Table of Contents
April 8, 2020 - NMHC Rent Payment Tracker Finds 12% Decrease in Share of Apartment HH that Paid Rent by April 5
April 6, 2020 - Eviction Hold Extended Through April 30; More Free Webinars From TAA
March 27, 2020 - New Resident Notice Requirements Passed By City of Austin Amid COVID-19 Crisis
March 27, 2020 - AAA Joins Business Coalition to Keep Apartment Construction Moving
March 27, 2020 - The U.S. House of Representatives Today Passed The CARES Act
March 27, 2020 - Austin Code Makes Changes to Address Emergency Orders
March 23, 2020 - FHFA Moves to Provide Eviction Suspension Relief for Renters in Multifamily Properties
March 20, 2020 - Texas Supreme Court Temporarily Suspends Most Evictions
March 18, 2020 - White House Directs HUD to Cease Evictions Through April 30
NMHC Rent Payment Tracker Finds 12 Percentage Point Decrease in Share of Apartment Households that Paid Rent by April 5
April 8, 2020 – The National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) found a 12-percentage point decrease in the share of apartment households that paid rent through April 5, in the first review of the effect of the COVID-19 outbreak on rent payments. The Tracker found 69 percent of households had paid their rent by April 5; this compares to 81 percent that had paid by March 5, 2020, and 82 percent that had paid by the same time last year.
“The COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in significant health and financial challenges for apartment residents and multifamily owners, operators and employees in communities across the country,” said Doug Bibby, President of NMHC. “However, it is important to note that a large number of residents met their obligations despite unparalleled circumstances, and we will see that figure increase over the coming weeks. That is a testament to the quick, proactive actions taken by NMHC members who put forward bold solutions.”
The NMHC Rent Payment Tracker reflects data from 13.4 million units across the country. The Tracker will be updated on a weekly basis with new data released every Wednesday.
NMHC and its data partners are committed to providing comparable data for context. However, noteworthy technical issues may make historical comparisons imprecise. For example, factors such as varying days of the week on which data are collected; individual companies’ differing payment collection policies; shelter-in-place orders’ effects on residents’ ability to deliver payments in person or by mail; the closure of leasing offices, which may delay operators’ payment processing; and other factors can affect how and when rent data is processed and recorded.
Register for today's NMHC Rent Tracker Payment webinar here.
Find more information on the NMHC Rent Payment Tracker here.
NMHC is proud to partner with the following firms on this initiative:
If you have any questions, please contact Sarah Yaussi, NMHC Vice President for Business Strategy – email@example.com or Colin Dunn, NMHC Senior Director for Communications –firstname.lastname@example.org.
This survey is one of a number of NMHC-produced resources focused on the COVID-19 outbreak. Additional resources, data and materials can be found here.
Based in Washington, D.C., the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) is the leadership of the trillion-dollar apartment industry. We bring together the prominent apartment owners, managers and developers who help create thriving communities by providing apartment homes for 40 million Americans. NMHC provides a forum for insight, advocacy and action that enables both members and the communities they help build to thrive. For more information, contact NMHC at 202/974-2300, e-mail the Council at email@example.com, or visit NMHC's website at www.nmhc.org
Eviction Hold Extended Through April 30; More Free Webinars From TAA
April 6, 2020 - Supreme Court extends statewide eviction hold through April 30: The Texas Supreme Court today issued a ninth emergency order immediately extending the hold on almost all residential evictions through April 30, 2020. There is a limited exception for an eviction based on a person posing an imminent threat of physical harm to another resident or the rental property’s staff, or for criminal activity. The order applies statewide. Courts may accept new filings, but citation will not be served until after April 30, and the time periods associated with the filings are suspended. Similarly, courts may issue writs of possession, but writs will not be executed until after May 7. This new order essentially aligns with the state’s order to limit activities to essential business through the end of April.
Free webinars on coronavirus-related issues: The Texas Apartment Association has two free webinars on tap this week to assist members with coronavirus-related issues.
Essential business activities defined statewide: Gov. Greg Abbott issued an Executive Order on March 31 defining “essential services” for the purpose of state and local stay home/shelter orders. The guidance follows that by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in its Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce Version 2.0, with the addition of allowing religious services and a defined process for requesting services to be added as essential. Services related to maintaining residential housing are classified as essential.
