New 2021 Rules for Advertising by Oregon Real Estate Licensee

The Oregon Real Estate Agency has adopted new rules for advertising, effective January 1, 2021

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(January 6, 2020)

 OnlineEd – The Oregon Real Estate Agency has updated advertising rules for real estate licensees. Highlights of these new rules for brokers and principal brokers, which became effective January 1, 2021, are listed below.

  • Brokers no longer need their principal broker’s approval for their advertising, which makes brokers responsible for their own advertising. However, principal brokers can still establish internal policies for advertising approval.
  • If the advertising licensee is not the authorized licensee for the registered business being advertised, the licensee cannot state or imply in the advertisement that they are responsible for the operation of the registered business.
  • Any licensee can register with the Oregon Real Estate Agency for an alternative name to use in their advertising. If the licensee is known by a name other than their legal name, the registered name can be used in advertising. However, when using an alternative name, the licensee’s license number must be included in their advertisements.
  • Registered business names no longer need to be included in social media posts advertising real estate or real estate services so long as the posts link to a social media profile page or another web page that includes the licensee’s licensed name or registered alternative name and their registered business name.
  • “Licensed in Oregon” is no longer required for online advertising.

All of the new and updated rules, along with rules for property managers, can be found here.

 

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OnlineEd® is a Registered Trademark. For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers, visit www.OnlineEd.com.

OnlineEd blog postings are the opinion of the author. Nothing posted in this or any other article is intended as legal or any other type of professional advice. Be sure to consult an appropriate professional when professional advice is needed. Excerpts from articles not originating with Jeff Sorg/OnlineEd are reprinted with permission; remain the author’s sole property; no permission to reprint articles or portions thereof not arising from this blog but reprinted here is given or implied. Information in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication. Still, the author does not guarantee articles to be accurate, and information may have been obtained from third-party sources and cannot be further verified for correctness. Due to the subject matter’s fluid nature, information may or may not be correct after the publication date and should be verified.

Categories: Real Estate

Exceptions to Oregon Property Manager Licensing

Oregon does have a few exceptions to property manager licensing

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(December 9, 2020)

 OnlineEd – Property management of rental real estate under Oregon law also means representing a tenant or prospective tenant when renting or leasing real estate and includes, but is not limited to:

  • consulting with tenants or prospective tenants about renting or leasing real estate;
  • assisting prospective tenants in renting or leasing real estate;
  • assisting prospective tenants in qualifying for renting or leasing real estate;
  • accepting deposits or other funds from prospective tenants for renting or leasing real estate and holding the funds in trust for the prospective tenants;
  • representing tenants or prospective tenants renting or leasing real estate;
  • offering or attempting to do any of the acts described in this paragraph for a tenant or prospective tenant. These activities apply to residential real estate and nonresidential real estate. Residential real estate is defined as real property that constitutes “dwelling units” and “premises,” and nonresidential real estate is anything other than residential real estate.

There are some exceptions to the requirement to have a license for property management. Some of these exceptions are:

  • When a person is an employee of a property manager or principal broker. An unlicensed employee of a property manager or principal broker cannot negotiate a property management agreement with an owner. However, an unlicensed employee can engage in other property management activities under the supervision of a property manager or principal broker, so long as the employee follows the laws and rules governing property management activities. Some of these permitted activities are:
    • showing a rental unit to a prospective tenant;
    • receiving rental applications from prospective tenants;
    • checking a tenant’s personal and credit references;
    • negotiating rental agreements with tenants;
    • hiring for repairs or maintenance;
    • collecting and processing rents;
    • supervising a premise manager; and
    • coordinating F.E.D. (Forcible Entry and Detainer) actions.
  • When a person is a full-time employee of a single owner of real estate whose activities involve real estate of the employer and are incidental to the employee’s normal nonreal estate activities.

A common example would be the secretary of a property owner who periodically shows vacant space to potential tenants.

  • When a person is acting as an attorney-in-fact under a duly executed power of attorney from the owner. A power of attorney must authorize the person to supervise or execute any contract to lease real estate. A power of attorney must be recorded in the county in which the subject property is located.
  • When an attorney is rendering services in the performance of his or her duties as an attorney for a client.

