Frequently Asked Questions
(And Answers)

These FAQs are meant to answer general questions for consumers and industry stakeholders who are directly impacted by COVID-19.

National Association of REALTORS®: “The December COVID-relief package included $25 billion for rental assistance. The monies will be allocated to states through the Department of Treasury. State allocations will be based on population, no state will receive less than $200 million. The language allows landlords to apply for funds on behalf of tenants (but requires the tenant to sign the application form). Rental payments may include rent in arrears as well as utilities and other expenses related to housing.”

Experian: “It might be appealing to collect rewards or preserve cash by paying rent with a credit card, but it might be a bad idea. Here are three reasons:

(1) A processing fee of around 2.5% to 2.9% might be added to your monthly rent payment when you pay with a credit card. This could add to your financial burden or wipe out any credit card rewards you receive.

(2) Your credit utilization ratio could go up, which then can harm your credit score. This ratio shows how much of your available credit you’re using. The lower your ratio, the better, but it’s smart to keep the overall utilization ratio and the ratio on each card below 30%. Going above that percentage could really start to hurt your credit scores. Your credit utilization ratio is an important factor in your scores, second only to your payment history with most scoring models.

(3) You might max out a credit card, which would prevent you from using it for other purchases, and—as stated above—have big credit score consequences.”

Source | Experian

Experian: “Many people pay rent with a credit card because they want to earn travel, cash back or other credit card rewards. Cash back rewards range from 1% to 3%. So, if you pay $1,400 in rent, you could earn $14 to $42 in cash back if you put that monthly payment on your credit card. Depending on the fees your landlord charges, however, rewards may not be enough to justify paying with your card.

Paying rent with a credit card could also help you build credit as some services, including RentTrack, will report your on-time rent payments to the three major credit bureaus. On-time rent payments aren’t typically reported to credit bureaus, and their presence could help you build a positive history and lift your credit scores. 

Some renters might want to put rent on a credit card to take advantage of the card’s sign-up bonus. Let’s say you’re approved for a card that gives you a $250 bonus if you spend $5,000 on the card within your first three months with the card. You could go a long way toward scoring that bonus if you put $1,400 a month in rent payments on that card over the three-month bonus period (a total of $4,200). Just be sure to pay down this balance immediately so it doesn’t tank your credit utilization, which is a big factor in your credit scores.

Still other renters might be strapped for cash—as we’ve seen a lot during the pandemic—and must depend on a credit card to pay rent. This can preserve cash for other expenses, but it could turn into a bad habit if you let your credit card balance roll over from one month to the next. That’s because interest will continue to be assessed as long as you maintain a balance. If you’ve already done everything you can to reduce expenses and increase your income, paying your rent with a credit card could be a good option to prevent missed payments and eviction. 

Putting your rent on a credit card also might let you avoid taking out a payday loan. Taking into account the sky-high fees, the effective APR (annual percentage rate) on a short-term payday loan can exceed 1,000%. By comparison, the typical APR on a credit card was roughly 16.5% in August 2020.”

Source | Experian

Experian: “Many landlords refuse to accept credit cards as a method of paying rent. But if you make monthly rent payments to a big property management company or use a third-party service, you might be able to do it. 

Putting your rent payment on a credit card often results in an extra fee, however. For instance, the New York City Housing Authority lets tenants pay rent with a Visa or Mastercard credit card, but it imposes a convenience fee of 2.25%.

Why does paying rent by credit card result in fees being charged? Anytime a credit card transaction is made, the merchant must pay a processing fee. In many cases, merchants protect their profits by making you pay a little more.

A landlord normally requires you to pay a credit card processing fee on top of your rent and any other fees. The processing fee typically ranges from 2.5% to 2.9%. So, if you pay $1,400 a month for rent and the processing fee is 2.5%, an extra $35 will be tacked onto the payment. Over a year’s time, those fees would add up to $420, which represents about 30% of a single month’s rent payment.

If your landlord doesn’t accept credit card payments, you might be able to pay with a credit card through an online service like Plastiq, RadPad or RentTrack. These services could help you build credit and avoid late payments, but they’ll charge a fee to convert your credit card payment into a payment to the landlord. The fee is 2.85% for Plastiq, 2.99% for RadPad and 2.95% for RentTrack.

