Apartment owners get a little more breathing room from feds

Landlords who are struggling with their monthly bills because tenants are unable to pay rent have been given an additional three months’ forbearance on their own mortgage obligations.

It applies only to multi-family properties financed with a mortgage backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

The action by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, extends the original forbearance guidelines for multi-family property borrowers under the CARES Act, which allowed for three months of forbearance.

That was set to expire July 25.

The new guidelines require landlords to provide tenant protections, including giving renters behind on payments the flexibility to pay back rent over time, and not in a lump sum. Landlords also cannot charge tenants late fees or penalties for non-payment of rent, and must give tenants at least 30 days notice to vacate.

For landlords, once forbearance ends, they would have 24 months to repay missed monthly payments.

Renters struggling with payments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic have access to HUD-approved housing counselors.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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