A typical example is an attorney entering into a rental agreement for property belonging to an estate in probate.

  • When a person engages in property management activity under the order of any court.

A typical situation for this exemption is a court-appointed receiver ordered to manage and liquidate property in a bankrupt estate.

  • When a person is a regular full-time employee of a single nonlicensed corporation, partnership, association, or single owner and that person only engages in property management activity for that single entity. This employee may engage in property management activity only. The employee may not engage in the sale, exchange, lease option, or purchase of the owner’s real property. The employee may manage property ranging from one residential unit to multiple apartment complexes. The employee’s compensation must be through regular paychecks, with proper federal and state tax withholding. In other words, independent contractor status is not allowed. If the individual holds a real estate license, the exemption does not apply.
  • When a person is a general partner for a domestic or foreign limited partnership. The person must be working for a limited partnership properly registered with the Oregon Secretary of State, Corporation Division. The general partner may engage in the sale, acquisition, exchange, lease transfer, or management of the limited partnership’s real estate without a license. If the individual holds a real estate license, the exemption does not apply.
  • Community Association Managers. Under Oregon law, a community association manager does not fall under the definition of professional real estate activity and does not have to be licensed by the Oregon Real Estate Agency. A community association manager will manage the common property and services of condominiums, cooperatives, and planned communities through their homeowners’ association. While a community association manager’s work is similar to that of a property manager, the community manager does not deal with tenants but does deal with owners of property within the association and its residents.
  • Vacation Rental Management. ORS 696.030 does not consider vacation rental management as a professional real estate activity. Vacation rental management deals with transient lodging, which does not require a real estate license.

 

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OnlineEd® is a Registered Trademark. For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers visit www.OnlineEd.com.

OnlineEd blog postings are the opinion of the author. Nothing posted in this or any other article is intended as legal or any other type of professional advice. Be sure to consult an appropriate professional when professional advice is needed. Excerpts from articles not originating with Jeff Sorg/OnlineEd are reprinted with permission; remain the author’s sole property; no permission to reprint articles or portions thereof not arising from this blog but reprinted here is given or implied. Information in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication. Still, the author does not guarantee articles to be accurate, and information may have been obtained from third-party sources and cannot be further verified for correctness. Due to the subject matter’s fluid nature, information may or may not be correct after the publication date and should be verified.

Categories: Real Estate

FTC Sues to Block CoStar Group, Inc.’s Proposed Acquisition of RentPath Holdings, Inc.

The acquisition could increase the concentration of internet listing services advertising for large apartment complexes

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(December 4, 2020)

 OnlineEd – The Federal Trade Commission has filed an administrative complaint (a public version of which will be available and linked to this news release as soon as possible), and authorized a suit in federal court, to block internet listing services provider CoStar Group Inc.’s proposed $587.5 million acquisition of competitor RentPath Holdings, Inc. CoStar operates a network of websites, including Apartments.com, ApartmentFinder.com, and ForRent.com, which are two-sided platforms that match prospective renters with available apartments. RentPath operates similar websites, including Rent.com and ApartmentGuide.com.

The complaint alleges that the acquisition would significantly increase concentration in the already highly concentrated markets for internet listing services advertising for large apartment complexes in 49 individual metropolitan areas across the United States.

“Renters have come to depend on the convenience of online search sites to find available apartments that meet their needs and budget,” said Daniel Francis, Deputy Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition. “CoStar and RentPath operate several of the most popular sites, and their aggressive, head-to-head competition has kept advertising rates low while offering consumers a convenient, data-rich tool for finding an apartment. This acquisition will eliminate price and quality competition that benefits both renters and property managers.”

Internet listing services, or ILSs, provide free user-friendly interfaces for consumers to search for a place to live from a database of available units. Information about the number of bedrooms, monthly rent, available move-in date, and amenities like swimming pools or exercise rooms is readily available, as are floor plans, real-time vacancy data, and quality photos or video tours. Millions of U.S. consumers rely on ILSs each year to gather information about rental properties, or to contact property managers about leasing an apartment, according to the complaint.

