Multifamily Borrowers in Forbearance Cannot Evict Tenants, FHFA Says

(From Credit Union Journal) – Landlords with government-backed loans in forbearance must inform tenants in writing that they are protected from eviction, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) said.

The FHFA said Thursday that multifamily property owners with loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can enter into new or modified forbearance plans if they have a financial hardship due to the coronavirus, but the landlords must agree not to evict tenants solely for the nonpayment of rent.

“Landlords in forbearance must notify their tenants that they cannot be evicted for nonpayment of rent due to the pandemic,” FHFA Director Mark Calabria said in a press release. “If tenants are able to pay their rent, they should continue to do so.”

FHFA had previously announced tenant protections that apply during forbearance repayment periods including giving tenants at least a 30-day notice to vacate; not charging tenants late fees or penalties for nonpayment of rent; and allowing tenants flexibility to repay back rent over time and not in one lump sum.

FHFA also said that it has made improvements to a website to allow tenants to determine whether a multifamily property has a loan backed by Fannie or Freddie.