FHFA: Multifamily Owners in Forbearance Must Inform Tenants of Eviction Suspension, Tenant Protections

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Thursday multifamily property owners with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac who enter into a forbearance agreement must inform their tenants about protections during the property owner’s forbearance and repayment periods.

Apartment owners with Fannie Mae- or Freddie Mac-backed mortgages can enter new or–if qualified–modified forbearance if they experience a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While in forbearance, the property owners must agree not to evict tenants solely for the nonpayment of rent.

FHFA had previously announced additional tenant protections that apply during the repayment periods. These protections include:

FHFA Director
Mark Calabria

–Giving tenants at least a 30-day notice to vacate;

–Not charging tenants late fees or penalties for nonpayment of rent; and

–Allowing tenants flexibility to repay back rent over time and not in a lump sum.

“Landlords in forbearance must notify their tenants that they cannot be evicted for nonpayment of rent due to the pandemic,” said FHFA Director Mark Calabria. “If tenants are able to pay their rent, they should continue to do so.”

FHFA said Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will improve their online multifamily property loan look-up tools by putting the tenant protections on the look-up tools’ landing page, making it easier for tenants to find out if the multifamily property in which they reside has an Enterprise-backed mortgage.