For apartment owners and property managers, ILSs help to fill apartments by creating and targeting advertisements of vacant units to interested prospective renters. Property managers pay ILSs advertising fees in exchange for listing their properties. ILSs attract significant numbers of prospective renters to browse available rental units, and provide a way for them to contact properties directly to express interest in leasing.

According to the complaint, 70 percent of U.S. apartment complexes with 200 or more units, and approximately 50 percent of U.S. apartment buildings with 100 to 199 units, advertise on ILSs operated by either CoStar, or RentPath, or both. The acquisition will increase concentration in these markets even further.

The complaint alleges that for years, CoStar and RentPath have been each other’s closest rivals, competing to sell ILS advertising to property management companies and to attract prospective renters to use their ILS search services. CoStar and RentPath compete aggressively for website traffic from prospective renters and business from advertisers. Each has targeted the other with sales campaigns and significant discounts to win and retain advertising customers.

The Commission vote to issue the administrative complaint and to authorize staff to seek a preliminary injunction was 4-1. Commissioner Christine S. Wilson voted no. The FTC will file a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to enjoin the deal pending an administrative trial. The administrative trial is scheduled to begin on June 1, 2021.

 

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OnlineEd® is a Registered Trademark. For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers visit www.OnlineEd.com.

OnlineEd blog postings are the opinion of the author. Nothing posted in this or any other article is intended as legal or any other type of professional advice. Be sure to consult an appropriate professional when professional advice is needed. Excerpts from articles not originating with Jeff Sorg/OnlineEd are reprinted with permission; remain the author’s sole property; no permission to reprint articles or portions thereof not arising from this blog but reprinted here is given or implied. Information in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication. Still, the author does not guarantee articles to be accurate, and information may have been obtained from third-party sources and cannot be further verified for correctness. Due to the subject matter’s fluid nature, information may or may not be correct after the publication date and should be verified.

Monthly New Residential Sales for November 2020

Sales of new single-family houses rise above last October

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(December 1, 2020)

(WashingtonDC ) – The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly announced on November 25, 2020, the following new residential sales statistics for October 2020:

New Home Sales
Sales of new single-family houses in October 2020 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 999,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 0.3 percent (±13.6 percent)* below the revised September rate of 1,002,000, but is 41.5
percent (±22.6 percent) above the October 2019 estimate of 706,000.

Sales Price
The median sales price of new houses sold in October 2020 was $330,600. The average sales price was $386,200. For Sale Inventory and Months’ Supply The seasonally-adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of October was 278,000. This represents a supply of 3.3 months at the current sales rate. The November report is scheduled for release on December 23, 2020.

[Source: News release number: CB20-177]

 

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OnlineEd® is a Registered Trademark. For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers visit www.OnlineEd.com.

OnlineEd blog postings are the opinion of the author. Nothing posted in this or any other article is intended as legal or any other type of professional advice. Be sure to consult an appropriate professional when professional advice is needed. Excerpts from articles not originating with Jeff Sorg/OnlineEd are reprinted with permission; remain the author’s sole property; no permission to reprint articles or portions thereof not arising from this blog but reprinted here is given or implied. Information in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication. Still, the author does not guarantee articles to be accurate, and information may have been obtained from third-party sources and cannot be further verified for correctness. Due to the subject matter’s fluid nature, information may or may not be correct after the publication date and should be verified.

U.S. House Price Index Report – 2020 Q3

 House prices rose 7.8 percent from the third quarter of 2019

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(November 30, 2020)

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. house prices rose 7.8 percent from the third quarter of 2019 to the third quarter of 2020 according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Index (FHFA HPI®). House prices were up 3.1 percent in the third quarter of 2020. FHFA’s seasonally adjusted monthly index for September was up 1.7 percent from August.

