The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced today that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) will continue to offer COVID-19 forbearance to qualifying multifamily property owners through Sept. 30, 2021, subject to the continued tenant protections FHFA has imposed during the pandemic. The programs were set to expire June 30.
“While COVID-19 cases are declining and many home owners continue to emerge from forbearance, many renters, who are unable benefit from rising home prices, have not financially recovered from the pandemic. To help those families still struggling to pay their rent and to help multifamily property owners maintain their properties, FHFA is extending the multifamily COVID-19 forbearance and tenant protections through the end of September 2021,” said FHFA Director Mark Calabria.
Property owners with Enterprise-backed multifamily mortgages can enter a new or, if qualified, modified forbearance if they experience a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 emergency. Property owners who enter into a new or modified forbearance agreement must:
- Inform tenants in writing about tenant protections available during the property owner’s forbearance and repayment periods; and
- Agree not to evict tenants solely for the nonpayment of rent while the property is in forbearance.
Additional tenant protections apply during the repayment periods. These protections include:
- Giving tenants at least a 30-day notice to vacate;
- Not charging tenants late fees or penalties for nonpayment of rent; and
- Allowing tenant flexibility in the repayment of back-rent over time, and not necessarily in a lump sum.
In addition to requiring written tenant notification, the Enterprises have posted the tenant protections to their respective online multifamily property lookup tool websites. The property lookup tools on the Fannie Mae website and Freddie Mac website make it easier for tenants to find out if the multifamily property in which they reside has an Enterprise-backed mortgage.