We hope you’re managing your health and your safety during this unprecedented time with as much ease and calm as possible. We know that the COVID-19 pandemic is touching the lives of everyone we work with, and your team at Assign Property Management would like to remind you that we’re here as a resource and a support system during these uncertain days.
There’s a lot of good information and bad information swirling around, and we want to take a moment to share how you can protect yourself and your rental property during this time.
Take Advantage of All Available Benefits
First, make sure you’re taking advantage of all the benefits and services that are available to you. If you’ve lost a job during this crisis, there are expanded unemployment benefits available. If you run a business, you can also benefit from loan programs like the Payroll Protection Act.
When it comes to your investment properties, it’s likely that you can also request a forbearance from your lenders. Even if you’re able to continue making mortgage payments, you might want to consider asking for relief, especially if you’re facing any kind of economic uncertainty or your tenants have indicated they will be unable to pay rent.
One thing to consider with the mortgage relief part of the federal stimulus is that paying back the deferred loan payments has proven to be a source of unease for many borrowers. You may have to make one lump sum payment at the end of the forbearance period, which may be more financially uncomfortable than continuing to make your payments. Make sure you know what you’re signing up for.
Eviction Moratoriums Don’t Mean Free Rent
You can’t evict a tenant right now, even if that tenant isn’t paying rent. We know that can make you uneasy and cause a lot of anxiety. Even the most compassionate landlord is certainly hoping that their tenants can scrape together at least the next month’s rent before they throw up their hands and declare that they can’t pay.
You’ll have an opportunity to evict a tenant who wasn’t paying rent before this crisis began, or a tenant who is damaging your property or not following the lease terms. This is simply a delay.
We recommend communicating with tenants openly and transparently. Find out if they’re still employed, if they are claiming an unemployment benefits, and if they’ll be able to make some or all of their rental payments.
Missed rent doesn’t mean it will remain unpaid forever. While some landlords are making headlines by forgiving rental payments when they can, this isn’t the norm. Any missed payments are still part of what’s owed under the lease agreement. We’d be happy to talk to you in detail about how to ensure you are protected financially.
Work with a Dallas Fort Worth Property Management Company
Your local property managers can be an outstanding resource in times of crisis. If you’re not already working with a professional Dallas Fort Worth property management company, this is an excellent time to call for help. Self-managing always comes with risks and the potential for expensive mistakes, but a situation like this is especially difficult to navigate on your own, especially if you don’t know the laws or understand the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants.
Please feel free to contact us at Assign Property Management for any additional help or resources.