COVID-19 Resources for Landlords and Residents
The outbreak of COVID-19 is having a sufficient impact in communities across out state as the Governor continues to introduce new restrictions in an effect to contain the disease from spreading. As a result, many of our residents will be unable to work due to businesses across the state being required to close having an impact on their ability to pay rent. The National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM) understands this is a difficult time with uncertainty and is committed to supporting those residences who are being impacted by COVID-19 with resources and services to assist with their rent.
March 14, 2020 Seattle Mayor Durkan ordered a thirty day halt on residential evictions for non-payment of rent. Without a Federal halt on mortgages, Seattle’s halt on residential evictions harms the landlord who relies on the rental income to pay their mortgage.
I am working with local cities and legislator to create a path to provide support and services to tenants whose income and employment are being affected by COVID-19. One way forward is to open the Tenancy Preservation Fund to those residents experiencing a hardship due to COVID-19. Last year, the legislator approved $1 million dollars from the state budget and I am anticipating additional funding to be approved this week.
Last year landlords supported a new law that provides rental assistance to residence who were experiences a hardship (temporary loss of employment, etc.) and were unable to pay their past due rent, but were able to start paying rent again (new employment, etc.). These funds are made available only with a court order. The court order prevents a resident from being physical evicted. I believe this path is the best path to providing rental assistance to residence and was the unlined intent of the new law….keep resident in their homes.
Allowing residents to access to the Tenancy Preservation Fund would open the door to rental assistance for tenants by allowing their landlord to serve a notice to pay or vacate, proceed with an unlawful detainer to obtain a court order to receive funds from the Tenancy Preservation Fund. This path benefits the resident and the landlord. In additional, this continues to allow communities to renew the halt based on the needs of the community and status of the outbreak.
Further Recommendations and Reminders for Housing Providers
In addition to working with local leaders, we are encouraging our members and all housing providers to engage in early and regular outreach to their residents. Communication is key to addressing financial, health, and other hardships that can make it difficult to cover expenses like housing costs. As such, we are sharing the following reminders and recommendations for housing providers:
• Work with your residents on payment plans and agreements and be sure to put them in writing.
• Waive late fees and other administrative costs over the next 30-day period.
• Share the latest COVID-19 recommendations and updates provided by
o Washington State Department of Health
• Contact your mortgage lender about temporary mortgage relief and federal mortgage assistance to protect your credit, prevent foreclosure, and ensure your rental property remains available and on the market.
To avoid potential fair housing issues, be sure to apply all enacted company protocols to all clients. Likewise, be sure to maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) should anyone be confirmed to have COVID-19.
RENT PAYMENTS | SECURITY DEPOSITS
MID-LEASE AND ANNUAL INSPECTIONS | MAINTENANCE
Other Valuable Resources:
Washington State NARPM Lobbyist