If you don’t want to put your rent on a credit card, your landlord likely offers other payment methods. They include:

  • Check (personal, certified or cashier’s)
  • Automated ACH payment from a bank account
  • Cash
  • Money order
  • Payment apps like Venmo, Zelle, Apple Pay, PayPal and Square”
Source | Experian

MarketWatch: “How courts handle eviction cases varies from state to state, but legal experts stressed that tenants must make every effort to appear on the court date they are assigned.

“Some states have adopted rules that require landlords to disclose whether a CDC declaration has been received,” said Eric Dunn, director of litigation at the National Housing Law Project. “But for the most part, if the tenant doesn’t appear and inform the court that they presented a declaration, the court won’t be aware of that and will likely enter a default judgment against the tenant.”

Because there is no specified deadline by which a renter must make their declaration to their landlord, the renter could even theoretically present it in court and be protected from eviction, Dunn argued, though that final decision would be a judge’s to make.

Beforehand, tenants should retain a lawyer to argue on their behalf in court or ask a judge to appoint counsel for them. Many legal aid groups across the country offer pro-bono services to renters in matters like these. 

A lawyer will advise renters of what documentation they need, especially if they expect their landlords will challenge the truthfulness of their attestation under the CDC moratorium.

“Renters should gather as much proof as they can of all the eligibility requirements in the declarative statement,” Yentel said. This can include anything from pay stubs to unemployment paperwork to emails showing they sought out rental assistance.

Renters should also make sure they have access to an internet connection and video conferencing software like Zoom, because many courts are holding eviction cases virtually amid the pandemic.”

Source | MarketWatch

MarketWatch: “Because renters need to be proactive to receive protection under the moratorium, those who don’t do so can still face eviction. Since the moratorium was first announced in early September, the country has seen nearly 9,500 eviction filings by private-equity firms and other corporate landlords, according to data from the Private Equity Stakeholder Project. These represent filings in just five states: Arizona, Texas, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida.

And the number has trended up recently — in the week ending Oct. 16 there were nearly 2,000 eviction cases filed, which was nearly double the number from the previous two weeks.

New guidance from the Trump administration suggests that even tenants who fill out the required affidavit could be taken to court by their landlord. 

The Trump administration issued a “Frequently Asked Questions” document about the national eviction moratorium, outlining tenants’ and landlords’ rights under the order. The document notes that landlords aren’t required to make their tenants aware of the moratorium.

It also states that the eviction ban “does not preclude a landlord from challenging the truthfulness of a tenant’s declaration in any state or municipal court.” The document also stated that the moratorium does not prevent landlords from starting eviction proceedings so long as the eviction does not occur before the end of the year.

“The FAQ unfortunately puts more power back in the hands of landlords,” said Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. “It creates new burdens for renters and new holes in their protections from eviction.”

As a result, renters in such a scenario could face additional challenges, some of which could have long-term impacts. Eviction filings can make it harder for renters to secure safe and affordable housing in the future, Yentel said. Moreover, landlords can use the threat of taking their tenants to court as a scare tactic.

“Sometimes renters will leave an apartment because eviction seems inevitable and they want to avoid that harm on their record,” Yentel said.

Source | MarketWatch

CDC: “The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has coronavirus-related resources for renters available on its website

In addition, there are state and local resources available for renters and landlords. HUD has allocated and made available $4 billion in Emergency Solutions Grants and $5 billion in Community Development Block Grants, including $2 billion in grants focusing on areas with increased eviction risk. State and local authorities are able to use these funds for rental assistance. Tenants and landlords are encouraged to connect with local and state authorities to find out how to access these funds. Contact information for many of these authorities can be found on the HUD website

HUD has also released guidance on rent repayment plans for tenants and landlords, though that guidance is not specific to requesting protection from eviction under this order. 

