March 27, 2020
Rent and Coronavirus: What Can Be Done
As thousands of Americans find their lives uprooted because of the spread of COVID-19, one group, in particular, is feeling the ramifications of layoffs, furloughs, and income cuts. Landlords. With the first of the month approaching, many renters are worried that they won’t be able to put food on the table for their families, let alone make rent. For landlords, they understand the unrest, as they too depend on the income from rental properties for their own income, as well as to pay utilities, mortgage, and taxes. With coronavirus still running rampant, what can be done to ensure renters can afford their monthly costs, so in turn, landlords can continue renting?
Pennsylvania Legislation in Place – What it Means for Rent and Coronavirus
In a memorandum dated March 17, Pennsylvania lawmakers are working on legislation to protect tenants from eviction during the coronavirus pandemic. The bill would protect vulnerable workers who are unemployed or are facing unemployment, who cannot find new work during the pandemic.
It aims to provide an “exemption from eviction for workers who are unemployed, separated from their employment or unable to find employment when an epidemic or pandemic requires the Governor to declare a state of emergency. Landlords in violation will face penalties.”
Along with this proposed bill, lawmakers also hope to help those low-income families with an extended deadline for Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and to speed up the state’s Property Tax and Rent Rebate program to issue payments before the scheduled start date of July 1.
As of now, state residents can’t be evicted from their homes or businesses through August 31. However, what is to happen after the August deadline is unclear.
In addition to this proposed legislation, the Commonwealth is providing resources to families and landlords during this time for mortgage and rental assistance:
- Mortgage: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
- Rental assistance: US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
These are trying times for everyone. If you know you cannot make your next rent payment, contact your landlord immediately. Do not wait until the payment is already late.
If you are worried you will not be able to make your April or May rent or are afraid you will fall behind on your mortgage payments, do not delay.
Call Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano Today For a Free Consultation
You are not alone in feeling like you won’t be able to afford your home. These are trying times. Let us help you through this time, and provide you guidance on what can be done next. Our staff is working remotely and can provide you legal assistance over the phone, email or through our advanced technology.
Contact the Scranton real estate attorneys at Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano today for a free consultation. Serving clients in Lackawanna and Luzerne counties, Wayne County, Monroe County, and Pike County.