The CARES Act expired…What Now?
The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act expired on July 31 and has not yet been extended.
However, the moratorium on evictions issued by the NM Supreme Court is still in place and will remain so until lifted by the NM Supreme Court. At this point, there is no indication of when that may happen.
What Does the President’s Executive Order Mean for Property Owners?
The recent executive order does not contain specific guidance related to evictions. In general, the order calls on other federal agencies to address the issues. See the full text by clicking on the link in the Helpful Resources box above, but here is a summary of the relevant parts of the executive order.
“It is the policy of the United States to minimize, to the greatest extent possible, residential evictions and foreclosures during the ongoing COVID-19 national emergency.”
The Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Director of CDC will determine if measures to temporarily halt residential evictions for failure to pay rent are necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development will consider providing funding and financial assistance to those experiencing hardship due to COVID-19 and review existing authorities and resources that may help to prevent foreclosures and evictions.
The Rental Market by the Numbers
- Rents have decreased by 4% nationally each month since April.
- Major cities have seen an average tenant loss of 10%.
- March, April, and May have been the lowest months historically for occupancy.
- Multi-family properties declined in occupancy compared to single family houses due to fear of inner city living, space for working at home, and loss of income.
What can landlords do?
Doing something to help alleviate some of their economic strain can go along way in making your tenants feel like you understand their situation. These are hard times and if you can support your tenants, you will be less likely to end up with unpaid rent and vacancies.
Major incentives are being used for renewals:
- Free month of rent is trending and very effective in keeping occupancy up in your rental properties. For those that can’t afford to give a free month of rent, some landlords are offering partial rent concessions of 30-40% for their tenants.
Other things you can do include:
- Allow deferred payment arrangements
- Allow for lower rent in exchange for a longer lease
- Waive late fees, pet fees, online transaction fees, metered service fees, etc.
- Provide your tenants with care packages of toilet paper, gift cards, basic grocery staples, etc.