President Trump recently signed into law the Economic Relief Package as it relates to COVID-19. This relief package addresses many different aspects of our economy, with an entire section dedicated to addressing housing.
Here’s what housing providers need to know about the COVID-19 relief package:
Tenant Help: Moratorium on Evictions
If a landlord mortgage is underwritten by the federal government (HUD, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or Rural Housing mortgage) there is now a moratorium on evictions and fees for 120 days. Even if a tenant does not pay their rent.
Landlord Help: Mortgage Forbearance
The second part of this economic relief package includes a mortgage payment forbearance. Borrowers of government-backed mortgages (meaning Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, etc.) may request and will receive up to a 360-day payment forbearance without proof of hardship required.
No additional fees, interest, or penalties can be assessed during the forbearance period. This mortgage payment forbearance not only applies to owners of single-family rental properties, but it also applies to anyone with a federally insured mortgage.
How Do I Know if I Have a Federally Backed Loan?
Not sure if the mortgage you have is federally backed? Explore the resources below.
What Do I Do Next?
If you have been impacted as a real estate owner what should you do? Call your lender. Lenders are being flexible in assisting borrowers with their payments. We have spoken to several lenders recently, and they recommend asking for a three to six-month forbearance on your loan.
A Couple More Reminders…
1. You Must Still Make Repairs - While social distancing is vital, emergent repairs must be completed. Even if your tenant cannot pay rent.
2. You Must Wait - If your tenant does not pay rent (for any reason) and if your mortgage is impacted by the moratorium you are not able to evict your tenant. Even in the event that your mortgage is not impacted by the moratorium, courts are currently closed and we are unable to file the necessary paperwork. Landlords must be flexible with us and your tenant(s) and practice patience until courts reopen.
3. You May Need to Access Reserves
Hopefully you have some reserve cash saved up for emergency situations. While no one ever wants to use their reserve funds, they exist for times like this. We recommend all owners have a reserve fund equal to three months of rent.
Maintain A Long-Term Mindset
As a real estate investor, you should know that real estate is a long-term investment plan. With this perspective in mind, we encourage you to remain calm, have patience, and do the right thing for your property and your tenant. We will work through this challenging time together.
If you have more questions about rental ownership and how it is impacted by COVID-19 please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.