COVID-19 What the rental housing industry needs to know
Coronavirus: Resources for navigating the outbreak
With the continued spread of the coronavirus, rental housing professionals are sure to have some questions. CAA is working around the clock to keep our members and the general public informed. This website is being updated daily, and you are encouraged to bookmark this page and visit it for answers to many of your questions related to this crisis.
Table of contents
What you need to know
- Video Resources for Rental Housing Providers
- COVID-19 Tenant Protections – UPDATED!
- Shelter in Place Order – Local, City, County and State Orders – UPDATED!
- Guidelines for Reopening California
- Fraud Warning for Homeowners
- CAA Podcasts
Where to get assistance
- Government & Community Resources for Housing Providers
- Resources for Tenants
- Mortgage Assistance
- Insurance tips
- Property Tax Penalty Waivers for Eligible Taxpayers
How owners can help
Video resources for rental housing providers
To assist rental housing providers in California with their response to the coronavirus pandemic, CAA has created webinars specific to the challenges facing rental housing providers.
COVID-19 Tenant Protections
Since the COVID-19 pandemic has taken root in California, Governor Gavin Newsom has issued two executive orders related to evictions of residents who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These executive orders have raised many questions for housing providers. The most common of those questions are addressed in CAA’s Industry Insight – Frequently Asked Questions: Governor Newsom’s Executive Orders on Evictions During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
On March 27, Congress enacted the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which includes a provision that places a temporary moratorium on eviction filings for residential properties that are financed by federally backed mortgage loans or that participate in federal affordable housing programs, including properties with Section 8 housing vouchers. More information on this provision can be found here.
On April 6, the California Judicial Council, which oversees the state’s court system, adopted an emergency rule that bans nearly all eviction cases in California. For more information, see our story and call to action.
In addition, local governments throughout California have adopted prohibitions on evictions of residents who have been affected by fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. This is a rapidly developing situation, and CAA will update this page as new information becomes available. Read CAA’s story. CAA urges rental housing providers to act with compassion in dealing with residents who face coronavirus-related hardships.
On June 30, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order extending authorization for local governments to halt evictions for renters impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, through September 30. Click here for our story. For a copy of the Governor’s executive order click here.
To view the list of localities that have adopted specific eviction restrictions, please click on the + sign in the appropriate header.
To ensure compliance with all applicable laws, CAA strongly recommends that rental housing providers consult with an attorney before issuing any notice to pay rent or quit or notice of termination of tenancy while this pandemic persists.
Shelter in place orders
On March 19, 2020, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20, which directed all California residents to heed the order of the state public health officer.
CAA has compiled a list of the “shelter in place” orders and recommendations. Click here for more information.
Guidelines for Reopening California
As California begins to slowly reopen and shelter in place restrictions begin to ease, CAA’s new page covers guidelines for real estate businesses.
Fraud warning for homeowners
The California Department of Real Estate has warned of scams that seek to take advantage of California homeowners seeking loan modifications and mortgage forbearance related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more about how to protect yourself from these scams in DRE’s consumer alert.
Sample letters to residents
The COVID-19 pandemic has thrust our community into unknown territory. We recognize this is a frightening time and that many in our community have faced both health and economic impacts. We are here to try to help. CAA has created sample letters rental housing providers can use to communicate with residents about key issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Sample letter regarding rent coming due (available in English and Spanish)
- Sample letter to residents participating in a rent strike
- Sample letter to residents requesting information re: COVID-19 related inability to pay
Tenant Payment Plan Agreements
The California Apartment Association has over 200 forms and addenda to manage your rental property. Normally these forms are only available to our members. With the current COVID-19 crisis, we have decided to make the payment plan forms available to the general public. There are two forms that are available:
Frequently Asked Questions by CAA Members
As anxiety over COVID-19 continues to grow, the California Apartment Association has received a flood of questions about how to handle the myriad issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. CAA has created Industry Insights to address these frequently asked questions:
Safe at Home Guidelines in response to COVID-19
Although California is slowly reopening its economy, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to create health challenges and financial adversity throughout the state. In response to these lingering difficulties, the California Apartment Association has kept Safe at Home Guidelines in place. … (ReadMore)
Government & Community Resources for Housing Providers
To help rental housing providers and their residents during the COVID-19 crisis, the California Apartment Association is maintaining a list of various government, nonprofit, and community-based resources to help business stay afloat. We also have various tenant resources available in a printable format to hand out to your residents.
