The New Eviction Moratorium – What to do?
Well, here we go again. Another eviction moratorium. Many landlord’s we’re finally breathing a sigh of relief when it looked like things we’re going back to normal at the end of July. And for 2 days, things we’re technically back to normal. Until August 3. That’s when the CDC enacted a new eviction moratorium, that this time goes through October 3, 2021. For those rental property owners who have been relying on mortgage forbearance because they lost rent income – income they relied on – this was unexpected.
To clarify, we’re not here to discuss the reasons for the moratorium, the motivation or why it was passed. We’re here to explain how this latest moratorium works and what you can do if you own a rental property that has had its income, in essence, frozen. While what we say is not going to be a automatic fix, it can be financial damage control.
So, how does this latest moratorium work?
It applies to any county in the Unites States that doesn’t already have a moratorium in place that meets or exceeds the CDC one, like a state or county moratorium, and where the county has a substantial or high COVID transmission rate. Where does your county fall? Here’s the link from the CDC that shows transmission rates: https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view
If your in Clark County Nevada, Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas, Boulder City, which is where we’re at, well, your in a high transmission rate location and subject to the CDC moratorium.
A tenant, in order to be covered by the moratorium, has to meet some qualifications:
- They have had to try and obtain rental assistance
- They can’t make more than $99,000 in 2020 or if married and filing jointly, more than $198,000.
- They cant make their rent payment due to loss of job, reduction in hours or have medical bills
- They are trying to make partial rent payments to the best of their ability
- They would become homeless if evicted
The moratorium covers a lot of situations.
Now of course, a tenant does have to complete a specific declaration via a CDC form to qualify. And the landlord can take steps to validate the truthfulness of it, to make sure their hardship is legitimate and meets the standard of the CDC moratorium. The moratorium does cover a broad spectrum.
So, say as a landlord, you get the declaration form from a tenant or maybe they already qualified previously under the moratorium we had between March 2020 until this past July and handed you the CDC declaration (which that is still in effect). What can you do?
Work on mitigating your losses. The eviction moratorium is in effect no matter how you look at things. Though tensions may run high, work hard to maintain a positive relationship with your tenant. This will help in preserving your property. A soured relationship, or one that turns into distrust, is never in the best interest of your property. It creates tension and hard feelings. Focus on the end result, one day getting your property back in hopefully, reasonably good condition. A positive relationship will go a long way in that.
And focus in on the options you have for mortgage assistance, beyond calling your bank for mortgage forbearance. Or simply throwing in the towel on your property. Now, this may take work and some research to find available resources in your state or county to help compensate you for lost rent. But it is possible and we’ve seen it first hand, owners getting checks for thousands of dollars for unpaid rent. Look up your states and counties housing department sites and see what available resources there are, what applications may need to be completed. Work to mitigate your losses as much as possible. In many cases, money has been set aside to offer help. It’s just a matter of finding it, applying for it and then collecting it.
So, while this is all far from the ideal and not what investors and rental property owners signed up for, it’s the new, temporary norm. And so, we’ve all had to change and adjust to the unexpected. If you approach it the right way, take the right steps, be proactive, get the help available, you might be surprised at how things work out for you.
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