent-Free Grace Period 
“I’m a salon owner and I give my ladies 6 weeks rent-free. I also offer Aflac short-term disability that covers pregnancy. I’ve read some comparing pregnancy to taking a vacation. Having babies is a beautiful blessing that makes you realize what life is all about. I appreciate all seven of the ladies who work in my salon. I believe if you take care of them, they’ll take care of your business. A successful salon shouldn’t be so close on their profit and loss margin that they can’t give an expectant mom a few weeks off.” – Pamela Overstreet Meadows


“It is not the same as going on vacation! Subletting is a good idea if possible. I believe she should have 6 weeks off to not worry about losing her booth. Just remember how you would want to be treated. Also, keep in mind how much this stylist makes for you.” – April Davis


“Fill the chair in the meantime by asking if someone wants to rent at a month-to-month basis. Give the pregnant stylist a period of time (maybe 3 months?) and if they do not come back by then, start renting to someone else. Make sure ALL lines of communication are understood in its entirety so it cannot come back and bite you in the butt if someone gets sour that their time limit is reached.” – @j.stack_


“I give my booth renters 1 month maternity leave for free and then they have to pay after that. I think it depends on your business, how you want to run it and what kind of benefits you want to give your stylists.” – @cocorissa


“I’m a salon owner with booth renters and they each have a certain amount of time that they don’t have to pay rent. How they use it is up to them, but when it’s gone they pay full price. Otherwise it wouldn’t be fair to the others or the salon. This is one of the drawbacks of not paying a percentage to the salon, but if you are a busy stylist then it’s worth it.” – @shelby3513


“I think it depends on the owner and what they can do. It also depends on how much they value that employee. Do they pay rent on time? Do they take care of their business? If you want to keep them as a renter, I say come to terms with something you both can do. Perhaps half or some other discount.” – Kim Cotter Johnson


“If she’s good for your brand, strike up a deal. A lot of commenters seem to forget the reputation of the salon as a whole could be affected. If she does great work and that reflects in your reviews online, I would try to strike up a 50 percent deal or something. You’ll have a grateful renter that likely won’t forget it.” – Bren Whyte


“We give our ladies 6 weeks free of rent for maternity leave. We are a salon family, not just a bunch of workers and we all try to take care of each other. When others have had emergencies, of course we give them some time off and we also all pitch in to help them. Taking good care of your salon family will inspire loyalty and bring you closer together!” – @deanallynsalon



Whether Pregnant, Sick Or On Vacation, Rent Is Always Due
“I own a booth renting salon, and I’ve gone back and forth on this for a while. But I’ve landed on the fact that they pay. It’s part of the decision to be self-employed. Your booth rent is a monthly bill—do you get a discount on your car payment or mortgage when you have a baby? No. You have a business to run here and although we love our stylists, business is business!” – Elyse Hearns


“I’m the manager at my salon and on my second surgery…I pay a month at a time for a small discount—always have since starting. My owner gives us 1 week of vacation a year to not pay rent. While it’d be fabulous to not have to pay, it’s very unrealistic. My owner has the same expenses with or without me there so I expect to pay. It’s in my contract and just a given as a booth renter. It’s no different than paying apartment rent, daycare, a broken down car, etc. It is what it is. And yes, I also have three children, three grandchildren, a husband and bills.” – @tracygraystylist


“Stylists should still pay. If you went on vacation for 2 weeks and weren’t at home, you would still have to pay your full rent and utilities. I went on maternity leave for 6 weeks and just had the extra money saved. Not fair to the salon to cover your rent.” – Karli Clarke


“Paying rent at your chair is like paying rent at an apartment. A lease is a lease. Your landlord doesn’t give you free rent when you’re on a week-long vacation, right? So plan and budget accordingly when taking maternity leave. Unfortunately being a hairdresser, you don’t get the benefits that larger companies get when it comes to taking leave.” – @hairbykatied


“It’s a business. No different than signing a lease anywhere else. You don’t get out of paying your lease for any other medical surgeries. If something unexpected happened to you and you can’t pay, the owners will let you pay extra to catch up after. It is a commitment to be a booth renter. What if someone wanted to have a bunch of children like the Dugger family? How would that be fair to the owner or other booth renters if they kept getting free rent after each child?” – @dmathews71


“They should always pay because salon owners don’t get a discount on bills and rent just because a stylist had a baby. But I always told my girls to start paying a little more each week to have a month paid ahead when they went on leave.” – Michael Danielle Rima


“Equality is really important when you own a company…What you offer to one, you should offer to all people regardless of gender or life choices/life interruptions. An example of an offer that looks more equal: I offer 4 weeks of free rent to every stylist upon being hired. Use it or save it. If you are leasing, you own your own business and you will need to plan accordingly. I suggest always having a savings to cover your entire bills for 3 to 6 months. You could get pregnant, hit by a car, have to take care of a dying family member—who knows! My point is that your place of business could go out of business for making wild exceptions financially to try and save everyone that works there.” – @sarahadamshair



Here’s What Booth Renters Who’ve Been In This Situation Had To Say…
“Both places I rented from gave me up to 12 weeks rent-free maternity leave. While I don’t believe they have to, I do believe it’s the right thing to do. Less time would definitely be understandable though. I have worked in fully staffed salons that could afford it…Big companies do it because it’s the right thing also. If you don’t, that’s your karma. Treat people well and they will reciprocate that. I completely appreciated that time and will always be grateful.” – @br00k3rs


“OK, there are laws and then there is humanity. If the stylist has been good for the salon, try to give her a break without breaking yourself. As a booth renter, I have been freaking out about how I am going to handle maternity leave. A little help, even a month free or half price for a few months, would help. Booth renters would like to be with their infants, too.” – @gen_eeee


“I work at a booth rent salon and the owner charges at a discounted rate for 6 weeks for maternity leave. One of our salon sisters had a baby last year, and as a salon we all pitched in to cover her 6 weeks as her baby shower gift. She was so relieved to know that it was covered.” – Kim Robinson


“We have 20 booth renters at our salon. Most of us start paying extra on our rent as soon as we know we are pregnant to cover us when we are off. I feel the owners of our salon are super nice and it didn’t feel unfair to me at all. I was told upfront when I was hired, so I planned for it.” – @dmathews71


“My salon owners charge full rent while off on maternity. I even had a rent increase while I was off—would have been nice to get a break.” – @cherise32


“I still have to pay my mortgage, car payments, etc. whether I’m in the hospital, on vacation or had a baby. Same goes for your booth rent at the salon. If you still want it, then you still pay. It’s just the practical realities. You have time to plan and save accordingly. It’s just part of having your own business.” – @nicolewith3


“That’s one of the few downsides of renting. I’m in that situation currently and fully expect to pay my full rent. We are a top rated salon with a waiting list for stylists who want to work here. Why should I expect the salon to eat it when they can have that chair filled within the week? In the end, it’s a write off and will hopefully reflect in my tax return next year. You just have to save up to prepare.” – Rachel Victoria


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