Landlords In Federal Mortgage Forbearance Must Now Inform Renters Of Eviction Protection

After Congress let the CARES Act eviction moratorium lapse late last month, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced today a new requirement designed to notify tenants about their rights.

FHFA, which oversees the two mortgage-buying enterprises Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, is now mandating that multifamily property owners with government-backed loans in forbearance inform renters about the eviction protections the policy extends to them.

Even if the federal eviction ban expired and a slew of state and local halts are also being lifted, landlords who enter or modify their Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgage forbearance must agree not to displace tenants solely for rent nonpayment. Now, they also must inform residents of this rule.

Prior to FHFA’s policy change today, landlords did not have to disclose to renters that they are receiving loan forbearance. Instead, tenants could use a specially built digital portal to check whether their building had a federal mortgage in forbearance.

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“Landlords in forbearance must notify their tenants that they cannot be evicted for nonpayment of rent due to the pandemic,” said FHFA Director Mark Calabria in a press statement. “If tenants are able to pay their rent, they should continue to do so.”

FHFA has also rolled out additional renter protections to last during landlords’ forbearance repayment period, including at least a 30-day notice to vacate, no late fees or penalties for rent nonpayment as well as flexibility in paying past-due rent.

In late June, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae tacked three more months to the multifamily loan forbearance period property owners can request, for a total of half a year. Under the CARES Act, landlords could receive only three months of suspended loan payments.

Meanwhile, as negotiations over the next coronavirus relief package continue on Capitol Hill, Congress and the White House are still debating the feasibility of another federal eviction moratorium. Earlier this week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the Trump administration could unilaterally enact another ban on evictions.

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