COVID-19 Property Management UpdateWritten By: mcsherryproper on January 10, 2021
The pandemic has defined the year, and Pennsylvania, like other states, has only begun to recover from the year’s ups and downs truly.
Today’s blog covers many property management updates in Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Eastern Montgomery, Lower Bucks, and surrounding areas. McSherry Property Management is dedicated to helping landlords and tenants in this crucial time of recovery in the new normal.
Landlord Capital Loans
Landlord Capital Loans are administered by the Impact Loan Fund and is designed to help landlords who have fifteen or less residential rental units stay afloat during this crucial time of recovery.
The guidelines indicate that rental rates must stay affordable for individuals who belong to the 60% below the area median income or AMI in the county of Philadelphia.
The guidelines have been set by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Additionally, any rent increases must not exceed three percent during the term of the Landlord Capital Loan.
The present terms of the LCL are:
– The Landlord Capital Loan must not exceed $10,000 for every landlord.
– Repayment is not required within six months after the loan is approved.
– The maximum term of the load will not exceed 36 months.
– The interest rate for the loan is fixed at 4%.
– The closing fees will amount to $150.
– Early prepayment penalties shall not be imposed.
Applications for the LCL can be routed here. Loan applications will be approved based on need; this is not a first-come, first-served application type. The PHDC is also offering the following programs to aid landlords: Basic Systems Repair Program, Restore Repair Renew, and Rental Improvement Fund.
CARES Act and Subsidy Programs
Many citizens residing in the state of Pennsylvania can qualify for protection under the CARES Act. The law applies to those who are currently qualified for HUD subsidy. Those who live in public housing or are in a low-income building (with housing tax credit), subsidized senior housing, and other subsidized housing programs are eligible under the CARES Act. Previously, tenants may not be evicted by their landlords until after August 26, 2020. After this period, landlords are required by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to attach an affidavit when filing any eviction cases in the CCP or MDJ. Courts will continue to check if the CARES Act covers the property in question.
Keep in mind that rent was not forgiven or suspended during the eviction moratorium period this year. Tenants who have balances should instead speak to their landlords or the appropriate property management firms to ensure that a proper payment plan is put into order for both parties’ benefit.
Pennsylvania renters who are currently struggling with paying their rent might be interested in seeing if they qualify for the Rental Relief Program. The Rental Relief Program is designed to aid Pennsylvania renters/residents who have suffered from at least a 30% reduction in their income during the pandemic. Those who qualify for this assistance will get up to $750 in aid for a total of six months. This aid can only be used to cure any delinquencies during the beginning of the lockdowns (March 2020) up to the current year (December 2020).
If you are qualified for other housing subsidies or rental relief programs, these programs must be exhausted first before applying for the Rental Relief Program. Tenants who have to pay less than $750 in rent monthly must convince their landlords to participate in the Rental Relief Program. If you live with other people in the same residential unit, each person living in the same house might be eligible to receive up to the exact amount of rent per month.
The Battle Against COVID-19 Continues
The COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing, and it makes full sense that property management companies and landlords alike are aware of what must continue to be done in these trying times.
– Continue to consult with local health departments and the CDC for updated guidelines on COVID-19.
– Continue to routinely clean surfaces and areas that are frequently touched and used by people. Examples of these areas are security desks, receptionist’s desks, elevator banks, bathrooms, pantries, communal kitchens or general communal areas, escalators, and the like. Routine cleaning of door handles in the front entrance of apartment buildings is a must.
– Make an effort to spread the word about COVID-19 and how to avoid it best. If necessary, offer the information in multiple languages, either offline or online. Cough etiquette is very important, especially if your rental property has communal areas where people gather frequently. Of course, wearing masks should be encouraged.
– High traffic areas in buildings should be equipped with either alcohol dispensers or hand sanitizers. This small additional cost will save lives and reduce transmission via contact with frequently-touched objects and surfaces.
– Employees who may be sick should reduce face-to-face interactions as much as possible. Such employees should also seek medical attention as soon as possible to reduce the chances of possible transmission.
– Perform a general review of all guidelines and protocols for emergency preparedness, especially internal communications for managers and employees.
– OSHA No. 1 (2006) sections 13 and 14 should be followed at all times. These sections impose duties on employees that help maintain a healthy and safe working environment.
– Additional screening of human resources is essential. There must be active protocols to be followed if an employee has traveled to an area where active transmissions have been reported.
– Always anticipate supply chain disruptions or interruptions. Prioritize risk analysis.