Data on April rent collections: TAA is working with ALN Apartment Data to collect information about April rent collections and any special payment options or fee waivers offered to residents. The National Multifamily Housing Council is also working with the large property management software suppliers to collect some similar information nationwide. The National Apartment Association will also be surveying its members regarding payment options and fee waivers. The release of these surveys may trigger media reports and requests of interviews.
TAA is working with a public relations firm to ensure our industry's perspective is considered in these and other stories. During the March 20 - April 1 period, TAA and its members participated in over 130 media stories. If you are contacted by local media seeking comment, please reach out to Michelle Helmers or David Mintz for assistance. Discussing interview requests with Michelle and David will ensure our messaging is consistent and aligned with other information.
Important note regarding CARES Act and new forms related to COVID-19:The federal CARES Act established a 120-day moratorium for evictions related to non-payment of rent and prohibits property owners from charging late fees. TAA’s two new forms related to COVID-19 (Payment Plan Agreement and Notice of Temporary Waiver of Late Fees) were developed prior to the enactment of the CARES Act. To ensure the use of the forms complies with the CARES Act prohibition on late fees, TAA has prepared a notice for properties covered by the CARES Act to share with their residents notifying them that the property will not collect late fees during the period covered by the CARES Act.
This new notice should be used by properties covered by the CARES Act that have already entered into or plan to enter into Payment Plan Agreements (which mention the ability to charge late fees if the agreement is not fulfilled) and have already provided or plan to provide the Notice of Temporary Waiver of Late Fees (which gives the owner the ability to push back the due date for rent and charge late fees thereafter).
The notice will be posted in TAA REDBOOK Online and in the member resources area of the TAA website as soon as possible this week. If you have questions, please email COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org, refer to NAA’s information about the federal CARES Act online and contact your legal counsel.
NAA webinar series and other resources: The National Apartment Association (NAA) has introduced a new video series as part of its COVID-19 (coronavirus) resources. These brief, 10-minute or less micro-webinars will examine and provide guidance on pressing issues affecting the rental housing industry in light of coronavirus. You can subscribe to receive this video series as new videos are released. Keep up with the latest guidance from NAA, and with policy issues related to COVID-19.
Questions? TAA has a dedicated email for members with coronavirus-related questions: COVIDemail@example.com
New Resident Notice Requirements Passed By City of Austin Amid COVID-19 Crisis
March 27, 2020 - On Thursday, March 26 the Austin City Council has passed an ordinance requiring a 60-day “Notice of Proposed Eviction” before an official “Notice to Vacate” can be posted using the normal procedures outlined in the Texas Property Code. The new notice requirement does not apply to any evictions necessary for resident or guest bad conduct or criminal activity. Related to the ordinance enactment, a Mayor’s Order also issued yesterday, March 26, prohibits the issuance of any Notice to Vacate until May 8, which further prevents any eviction actions for non-payment of rent from occurring under the current Disaster Order issued for the City of Austin. The council has also left open the possibility of extending the ordinance past the current end date. The ordinance provides no relief for property owners from any of the normal expenses they incur each month operating their properties.
A copy of both the Ordinance and Mayor’s Order are HERE.
Before the vote the Austin Apartment Association (AAA) reminded the Council that the Texas Supreme Court has already addressed these issues with orders preventing new evictions from happening through the end of April, along with the new forms and tools that the industry is already using to address individual situations unique to each resident. This ordinance is unnecessary, redundant and we believe illegal. The AAA also submitted a legal brief to the city outlining the many legal questions raised by enacting the new 60-day notice requirement. We are working with the Texas Apartment Association to determine whether this ordinance should be challenged in court.
The Austin Apartment Association remains committed to being a resource for property owners and we are seeking guidance from the city about the new requirement.
It is the AAA’s current understanding that:
“A NOTICE OF PROPOSED EVICTION AND OPPORTUNITY TO PAY TO AVOID EVICTION – THIS NOTICE DOES NOT EXCUSE YOUR OBLIGATION TO PAY AND YOU CAN BE EVICTED IF YOU FAIL TO PAY BY THE PAYMENT DEADLINE BELOW.”
