Eviction bans implemented due to the coronavirus outbreak are raising concerns for landlords. California Governor Gavin Newsom announced on March 27 a statewide ban on evictions for nonpayment of rent for those affected by the novel coronavirus.
The eviction restrictions go into effect immediately through May 31, 2020. While Mayor Jenny Durkan recently extended Seattle’s current moratoriums to June 4, residential tenants in the city will get more respite as the city council extends the moratorium to another six months after it expires.
These unprecedented measures prevent landlords from evicting tenants who are in financial hardship due to the virus. This could include if the tenant lost work due to the pandemic, has become sick, or had to take care of family members with COVID-19.
Many landlords have reached out to us expressing their understanding and concerns about the situation. We wanted to highlight some important things to keep in mind if you’re a landlord concerned about the added financial burden during these times.
Landlord Tips for Coronavirus Eviction Moratorium
Most Renters Are Still Obligated to Pay Rent
The eviction moratorium only covers renters who are unable to pay rent due to the loss of income during this pandemic. Financially-able renters are still required to pay their monthly rent.
We recommend clarifying the timing of the rent payment and your expectations with your tenant. Only a renter who provides proper documentation to show financial hardship due to COVID-19 can potentially defer rent payments for a certain period of time (varies by region).
Request Proper Documentation From Renters
The list of “circumstances” constituting a ban on eviction is broad and vague. It’s mostly things related to loss of income due to the coronavirus pandemic. If your renter is asking to defer payment, you have the right to require proper documentation of financial hardship due to the coronavirus.
Contact Your Bank to Discuss Mortgage Options
Some landlords rely on their rental income to cover monthly homeownership costs such as mortgage payments. If you are unable to earn your rental income due to a renter’s nonpayment of rent, you might be able to contact your lender to ask about due date extensions or deferring your mortgage payment.
Defer Your Tax Payments
The deadlines to FILE and PAY federal income taxes are extended to July 15, 2020. You can hold onto this money, for now, to cover your costs if you know you’ll have the future income to cover taxes.
Remember, you can also write-off most of your operating expenses for rental property such as property management fees, maintenance costs, and more. For the most up-to-date information, refer to the official IRS website.
Check For Financial Aid From the US Government
The federal government has announced a $2 trillion economic stimulus package in response to the coronavirus. That works out to about $6,000 funding per person going towards hospitals, small businesses, and even you individually.
Based on your individual or household gross income, the IRS will direct deposit or mail a check to you for up to $1,200. You can use this tool to calculate your likely coronavirus check amount. For the most up-to-date information, refer to the official US government website.
At Poplar Homes, we’re working real-time with landlords during these difficult times. We’ve launched a contactless leasing process that allows landlords to easily sign-up and still lease their property, even while sheltering-in-place.
With contactless leasing, in just a few days we can get your property onboarded, perform a 3D scan of the home, and start marketing on 40+ sites. Given our tech-first approach, our business is more adaptable in times like these.
All our current procedures have been adjusted to the current crisis so renters can lease your home on Poplar Homes without having to break shelter-in-place restrictions. Renters can virtually tour any listing, apply for free, and even sign a lease without having to interact with others.
Poplar Homes will also proactively advertise your listing with a 5-8% monthly rent rebate if the renter signs a lease before March 31, 2020. We will cover the costs of this rebate. These updates on our process will help landlords on Poplar Homes fill vacancies sooner.
Our team has opened lines of communication for all our customers and residents to answer their questions and address any concerns.
Read more about Poplar Homes’ tech-enabled property management solutions during this global pandemic.