A new policy from the Federal Housing Finance Agency requires tenants to be informed of protections in writing during the property owner’s multifamily property forbearance and repayment periods
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has adjusted their policies to suit the needs of tenants and landlords. This new policy continues that same practice in an attempt to increase awareness of available tenant protections. The FHFA announced that multifamily property owners with mortgages that are backed by Enterprises and who are in a new or modified forbearance agreement are required to inform their tenants in writing about all protections during the forbearance and repayment periods.
Forbearance is when a mortgage lender allows a property owner to temporarily pay less on the mortgage or to temporarily stop paying the mortgage. Landlords have entered forbearance due to increased financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Part of these protections includes owners being unable to evict tenants on the sole premise that the tenant has not paid their rent. There have been recent additions to tenant protections that apply during repayment periods. These include giving tenants at least a 30-day notice to vacate their residence, charging zero late fees or penalties for not paying rent, and allowing flexibility for tenants to pay back their rent over a period of time and not all at once.
Director of the FHFA Mark Calabria emphasized the need for tenants to be informed about protections that apply to them.
“Landlords in forbearance must notify their tenants that they cannot be evicted for nonpayment of rent due to the pandemic".Director Mark Calabria
However, Calabria notes that tenants who are still capable of paying their rent should continue to do so.
For more information, visit the FHA website.