In addition, the HHS Administration for Children and Families administers the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program. The CSBG funds States, territories, tribes, and local nonprofit Community Action Agencies (CAAs) that provide a variety of services for low-income families and individuals. Based on needs identified within the community, CSBG funds flexible support that territories, tribes, CAAs and other eligible entities can use to meet the unique needs of children, youth, and families, including housing-related needs. To access these resources, individuals and families may wish to contact their state and local authorities at:

  • https://communityactionpartnership.com/find-a-cap/
  • https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ocs/resource/state-officials-and-program-contacts”
Source | CDC

CDC: “The Order applies only in states (including the District of Columbia), localities, territories, or tribal areas that do not have in place a moratorium on residential evictions that provides the same or greater level of public-health protection than the CDC’s Order. Relevant courts deciding these matters should make the decision about whether a state order or legislation provides the same or greater level of public health protection. The Order does not apply in American Samoa, which has reported no cases of COVID- 19. Should COVID-19 cases be reported in American Samoa, the Order would then be applicable to American Samoa. 

CDC is aware of the following websites for more information on state-by-state eviction moratoriums: 

CDC is providing these links for your awareness only. CDC has not evaluated and does not endorse these websites.”

 

Source | CDC

CDC: “The effective date of the CDC Order is September 4, 2020. That means that any evictions for nonpayment of rent that may have been initiated prior to September 4, 2020, but have yet to be completed, will be subject to the Order. Any tenant who qualifies as a “Covered Person” and is still present in a rental unit is entitled to protections under the Order. Any eviction that occurred prior to September 4, 2020 is not subject to the Order.” 

Source | CDC

CDC: “Yes. CDC has issued a declaration form that is compliant with the Order. CDC recommends that eligible persons use this declaration form. The declaration form is available here.

Individuals are not obligated to use the CDC form. Any written document that an eligible individual presents to their landlord will comply with the Order, as long as it contains the same information as the CDC declaration form.

All declarations, regardless of the form used, must be signed, and must include a statement that the covered person understands that they could be liable for perjury for any false or misleading statements or omissions in the declaration. 

In addition, people are allowed to use a form translated into other languages. Even though declarations with other languages may satisfy the requirement that a covered person must submit a declaration, CDC cannot guarantee that they in fact do satisfy the requirement. However, declarations in languages other than English are compliant if they contain the information required to be in a declaration, are signed, and include a statement that the covered person understands that they could be liable for perjury for any false or misleading statements or omissions in the declaration. 

To seek the protections of the Order, each adult listed on the lease, rental agreement, or housing contract should complete and sign a declaration and provide it to the landlord where they live. Individuals should not submit completed and signed declarations to the CDC or any other federal agency. In certain circumstances, such as individuals filing a joint tax return, it may be appropriate for one member of the residence to provide an executed declaration on behalf of other adult residents party to the lease, rental agreement, or housing contract at issue.” 

Source | CDC

CDC: “’Eviction’ means any action by a landlord, owner of a residential property, or other person with a legal right to pursue eviction or a possessory action, to remove or cause the removal of a covered person from a residential property. State and local laws with respect to tenant-landlord relations vary, as do the eviction processes used to implement those laws. The judicial process will be carried out according to state and local laws and rules. Eviction does not include foreclosure on a home mortgage. 

As indicated in the Order, courts should take into account the Order’s instruction not to evict a covered person from rental properties where the Order applies. The Order is not intended to terminate or suspend the operations of any state or local court. Nor is it intended to prevent landlords from starting eviction proceedings, provided that the actual eviction of a covered person for non-payment of rent does NOT take place during the period of the Order. State and local courts may take judicial notice of the CDC Order, and the associated criminal penalties that may be imposed for non-compliance in making a formal judgment about any pending or future eviction action filed while this Order remains in effect.”

Source | CDC

HUD: “HUD has not waived the requirement in 24 CFR 960.253 that says the family may not be offered a choice of rent more than once a year. However, 24 CFR 960.253(g)(1) states that a family paying “flat rent may at any time request a switch to payment of income-based rent (before the next annual option to select the type of rent) if the family is unable to pay flat rent because of financial hardship.” If the PHA determines that the family is unable to pay the flat rent because of financial hardship, the PHA must immediately allow the requested switch to income-based rent pursuant to 24 CFR 960.253(g)(2). 

