In our August newsletter, we addressed the unanticipated dynamics, triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, that directly impact Virginia landlords. In this issue we’ll update current events as it relates to how residential rental investors may best approach tenants regarding rents today and a glimpse at post-pandemic strategies.
To set the stage, here’s a brief recap of concerns and facts related to SFH tenant profiles, financial exposure and potential added economic relief from both the Commonwealth and the feds.
On September 1st, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a temporary eviction moratorium to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. Click here to learn why few SFH tenants are likely to qualify.
Landlord Reality Check
- Virginia SFH landlords host about 1 million tenants state-wide.
- Review your tenant roster. Most likely, your SFH renters will maintain rent paying status.
- The Virginia Apartment Management Association reports that rent collections through August in professionally managed properties essentially parallels previous years. Note: KRS Holdings, as a property management firm, confirms these findings … with SFH rent collections clearly secure.
- There is current and likely additional economic relief for tenants who are financially strapped.
Renewed Federal Financial Relief Potential
Both Democrat and Republican lawmakers have proposed extensions to major provisions of the now-expired CARE Act. The Democrat proposal is embodied in a bill called HEROES. The Republican version is the HEALS Act.
However, after considerable negotiations, Congress adjourned having been unable to reach agreement on a bi-partisan compromise to reestablish much needed monetary aid to both individuals and businesses.
One day after coronavirus relief negotiations fell apart in Congress, President Donald Trump signed multiple executive actions intended to help people struggling financially due to the coronavirus pandemic. There are four major provisions of the executive order:
- Suspension of payroll taxes;
- Federal unemployment payments of $400 a week (a $200 cut from the previous $600)
- Deferrals on student loan payments through the end of the year
- Efforts to minimize evictions at federal housing.
Notably: The order does not include another round of stimulus payment.
There are reports of discussion that the president’s executive action may motivate Democrat and Republican leaders to reconvene and agree on extensions to most, if not all, of the CARES Act provisions. Note: Both Republicans and Democrats have indicated they are in favor of another round of stimulus payments. The Senate is adjourned until after Labor Day, so negotiations will not resume until after September 7.
Here are expectations of some dates the IRS could send a second stimulus check in the event a second stimulus bill passes. As a frame of reference, take a look at the timeline for the now-expired CARES Act.
Date passed by Senate
Date passed by House
First checks sent
Original CARES Act
If Senate passes
If House passes
If president signs
First checks could be sent
Final negotiated bill
Week of Sept. 28
Week of Sept. 28
Week of Oct. 3
We’ll let you know what we know as soon as the facts unfold.
Commonwealth of Virginia Financial Relief for Tenants
In June, Virginia launched the Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program (RMRP), which authorizes $50 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding for households facing eviction or foreclosure due to COVID-19. RMRP will provide short-term financial assistance on behalf of households in the form of rent and mortgage payments.
Notably, to help tenants request RMRP funds, KRS Holdings is proud to announce it initiated a phone call campaign to provide assistance in completing applications. Once tenants are pre-qualified over the phone they are given the information to apply to the correct organization for their municipality.
The End in Sight?
Announced on September 2, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advised state health officials to be ready to distribute a coronavirus vaccine to health-care workers and other high-priority groups by November 1. The technical details match the two vaccines furthest along in U.S. clinical tests, made by Moderna and Pfizer. Reactions by public health experts agree that agencies at all levels of government should urgently prepare for what will eventually be a vast, complex effort to vaccinate hundreds of millions of Americans.
This may prove to be a major health and financial breakthrough for all Americans … landlords and tenants included. Stay tuned!
Rents … What to Do … During C-19 and Post-Pandemic
We started this article with the promise to address rent strategies for the duration of the pandemic and beyond.
For as long as C-19 continues to be a health and financial scourge, SFH landlords are well advised to maintain a defensive posture to retain quality tenants … and attract replacement renters when that necessity occurs. Raising rents is not likely to be an immediate option.
Post-pandemic rent strategies will revert to support the basic premise that Your rental property is a business! Next month we’ll tackle how to manage your business in the pursuit of cash-on-cash return plus enhancing the asset value of your investment. Together, we’ll address the “balancing act” … to periodically determine rents that are fair to both tenants and to you – the investor.
The key to weathering this health and economic menace is to remain alert and diligent in serving your tenants and protecting your investment. That calls for capable, experienced management. For your consideration:
Whether becoming a landlord was a choice or a result of circumstance, it doesn’t change the fact that managing any property comes with its challenges… and we want to help. At KRS Holdings, we stand by our core principles to always be straightforward and honest in every situation. We strive to make our clients the most money possible. We’d love to share with you how we can make your property profitable.
Give us a call or drop an email. We’ll respond promptly and
relieve your stress to evaluate your property management options.
Join us in our next issue for help to maintain positive cash flow
plus help your renters and ours get through these next few months.