If you own rental property anywhere in the United States (or even anywhere in the world!) you have likely felt the impact on your income due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The virus has literally altered the way we live and work – and it is likely that its effects will remain long into the foreseeable future.
Because of the massive loss of jobs, many people are finding it difficult to pay their bills. This includes the monthly rent payments of residential property tenants. The government has provided renters with some relief through the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act, though. For instance, there is now a 120-day moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent.
In addition, many local governments across the state of Florida have also enacted eviction bans in response to the impact of the Coronavirus. In this case, the County Sheriff’s Office is no longer serving Writs of Possession in a number of areas. Likewise, the courts in many jurisdictions are not processing eviction filings (at least temporarily).
While these acts can be helpful for tenants, though, what about Florida rental property owners who still carry a mortgage balance on their investments?
The good news is that both the Federal government and some state governments have announced plans to help struggling property owners during this time of crisis.
For instance, at this time, there are some lenders that are suspending foreclosures on properties with unpaid mortgages. It is important to note, though, that the mortgage relief options available to you can depend upon who owns or backs the loan.
According to the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), nearly half of the nation’s mortgages are backed or owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. If your property mortgage(s) falls into this category, the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) could provide you with some options.
In this case, your mortgage lender or loan servicer may not foreclose on your property for 60 days (after March 18, 2020). In addition, if you are experiencing financial hardship due to the Coronavirus pandemic, you also have the right to request a forbearance for up to 180 days – as well as to request an extension for up to an additional 180 days. In either of these instances, though, it can take some time to work your way through the process.
In any type of environment, operating rental properties can be time-consuming. So, if you need to focus on other areas right now, it may be beneficial to consider bringing a property manager on board who can assist with maintenance issues, emergencies, and tenant communication.
For more information on how a Central Florida property management firm can help you, give us a call and let’s chat!