The AAA will continue to say to any residents or media that this 60-day notice is not a rent “grace period” nor any moratorium on rent due. We believe that the best approach to the challenges created by the Corvid-19 issue is for property owners to work with residents on an individual basis to address these issues in accordance with the needs of both parties. We encourage anyone impacted through a job loss or lost wages to begin talking with property owners and in order to craft solutions in the best interest of all.
AAA Joins Business Coalition to Keep Apartment Construction Moving
March 27, 2020 - The Austin Apartment Association joined a wide-range of business and construction groups and organizations in an attempt to reverse parts city and county’s Shelter in Place orders that effectively shut down most construction activity. Because the original order was unclear on whether or not residential and commercial construction could continue under the original order, the city and county subsequently released clarifying language prohibiting these activities under its order with a few narrow exceptions.
The AAA’s participation in the effort is aimed at ending any confusion and urges the city and county to immediately amend their Stay at Home — Work Safe Orders and explicitly allow both commercial and residential construction to continue. The cities of Houston and Dallas recognize, and make clear, that commercial and residential construction are essential services and not subject to the Shelter in Place Order.
The business coalition formed to work on reversing ban on the construction activities includes the AAA, Real Estate Council of Austin, Austin Chamber of Commerce, Austin Board of Realtors, the Downtown Austin Alliance, Home Builders Association of Greater Austin, Associated Builders and Contractors, and the Austin Contractors and Engineers Association among others. The letter sent ot policy issues is HERE
The U.S. House of Representatives Today Passed The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
March 27, 2020 - The U.S. House of Representatives today passed H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, following the U.S. Senate’s approval of the federal relief package on March 25.
This legislation includes nearly $2 trillion in relief intended to mitigate the enormous economic effects of COVID-19 (“coronavirus”) on the national economy and bolster the nation’s ability to fight the ongoing public health emergency.
As with any legislation of this size and scope, there are a number of positive and negative elements. The National Apartment Association (NAA) is now focused on ensuring our members can take advantage of the benefits. However, we are also very cognizant of the flaws in this legislation and are gearing up for the next advocacy campaign to address them.
For more information on new regulatory requirements and operational guidance, click here.
Although monumental, this legislation is not the end of COVID-19 policymaking. Lawmakers are already in discussions over a Phase Four package. The entire grassroots network of the apartment industry and our real estate partners will need to mobilize to ensure appropriate corrections are made to the CARES Act and additional relief for housing providers is secured.
Similar to the battles faced by our state and local association partners to defeat eviction moratoria and other adverse policy, we will continue to make the industry’s voice heard and remind policymakers of the unintended consequences and immense challenges facing the industry during this unprecedented public health emergency.
Austin Code Makes Changes to Address Emergency Orders
March 27, 2020 - Austin Code Department is working with Austin Police and Austin Fire Departments to enforce the city’s Emergency Order. Currently, Austin Code is focused on educating the community about the orders and requirements they contain and thanks the community for its overwhelming voluntarily compliance.
Austin Code Department is still completing inspections that are not COVID-19 related, but due to staffing availability and pressing priorities those inspections may take a little longer to be completed. To keep residents and Austin Code inspectors safe, all interior inspections of occupied dwellings have been suspended except when there is an immediate threat to life or safety.
Properties with active Notices of Violation (NOVs) who may be experiencing COVID19-related difficulties meeting deadlines should contact their inspectors. Austin Code Department will work on compliance timelines with property owners on a case-by-case basis. To contact Austin Code about compliance extensions or for any questions or additional information about Austin Code and their efforts during this time contact Amy Moosman , Community Engagement Specialist, Austin Code Department, c: 512-696-2492 o: 512-974.3089 or firstname.lastname@example.org
FHFA Moves to Provide Eviction Suspension Relief for Renters in Multifamily Properties
March 23, 2020 - The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Enterprises will offer mortgage forbearance for multifamily property owners, under the condition that they suspend all evictions for renters who are unable to pay rent because of COVID-19, also known as “coronavirus.”
To be eligible, property owners must suspend evictions for as long as the owner remains in forbearance. Forbearance is available only for multifamily housing properties with an “Enterprise-backed performing multifamily mortgage” that is financially impacted by coronavirus.
We will continue to update you as FHFA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac release information about implementation of this decision. For owners who believe they qualify, contact your loan servicer to learn more about the process to seek relief.