This information, along with the handouts, can be found at our Government & Community Resources for Housing Providers page.
Resources for Tenants
To help tenants during the COVID-19 crisis, the California Apartment Association has recommended steps for tenants to follow to ensure they are protected and aware of their rights and resources.
This information can be found at our COVID-19 Tenant Resources page.
At the end of March, the Governor announced an agreement with Wells Fargo, US Bank, Citi, JP Morgan Chase, as well as 200 state-chartered banks and credit unions, to provide a 90-day forbearance of mortgage payments for those impacted by COVID-19. Such forbearance appears to be available for properties with 1 to 4 units.
If your loan is owned or guaranteed by a federal agency, such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and you have a financial hardship because of COVID-19, you may be able to get a forbearance of mortgage payments for up to 180 days plus an extension for another 180 days under the federal CARES Act. Properties with 5+ units receiving this relief must comply with federal eviction protection requirements (discussed here) in addition to any more protective state and local requirements.
Generally speaking, you can find out who owns your mortgage by asking your servicer. You can also find out if your loan is backed by Fannie Mae here or Freddie Mac here. For FHA and VA loans, check your monthly loan statement or find the HUD-1 Settlement Statement you got when you bought the home. Fannie and Freddie have also created a short video about the forbearance program. This federal program likely only covers a small percentage of the mortgages of rental housing providers in California. For more information on this federal program, click here.
To access the forbearance described above, contact your mortgage servicer – you can look up your servicer by searching the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems website. Even if your mortgage is not covered by the programs described above, CAA encourages property owners to contact their mortgage servicer to see what type of reprieve they might be offering. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and other financial regulators have encouraged financial institutions to work with borrowers who are or may be unable to meet their obligations because of the effects of COVID-19. Borrowers should also make sure to ask what happens at the end of the forbearance period since some lenders have indicated that a lump sum payment is due when that period expires.
Lastly, the California Department of Real Estate has warned of scams that seek to take advantage of California homeowners seeking loan modifications and mortgage forbearance related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more about how to protect yourself from these scams in DRE’s consumer alert.
Review your policy: COVID-19 has brought unprecedented times for all businesses, including insurance. If you are confused about your coverage or would like a policy overview, please contact your agent or one of the licensed professionals at the CAA Value Insurance Plan. Many businesses maintain several types of insurance policies to protect employees, property, and contracts. All policies vary, and a licensed professional can help you navigate the coverage’s within your particular policy.
Call your carrier for help with premiums/other issues: Many insurance companies are offering financial assistance to customers affected by COVID-19, such as by waiving late fees and granting grace periods for premium payments. On April 13, the California Insurance Commissioner ordered insurances to make an initially premium refund for the months of March and April to all adversely impacted policyholders in certain lines of insurance, including private and commercial car insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, and commercial liability insurance. On March 18, the Insurance Commissioner specifically requested that all companies providing insurance in California give their insureds at least a 60-day grace period to pay their premiums. Not paying your insurance premium on time can result in your coverage lapsing or terminating, so it may be worth a call to your carrier to see how they can assist you. A list of several insurance companies and what they are offering can be found here.
Information on Property Tax Penalty Waivers for Eligible Taxpayers
On May 6, 2020, Governor Newsom issued an executive order waiving penalties on late property tax payments until May 6, 2021.
It is best for property owners to visit their county tax collector’s website for more information on avoiding penalties.
CAA has compiled a list of the county websites and their announcements. Click here for more information.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- How it spreads
- Fact sheet: What you need to know about (COVID-19)
- Preventing the spread in communities, including at work
- Communication resources including handouts and posters
- Paycheck Protection Program: Potentially forgivable loans for small business expenses. Applications processed starting April 3, 2020
- CalChamber Coronavirus Resource Page
- EDD COVID-19 Resource Page
- Cal/OSHA Interim Guidelines for General Industry on 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
- COVID-19 Overview
- Hazard recognition
- Control and prevention
- Protecting workers during a pandemic
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