Millions of Americans have already suffered a loss of income as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak and will have trouble paying the rent and meeting other financial obligations.
As you know, on March 22, NMHC released a voluntary set of recommended principles for apartment firms to support residents impacted by COVID-19. They include: (1) a 90-day halt to evictions for those who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, (2) a 90-day halt to rent increases; and (3) the creation of payment plans for residents who are unable to pay their rent because of the outbreak.
We are sensitive to the fact that residents hearing about eviction moratoriums on the news may mistakenly believe that they do not have to pay their rent even if they have not been financially impacted by the pandemic. We encourage members to proactively reach out to their residents in advance of the April 1st rent due date instead of taking a “wait and see” approach.
Talking Points: Concerned About Rent? Federal Assistance is Available
Help your residents understand what federal resources are available to help them manage their household budgets, including the fact that for many households, enhanced Unemployment Insurance will replace 100% or even more of their income. This includes many workers who aren’t traditionally able to access these benefits, including freelancers, independent contractors, self-employed people and much more. It also helps share the message that renters who can afford to pay their rent should to enable property owners to continue to provide safe and healthy housing for everyone while three-quarters of the population is sheltering in place.
Talking Points: Communicating Rent Flexibility
NMHC has developed talking points that property owners and managers can use to help guide discussions or communications with residents who have been impacted, including a reminder to unaffected residents that their rent is still due. Members should customize their communications with residents based on their situation and policies and consult with legal counsel for compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
Signage Template for Resident Communications
NMMHC has created a template for signage you can post on your property. We encourage you to customize the template with your specific policies, for instance if you are voluntarily halting evictions or freezing rents.
We hope you find these resources useful. As always, we welcome your feedback on these resources as well as other resources NMHC can provide to help your firm navigate COVID-19.