If the family reports that their income increased after they switched to income-based rent, the PHA is not required to conduct a reexamination immediately to increase their rent. Pursuant to 24 CFR 960.257(a)(1), a PHA must conduct a reexamination of a family paying income-based rent at least annually. However, if a PHA ACOP requires a reexamination to occur immediately upon a family’s income increase and the PHA does not want to increase the rents for these families, a PHA could revise its policies to allow the family to stay at their current rent until the next annual reexamination.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “Since this is not counted as part of the family’s adjusted income it would not be included in the calculation for these purposes. Under 24 CFR 982.305(a), the PHA may not give approval for the family of the assisted tenancy, or execute a HAP contract, until the PHA has determined that all listed program requirements have been met, including 982.305(a)(5), that the family share does not exceed 40 percent of the family’s monthly adjusted income.”

Source | HUD

Berkeley Law: “[In California] AB 3088 prevents unlawful detainers from being filed if nonpayment is at least one of the causes of action until Oct. 5, 2020. 

AB 3088 stops “no-cause” evictions until February 1, 2021, meaning that landlords cannot evict you unless they have “just cause” as defined by the statute, including nonpayment of rent.”

Source | Berkeley Law

National Association of REALTORS®: “In addition to the eviction moratorium in the CARES Act, Many other state and local governments have adopted various types of eviction moratoriums or other measures to slow or prevent tenant evictions. Housing providers need to be familiar with any such state or local anti-eviction provisions to avoid violating the law and complicating evictions later. Also, in addition to eviction moratoriums adopted by federal, state, and local governments, many state courts have adopted restrictions on judicial proceedings, including eviction actions. That means that even when eviction moratoriums have ended, it may be very difficult to initiate eviction filings and schedule court proceedings to complete the eviction process.”

National Association of REALTORS®: “There is no timeframe specified in the notice. The declaration/attestation is simply provided to the landlord before the tenant has been evicted. There is no waiting period or time requirement provided by the Notice. There is a form provided in the Notice, but the tenant is not required to utilize that form. They can supply the declaration in any written form they prefer.”

National Association of REALTORS®: “No: The moratorium prohibits housing providers from evicting, but does not forgive the rent that is due. In fact, for tenants who have attested and received the eviction moratorium, a property owner or agent may charge penalties, late fees and interest, per the lease.”

National Association of REALTORS®: “The moratorium began on September 4, 2020. After that date,  a housing provider may not evict for failure to pay, any tenant who submits a signed attestation, per the Notice through January 31, 2021.”

New York Times: “It takes effect as soon as it is published in the Federal Register. The order says that will happen on Sept. 4. The order applies through Dec. 31, and it’s possible that it could be extended.”

Source | New York Times

New York Times: “No. The order specifically excludes hotels and motels.”

Source | New York Times

New York Times: “Seek counsel. You can search for a low- or no-cost legal assistance office near you via the Legal Services Corporation’s online map. Just Shelter, a tenant advocacy group, also offers information on local organizations that can help renters.

A lawyer can also help if a landlord tries a different approach. For instance, a landlord might try to sue in small claims court over partial payments, without filing an eviction notice that might be illegal under the order, Mr. Dunn said.”

Source | New York Times

New York Times: “No. Aside from the income caps, your local rules may apply instead. If you’re in a state, territory or tribal area that already has a moratorium in place that provides the same or better level of protection, then that more local action will take its place. Local jurisdictions are also still free to impose stronger restrictions than the federal order. California’s moratorium goes through the end of January, for example.

The federal moratorium doesn’t apply in American Samoa, though it will if it reports its first coronavirus cases.”

Source | New York Times

New York Times: “Yes, according to administration officials.”

Source | New York Times

New York Times: “You might. The order specifically mentions this possibility. And the National Rental Home Council, a trade group for landlords who own single-family properties, said in a statement Wednesday that “once the moratorium expires, renters will owe back rent for several months.”

Source | New York Times

New York Times: “The order does not prevent landlords from charging fees, penalties or interest “under the terms of any applicable contract.” Nor does it place any restrictions on how high they can go. Check your lease to see if there is any mention of such charges.”

Source | New York Times

New York Times: “Yes. All the usual rules about criminal behavior or disruptions or destruction of property still apply. And it’s possible that a landlord will look hard for some other reason to start the eviction process, so it’s wise to follow every term of the lease, as well as any other building or property rule.

