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Hi SCRHA Member,

Today is Tuesday, March 31, 2020, and rents are due tomorrow. This will mark the first due date since the declared state of emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic. Two important things to note:

  • We just posted an updated Form 298 COVID-19 Hardship Consideration (to comply with recent changes in regulations) and we have now posted the NEW Form 400.5 COVID-19 Three-Day Pay or Quit. 
  • Rent-Strike - We have heard of a potential rent strike (where renters refuse to pay their rent). 
Read on for more on these topics.

Forms 

As stated above, we have updated the Form 298 to comply with changes late last week in the regulations. Please download, review and use this new form. The New Form 400.5, was created with the assistance of our attorneys in order to continue standard practices as required, but to incorporate the COVID-19 emergency regulations.

We are working closely with our attorney members to ensure we are providing the forms you need and updating them based on attorney advice. Because this situation remains fluid, keep a watchful eye out for other changes in the future. 

You might find Form 380 Payment Plan Agreement useful too. It can be accessed in the Member Portal.

Rent Strike

Several news outlets have reported of a potential "rent strike" being threatened by a tenant group in the San Diego area. Rent strikes have been proposed in various areas of the United States - as well as some spots in Europe and other parts of the world - among people who feel they should not have to pay rent because of the mandatory COVID-19 shutdowns.

We want to remind our members, similar to the recent rent control discussions, it is best not to engage strikers/protesters should any appear at your community. For the most part, if the strike does occur, it should be in the form of non-payment of rent - at which time you have to follow all of your normal/standard practices to avoid any Fair Housing lawsuits.

That said, if you are confronted by a protesting individual, do not engage them and walk away. If need be, you may need to secure your offices. Only you can gauge the situation. 

Many jobs are supported by the rental housing industry, including those considered as essential by the government; property managers, maintenance technicians, and the like. A rent strike will only jeopardize the greater community, not just the property owner. 

Communicating with Residents Regarding Rent Payment Situation

Because of the differences in the Moratorium Regulations, the SCRHA has not been able to create a sample letter for you to use when communicating to residents about rent payments. Instead, we encourage you to reach out to residents proactively and assess their situation. Here is some sample language that might helpparticularly in conjunction with Form 298 mentioned above: 

Sample Language:  If you have experienced a job layoff or business slowdown that has impacted your family’s income due to COVID-19 pandemic and cannot pay your rent in accordance with the terms of your Rental Agreement, please notify the rental office of your circumstances prior to your due date, but no later the seven days after it. We cannot forgive any rent due, but we will work in good faith with you. We encourage you to pay what you are able and we will ask you to sign a Payment Agreement outlining how you will pay the balance of the rent. You will need to provide proof that your circumstance relates to the COVID-19 pandemic to the rental office at some point, so we suggest that you gather that information as well (pay stubs, bank statements, notices of layoff or furlough, etc.). 

FAQs 

As our members access the Frequently Asked Questions and get requests from residents, they have been reaching out to our Operational Advisers with more questions. We have been adding new questions/answers to the FAQs, so check back often for added information. 

Member Survey

To assist the SCRHA in representing your viewpoints on the COVID-19 crisis, please take the time to respond to our quick, 1-minute COVID-19 SURVEY. We will close the survey tonight at midnight. 

Moratorium Regulations 

Many cities and counties have adopted emergency ordinances with regard to COVID-19 in our service area. You can find links to those resources on the COVID-19 Resource page. Local ordinances, for the most part, supersede the Governor’s new Order Adopted 3-27-2020. There are some exceptions and grey areas that we are working to clarify now. We will send out an update as soon as we know more.

Social Media 

Don’t forget to follow us Twitter and Facebook for updates. Encourage your industry colleagues and team members to do the same. Twitters has been a hot bed of information from governments as well. 

We will continue to update the page regularly as information, guidance, and resources continue to evolve. Please check back often. We anticipate several more local jurisdictions to adopt regulations this week

If you have a question we have not answered, please email us at Info@SoCalRHA.org and we will do what we can to get an answer and post it to the site. Critical reviews are welcome so that we may ensure we are providing the essential information you need to be successful.

Sincerely,

Alan Pentico 
Executive Director