Continue to bear in mind that states and localities are pushing eviction moratoriums, applicable to all privately-owned housing. Nationally, almost 70 jurisdictions announced eviction moratoriums, with some attempting to provide relief to owners and operators. For example, Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey is encouraging any financial institution holding residential or commercial mortgages, equity loans, lines of credit or business loans to implement a process to work with the mortgagors or loan holders to avoid foreclosure or default arising out of financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, or by any local, state, or federal government response to COVID-19.
The NAA has developed a research report to help you navigate this patchwork of mandates, including information on eviction, rent increase restrictions, late fees and shelter-in-place orders.
Texas Supreme Court Temporarily Suspends Most Evictions
March 20, 2020 - TAA offers free sample forms, other resources, to members - The Texas Apartment Association will be updating you regularly about our resources and actions taken to respond to challenges our members are facing in response to the coronavirus and COVID-19.
Statewide evictions on hold through April 19: Late Thursday afternoon, the Texas Supreme Court issued an emergency order immediately suspending almost all residential evictions through April 19, 2020. There is a limited exception for an eviction based on a person posing an imminent threat of physical harm to another resident or the rental property’s staff, or for criminal activity. The order applies statewide. Courts may accept new filings, but citation will not be served until after April 19, and the time periods associated with the filings are suspended. Similarly, courts may issues writs of possession, but writs will not be executed until after April 26.
TAA worked with the governor’s office, the Supreme Court of Texas and Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, the state’s largest legal aid organization, to reach a consensus on eviction court procedures that would be uniform and fair to all parties. “The Court’s action Thursday provides a uniform approach that will be consistent statewide, and will replace the patchwork of conflicting measures being adopted in different Texas communities,” said TAA President Mark Hurley.
Read our full statement and some FAQs about the Court’s order.
Free Sample Forms: We have two new sample forms to assist you in working with your residents. These are a “Notice of Temporary Waiver of Late Fees”and a “Payment Plan Agreement” if you opt to offer residents options for extending their rent payments. TAA encourages members to work with residents directly affected by the coronavirus, and to waive late fees. These are also available in TAA REDBOOK Online in both Adobe Acrobat and Microsoft Word versions, and will be available to TAA Click & Lease users now in a print-only form, and as forms you can complete through Click & Lease on March 25.
COVID-19 and rental housing in Texas webinar resources: The recording and presentation from the March 18 TAA webinar are now available. Additional resources, including key takeaways and FAQs, will be coming soon.
Advocate for resident and industry relief: Congress is considering additional measures to relieve economic disruption caused by the pandemic, and support Americans who’ve been affected. In order to provide the most effective relief to our residents and the industry, NAA is suggesting a two-pronged approach: Congress should provide direct assistance to renters as well as support for impacted property owners and operators. Communicate with your congressman using NAA’s suggested letter.
NAA webinar series and other resources: The National Apartment Association (NAA) is introducing a new video series as part of its COVID-19 (coronavirus) resources. These brief, 10-minute or less micro-webinars will examine and provide guidance on pressing issues affecting the rental housing industry in light of coronavirus. View the first micro-webinar, “Teleworking Amid COVID-19,” which shares guidance that will be helpful as organizations transition from normal business operations to working remotely. You can alsosubscribe to receive this video series as new videos are released.
• TAA has a dedicated email for members with coronavirus-related questions: COVIDemail@example.com
• AAA is using firstname.lastname@example.org to answer all COVID-19 questions. Please visit the COVID-19 Resource Page on the AAA website for additional information and guidance.
White House Directs HUD to Cease Evictions Through April 30
March 18, 2020 - President Trump today announced he is directing the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to suspend all evictions and foreclosures through the end of April 2020. This follows similar actions by governors and mayors in several jurisdictions across the country. Nationally, at least 35 jurisdictions announced eviction moratoriums in light of the spread of COVID-19 with more considering legislation or mandate by judicial action or law enforcement. No details of the President’s order have been provided yet, but NAA is in direct communication with HUD leadership and we are assured that guidance is coming soon.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced it has directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to suspend foreclosures and evictions for at least 60 days due to the coronavirus national emergency. To clarify, the FHFA foreclosure and eviction suspension applies to homeowners with an Enterprise-backed single-family mortgage.
We will keep you apprised as this situation develops and are continually updating our COVID-19 Resource Page