Amy Woolard, a lawyer and policy coordinator for the Legal Aid Justice Center in Charlottesville, Va., warned of one issue that she and her colleagues frequently see cited in eviction cases: people not on the lease who are living at the property. This could be an issue if you’re hosting guests — like a family member who has already been evicted elsewhere.”

Source | New York Times

New York Times: “Keep paying as much as you can. Otherwise, you risk failing the eligibility test, which says you should be trying to make partial payments to the best of your ability.”

Source | New York Times

New York Times: “Email, send or hand them to the landlord in a way that allows you to get proof that the landlord received them. That way, there will be no question as to whether you did what you were supposed to do. Make sure you keep a copy for yourself.”

Source | New York Times

New York Times: “The order does not deal with roommates directly, but the officials clarified that the income cap was $99,000 per roommate. As for who should pay what if just one person can’t pay in full, the specifics may depend on the terms of the lease, any written agreement between you and your roommate, and applicable state or local law.

Eric Dunn, director of litigation for the National Housing Law Project, said it was possible that housing court judges would interpret the order expansively in this context. For example, consider a scenario where one roommate would become homeless if evicted but the other could move in with parents in an uncrowded home. In that instance, he said, the second roommate could not truthfully sign the declaration.”

Source | New York Times

New York Times: “The order says every adult who is on the lease should draft and sign a separate declaration.”

Source | New York Times

New York Times: “You can use the declaration form that the C.D.C. published on its website.

Soon after the order appeared, the Legal Innovation and Technology lab at Suffolk University Law School created an interactive tool that can help people determine if they are eligible. It can also generate a declaration to give to a landlord.”

Source | New York Times

New York Times: “Landlords who disagree with renters’ self-assessments could try to evict nonpaying tenants by arguing that they are not a “covered person” within the order’s scope and dare them to fight back legally. Then it could be up to a housing court judge to decide if a renter is eligible or if the landlord can, in fact, evict.”

Source | New York Times

New York Times: “You must meet a five-pronged test.

  1. You need to have used your “best efforts” to obtain any and all forms of government rental assistance.
  2. You can’t “expect” to earn more than $99,000 in 2020, or $198,000 if you’re married and filing a joint tax return. If you don’t qualify that way, you could still be eligible if you did not need to report any income at all to the federal government in 2019 or if you received a stimulus check this year.
  3. You must be experiencing a “substantial” loss of household income, a layoff or “extraordinary” out-of-pocket medical expenses (which the order defines as any unreimbursed expense likely to exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income this year).
  4. You have to be making your best efforts to make “timely” partial payments that are as close to the full amount due as “circumstances may permit,” taking into account other nondiscretionary expenses.
  5. Eviction would “likely” lead to either homelessness or your having to move to a place that was more expensive or where you could get sick from being close to others.”
Source | New York Times

National Association of REALTORS®: “The moratorium ended on July 25, 2020. At that point, a housing provider may initiate eviction proceedings. However, the CARES Act says that a housing provider cannot require a tenant to vacate a unit for 30 days after providing a notice to vacate a unit. So, if a housing provider gives a notice to vacate on July 25 (a Saturday), the earliest date a tenant can be evicted is Monday, August 24, 2020.”

HUD: “To provide relief for Multifamily property owners, HUD has extended the audited financial reporting deadlines until September 30, 2020. This waiver is limited to entities which are required to submit the referenced annual financial information on or before June 30, 2020. Consequently, entities required to submit financial information on or before June 30, 2020 are now required to submit their financial information no later than September 30, 2020, and as otherwise provided by law. Projects with annual financial due dates after June 30, 2020, are still required to submit the financial information within 90 days of the owner’s fiscal year end date. 

Note that this waiver does not apply to submissions of financial information that were delinquent as of March 20, 2020.”

 

Source | HUD

National Association of REALTORS®: “Yes, a landlord may refer tenants with overdue rent to a collection agency, being mindful that eviction still requires the 30-day notice with respect to rents that accrued prior to July 25th.”

 

Wall Street Journal: “An executive order signed by the president Saturday directs the Treasury and Housing and Urban Development departments to identify funds to provide temporary financial assistance to renters and homeowners who are struggling to meet their monthly rental or mortgage obligations during the pandemic. The order also directs HUD to take action to “promote the ability of renters and homeowners to avoid eviction or foreclosure.”

