As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on our everyday lives, both landlords and tenants are being hit hard. Tenants who have been laid off cannot afford to pay rent, leaving landlords unable to pay their bills due to the lack of rental income.
Renters who recently lost their jobs or experienced a significant loss in wages are not only worrying about how they’ll pay bills but if they’ll be evicted due to their inability to pay rent during this difficult time. The first thing that renters should do is check their rental agreement to see if their landlord has any type of policy that would cover what is to be expected from them during a crisis.
However, if a clause that protects renters during a crisis does not exist in the rental agreement, The CARES Act includes a ‘no-eviction’ order on federally backed housing, meaning that you cannot be evicted for circumstances caused by COVID-19.
But be mindful, this mandate is only temporary as it went into effect on March 27th and will last for 120 days. However, some landlords are still giving their tenants eviction notices, forcing hundreds of thousands of people out of their homes. This is particularly problematic as it will only cause the spread of COVID-19 to accelerate.
With over 8 million individual landlords throughout the United States housing over 48 million tenants, there are many people left without a source of income as their tenants cannot pay rent. While many tenants actually cannot afford to pay their rent right now, some people are taking advantage of the ‘no-eviction’ ban and are choosing not to pay knowing they cannot be evicted.
Many landlords have found that there is virtually no assistance for them. One thing that landlords can do is speak to their tenants and try to modify the rental agreement to fit both parties’ needs and financial situations. Some alternatives to benefit both parties include:
- Reducing monthly payments temporarily
- Deferring payments
- Allowing renters to exit their contract early with no penalties
When you live in a single-family home, you can control who is on your property and in your home. When renting in a multi-unit complex, you’re in much closer proximity to others and often share spaces, such as mail and laundry rooms. What can landlords and their renters be doing to help decrease the community spread?
While they are not required to, landlords can implement some of the following safety measures:
- Routinely clean high traffic areas such as lobbies, public restrooms, door handles, elevator buttons, etc.
- Place hand sanitizer dispensers throughout the building
- Ensure all tenants are aware of the current CDC and WHO guidelines
Renters can do their part by practicing social distancing and minimizing the number of guests they have in the building. This is a stressful time for everyone. Landlords and tenants need to keep communication open and notify each other of any changing situations.
We’re In This Together
If you’re a tenant who can no longer afford your rent or a landlord who’s bills are piling up as tenants are no longer providing your source of income, contact us today. Your rights are important and you need experienced legal professionals to fight for them. We are working with real estate attorneys all throughout the country who can review your case and help find a solution during this uneasy time. We’re in this together.