Federal Housing Finance Agency to Require Multifamily Property Owners in Forbearance to Inform Tenants of Eviction Suspension and Tenant Protections

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced on August 6 that multifamily property owners with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) who enter into a new or modified forbearance agreement must inform tenants in writing about tenant protections during the owner's forbearance and repayment periods. Landlords with Enterprise-backed mortgages can enter new or modified forbearance if they experienced or continue to experience a financial hardship due to the coronavirus emergency (see Memo, 7/6). While in forbearance, property owners must agree not to evict tenants solely for nonpayment of rent. FHFA previously announced additional tenant protections that apply during the repayment periods (see Memo, 7/6).

Protections include:

  • Not charging tenants late fees or penalties for nonpayment of rent
  • Allowing tenants flexibility to repay back rent over time and not in a lump sum
  • Giving tenants at least a 30-day notice to vacate

FHFA’s action is responsive to one of two requests NLIHC made to FHFA Director Mark Calabria during NLIHC’s July 13 National Coronavirus, Housing, and Homelessness Call. NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel asked that residents be notified in writing that the property that they are renting was granted forbearance and that tenants have eviction protections during the period of forbearance. Diane also asked that FHFA ensure that tenants using the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lookup tools could determine whether the owner of their property had received mortgage forbearance, but the FHFA announcement does not yet reflect this. A recording of Mr. Calabria’s discussion starts at minute 36, and Ms. Yentel’s questions about improving the lookup tools and informing residents is at around minute 56.

The FHFA announcement is at: https://bit.ly/3kron8r