Regulators could potentially instruct the government-sponsored mortgage corporations Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to offer landlords forbearance on their monthly mortgage payments if their tenants can’t pay rent, assuming they don’t evict the tenants. But Fannie and Freddie are overseen by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which is independent.

The order directs the FHFA to “review all existing authorities and resources that may be used to prevent evictions and foreclosures for renters and homeowners.”

Other government housing agencies such as the Federal Housing Administration fall under the president’s umbrella, but they technically can’t spend money that isn’t given to them by Congress.”

Washington Post: President Trump’s “latest executive order does not ban evictions. Instead, Trump calls for Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield to “consider” whether an eviction ban is needed.

Trump also didn’t provide any more money to help renters. The executive order calls only for Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson to see if they can find any more funds to help out. It doesn’t promise more aid.”

Wall Street Journal: “It doesn’t reauthorize the eviction moratorium set in the Cares Act that expired at the end of July. That applied only to properties with government-backed mortgages, covering just one-third of renters.”

 

Washington Post: It’s unclear whether Congress will step in to offer more help to renters.

Some Democrats have called for a $100 billion national rental-assistance program and Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) has unveiled a sweeping housing plan that would ban evictions and foreclosures for a year, while giving tenants up to 18 months to pay back missed payments. But neither idea has gained traction with Senate Republicans.

Housing advocates say they are hopeful, arguing it is the only way to avoid a major crisis in the rental market. Either Congress gets ahead of the problem and establishes a rental assistance program now or waits until an emergency emerges, said Dworkin of the National Housing Conference. If Congress waits, he said, the resulting crisis could cause widespread devastation to communities throughout the country.”

 

Source | Washington Post

Washington Post: Eviction laws are complicated and can differ by state, city and courthouse. For renters unfamiliar with the process, finding an attorney could be helpful. 

A legal aid attorney may be able to help a renter determine whether the landlord is violating any federal programs. For example, the Federal Housing Finance Agency granted additional relief for property owners with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, allowing them to temporarily skip some payments. 

Those landlords were barred from filing eviction complaints or charging late fees while receiving that help. But it may be difficult for a renter to determine what protections should cover them without legal help, housing advocates say.

Many legal-aid attorneys work pro bono or for a small fee and can be found on LawHelp.org or through a local housing rights group.”

Source | Washington Post

Washington Post: “Yes, the moratorium prevents landlords from evicting tenants, but the rent continues to accumulate. However, depending on the type of moratorium, landlords may be prevented from charging late fees or other penalties to delinquent renters.

Some states and cities have set up local rental-assistance programs to help tenants cover their missed payments. Austin, for example, distributed $1.2 million in an emergency rental relief fund in May, helping about 1,600 of the 11,000 who applied. In July, it announced another $17 million program.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition is tracking local rental-assistance programs here.”

Source | Washington Post

Washington Post: “Yes, eviction court hearings are still going on in pockets of the country. In some cases, judges are allowing renters and landlords to attend hearings by phone or video conferencing. Others are holding in-person hearings and attempting to maintain social distancing within the courtrooms.

“If you have a notice to appear, pay attention” and read all the court paperwork carefully, said Roller of the National Housing Law Project. If a tenant does not appear for a scheduled hearing, the judge can grant a default order against them, allowing the landlord to move forward with the eviction, he said.

Many renters leave their homes as soon as they receive an eviction notice, but that may not be necessary, housing advocates say. There is a huge backlog of cases across the country that could take months to get through, they say.”

 

Source | Washington Post

Washington Post: “It depends. Congress passed a national moratorium that has shielded about one-third of renters from eviction since late March. The renters protected under this moratorium live in buildings or homes with a mortgage that has some form of government backing.

That moratorium expires Friday, but renters still have a little time. Once the ban ends, landlords are required to give renters 30 days’ notice before filing an eviction complaint in court. That means the eviction paperwork won’t be filed until late August.

Some renters are also covered by a patchwork of state and local eviction bans that don’t end until August or September. Renters should contact local housing groups and tenant rights organizations to determine whether they are covered by a local moratorium.

Princeton University’s Eviction Lab maintains a Covid-19 Housing Policy Scorecard that includes some information about local moratoriums. 

The Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have also set up websites with resources for renters.

 

Source | Washington Post

CityLab: “Renters who live in a property backed by the federal government cannot be evicted for the time being. This eviction moratorium applies to a vast web of mortgages financed, insured or securitized by federal agencies (such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) as well as homes subsidized through federal aid programs (like Section 8).

For tenants in apartment buildings, there are a few tools available to figure out whether the eviction moratorium applies where they live. On May 4, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac both launched look-up tools: Renters can enter their building name and address to find out whether the property is federally backed. The National Low Income Housing Coalition put out a similar tool in April.

However, these tools won’t help the tens of millions of renters who live in single-family homes. The Federal Housing Finance Agency is working on that tool, but for now, renters in single-family homes, condos, and small apartment buildings will need to talk to their landlords to find out whether their units are covered by the eviction moratorium laid out by the CARES Act.”

Source | CityLab

CityLab: “Maybe! But before you ask, you might want to remember that many landlords report spending more on maintenance costs, hiring cleaners ‘round the clock to scrub mailrooms and common spaces. Rent abatements are subject to normal lease rules. Rent increases are frozen in a few cities and states for now.”

Source | CityLab

Realtor.com: “While it varies by state, in most cases, the coronavirus has not affected long-term rental prices, says Sheryl Jenks, licensed real estate salesperson for Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Sayville, NY.

She says short-term rental demand increased significantly due to people from city centers seeking more space and outdoor areas to shelter in place.”

 

Source | Realtor.com

Realtor.com: “Relocating during a pandemic may not seem like the best timing, but if you must, it is doable.

“With proper safety precautions and the use of online tools to assist in the process, there isn’t any reason why delaying would be necessary,” says Stinson. “Unless, of course, there are restrictions in a renter’s area.”

Hardeman says it should be a personal decision after weighing the pros and cons involved with relocating during a pandemic.”

 

Source | Realtor.com

Realtor.com: “Renting a home sight unseen is not a new concept, but it’s not ideal. Thankfully, there are a variety of workarounds online that will give you a realistic feel for the rental.

Tools such as photos, online tours, and virtual walk-throughs on FaceTime or Zoom are the next best option to actually touring the property and will give you a sense of the layout and amenities.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions. Stinson says the best way to learn about a property is to develop a relationship with your future landlord.

She says future tenants could also ask to speak with a current or past resident to determine if the home is a good fit for them. If possible, she recommends driving by the location to get a feel for the neighborhood.”

Source | Realtor.com

Realtor.com: “Physically walking through a home or apartment to view it is riskier now more than ever, but it is still possible—with some precautions.

“With proper social distancing, masks, and hand sanitizing, having an in-person showing can still be a safe option,” says Sarah Stinson, a spokesperson for Turbo Tenant.

‘In-person apartment tours are allowed now, but with occupancy restrictions,’ says Pisani. ‘We are not conducting open houses or showings en masse for the foreseeable future.’”

 

Source | Realtor.com

HUD: “Rent is still due during this time period and will accumulate if unpaid.”

Freddie Mac: “Rent payments are still due during any temporary moratorium on eviction filings.”

Source | HUD
Source | Freddie Mac

Freddie Mac: “If you are experiencing financial difficulty, reach out to your landlord or property manager to discuss your situation.

If you are struggling to pay your rent, you can also contact the Freddie Mac Renter Helpline at 800-404-3097.”

Fannie Mae: “If you’re a renter in an apartment or other multifamily housing with 5 or more units, use our Renters Resource Finder to see if you have access to our Disaster Response Network or other helpful resources for working with your landlord to address your financial situation.”

HUD: “Talk to your landlord right away about a possible rent reduction if you’ve had a loss of income. 

If you receive HUD-funded rental assistance and have had a decrease in income, arrange an income recertification with your property management as soon as possible: you may be entitled to a prompt rent reduction or a hardship exemption effective the first month following the income loss. Federal stimulus payments are NOT included in your income calculation. Property management may also know about other local resources. 

If you are a tenant at an FHA-insured property, you should contact your landlord immediately if you expect that you may have difficulty paying your rent. Reach out early to discuss potential payment plans or accommodations. You may be eligible for assistance through a state or local program, or your landlord may know of other resources.”

