The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced an order that aims to raise awareness of available tenant protections.
Multifamily property owners with government-backed mortgages in forbearance are now required to inform tenants in writing about tenant protections during the owner's forbearance and repayment periods, according to the FHFA.
While in forbearance, property owners must agree not to evict tenants solely for failure to pay rent. Additionally, landlords are required to provide the following protections during the repayment period:
- giving tenants at least a 30-day notice to vacate
- not charging tenants late fees or penalties for nonpayment of rent
- allowing them to pay back rent over time and in installments
The agency recently extended forbearance periods for up to three months. Qualified landlords with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac can enter a new and modified forbearance if they experience or continue to deal with financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"Landlords in forbearance must notify their tenants that they cannot be evicted for nonpayment of rent due to the pandemic," FHFA Director Mark Calabria said. "If tenants are able to pay their rent, they should continue to do so."
In addition to the tenant notification, Fannie and Freddie are also enhancing their online multifamily property loan look-up tools. The enterprises included the tenant protections on the look-up tools' landing page and made it easier for tenants to determine if the property in which they reside has a GSE-backed mortgage.