“Voucher and public housing participants: If you lost your job or had a significant loss of income, request an interim reexamination with the housing authority as soon as possible. Your rent can be adjusted to reflect the change in income or you may be eligible for a financial hardship exemption. Your housing authority may also know about other local resources. 

Voucher participants only: Contact your landlord right away. Reach out early to discuss potential payment plans or accommodations. Due to loss in income and the resulting interim reexamination, your rent adjustment may be retroactive. Confirm with the PHA and your landlord whether you will receive a credit for the previous month.” 

Source | Fannie Mae
Source | Freddie Mac
Source | HUD
Source | HUD

National Low Income Housing Coalition:” The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) has created a searchable database and map of multifamily properties covered under the federal moratoriums to help renters know if they are protected.”

HUD: “You can find maps with information” on “HUD Assisted or FHA-insured Multifamily property covered by CARES Act eviction moratorium,” here: 

  • “HUD Multifamily – Assisted Properties: https://hudgis-hud.opendata.arcgis.com/datasets/multifamily-properties-assisted
  • FHA-insured Multifamily Properties: https://hudgis-hud.opendata.arcgis.com/datasets/hud- insured-multifamily-properties”

 Freddie Mac: “In exchange for loan forbearance, apartment building owners must agree to not evict tenants who are themselves adversely affected by COVID-19, whether due to illness, caring for a family member, job loss, reduced hours, or temporary unpaid leave, etc. This policy will last for the 90-day duration of the forbearance period.

The best way for a renter to know if they are eligible for relief is to ask their landlord or management company if they are participating in the Freddie Mac Multifamily COVID-19 Relief Program.”

Source | Freddie Mac

A: Fannie Mae: “Fannie Mae’s Disaster Response Network offers free help with the broader financial challenges caused by COVID-19. Its HUD-approved housing counselors can create a personalized action plan, offer financial coaching and budgeting, and support your ongoing success for up to 18 months. Whether you’re struggling to pay your rent or your mortgage, call today—you’re not alone.”

Source | Fannie Mae

National Housing Law Project: The federal eviction moratorium took effect on March 27, 2020 and extends for 120 days. See Sec. 4024(b). Landlords that receive forbearances of federally backed multifamily mortgage loans must respect identical renter protections for the duration of the forbearance. See Sec. 4023(d)

HUD: “FHA announced it is extending the foreclosure and eviction moratorium for single family FHA-insured mortgages for an additional two months, through February 28, 2021.” 

Source | HUD

National Housing Law Project: “The eviction moratorium operates by restricting lessors of covered properties (discussed in more detail below) from filing new eviction actions for non-payment of rent, and also prohibits “charg[ing] fees, penalties, or other charges to the tenant related to such nonpayment of rent.” Sec. 4024(b). The federal moratorium also provides that a lessor (of a covered property) may not evict a tenant after the moratorium expires except on 30 days’ notice—which may not be given until after the moratorium period. See Sec. 4024(c). The federal eviction moratorium does not affect cases: a) that were filed before the moratorium took effect or that are filed after it sunsets b) that involve non-covered tenancies (see below), or c) where the eviction is based on another reason besides nonpayment of rent or nonpayment of other fees or charges. The moratorium does not explicitly state whether evictions “for nonpayment of rent or other fees or charges” includes evictions motivated by a tenant’s nonpayment of rent (or other fees or charges) but formally based on a “no-cause” lease termination notice or refusal to renew a term tenancy. Sec. 4024(b)(1). However, advocates should assert that the moratorium bars the filing of any eviction case that is motivated (wholly or in part) by a tenant’s nonpayment of rent or other fees or charges, whether or not the action is formally based on such non-payment. Allowing landlords to skirt the moratorium by using “no cause” eviction cases for delinquent rent or fees would frustrate the purpose of the statute. And, such a reading would lead to an absurd result, because a landlord could more quickly and easily evict a tenant without cause during the moratorium period than after the moratorium expires (at which point a 30-day notice would be required). 2 For cases that are not barred (or not clearly barred) by the federal moratorium, advocates should next check to see whether any state or local eviction moratorium protects the client. Advocates should also check to see if any state or local moratorium provides more expansive protections than provided by the federal moratorium.”

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