“House prices recorded their strongest quarterly gain in the history of the FHFA HPI purchase-only series in the third quarter of 2020,” said Dr. Lynn Fisher, Deputy Director of the Division of Research and Statistics at FHFA. “Relative to a year ago, prices were up 7.8 percent during the quarter – the fastest year-over-year rate of appreciation since 2006. Monthly data indicate that prices continued to accelerate during the quarter, reaching 9.1 percent in September, as demand continues to outpace the supply of homes available for sale.”

​View highlights video featuring Dr. Lynn Fisher at https://youtu.be/qK47v7eLfcQ.

 

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OnlineEd® is a Registered Trademark. For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers visit www.OnlineEd.com.

OnlineEd blog postings are the opinion of the author. Nothing posted in this or any other article is intended as legal or any other type of professional advice. Be sure to consult an appropriate professional when professional advice is needed. Excerpts from articles not originating with Jeff Sorg/OnlineEd are reprinted with permission; remain the author’s sole property; no permission to reprint articles or portions thereof not arising from this blog but reprinted here is given or implied. Information in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication. Still, the author does not guarantee articles to be accurate, and information may have been obtained from third-party sources and cannot be further verified for correctness. Due to the subject matter’s fluid nature, information may or may not be correct after the publication date and should be verified.

Fannie and Freddie Baseline Limit Increases to $548,250 in 2021

FHFA Announces Conforming Loan Limits for 2021

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(November 30, 2020)

Washington, D.C. – The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today announced the maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages to be acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2021.  In most of the U.S., the 2021 maximum conforming loan limit (CLL) for one-unit properties will be $548,250, an increase from $510,400 in 2020.

Baseline limit – The Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) requires that the baseline CLL be adjusted each year for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to reflect the change in the average U.S. home price.  Earlier today, FHFA published its third-quarter 2020 FHFA House Price Index® (FHFA HPI®) report, which includes estimates for the increase in the average U.S. home value over the last four quarters.  According to the seasonally adjusted, expanded-data FHFA HPI, house prices increased 7.42 percent, on average, between the third quarters of 2019 and 2020.  Therefore, the baseline maximum CLL it in 2021 will increase by the same percentage.

High-cost area limits – For areas in which 115 percent of the local median home value exceeds the baseline CLL, the maximum loan limit will be higher than the baseline loan limit.  HERA establishes the maximum loan limit in those areas as a multiple of the area median home value, while setting a “ceiling” on that limit of 150 percent of the baseline loan limit.  Median home values generally increased in high-cost areas in 2020, driving up the maximum loan limits in many areas.  The new ceiling loan limit for one-unit properties in most high-cost areas will be $822,375 — or 150 percent of $548,250.

Special statutory provisions establish different loan limit calculations for Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  In these areas, the baseline loan limit will be $822,375 for one-unit properties.

As a result of generally rising home values, the increase in the baseline loan limit, and the increase in the ceiling loan limit, the maximum CLL will be higher in 2021 in all but 18 counties or county equivalents in the U.S.

Questions about the 2021 CLLs can be addressed to LoanLimitQuestions@fhfa.gov and more information is available at https://www.fhfa.gov/CLLs.

Other Resources

[Source: Federal Housing Finance Agency news release]

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OnlineEd® is a Registered Trademark. For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers visit www.OnlineEd.com.

OnlineEd blog postings are the opinion of the author. Nothing posted in this or any other article is intended as legal or any other type of professional advice. Be sure to consult an appropriate professional when professional advice is needed. Excerpts from articles not originating with Jeff Sorg/OnlineEd are reprinted with permission; remain the author’s sole property; no permission to reprint articles or portions thereof not arising from this blog but reprinted here is given or implied. Information in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication. Still, the author does not guarantee articles to be accurate, and information may have been obtained from third-party sources and cannot be further verified for correctness. Due to the subject matter’s fluid nature, information may or may not be correct after the publication date and should be verified.

Categories: Mortgage, Real Estate

Effective Immediately: Discriminatory Speech and Conduct Outside of REALTORS® Practice is Prohibited

The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Board of Directors approved a change today expanding the Code of Ethics’ applicability to discriminatory speech and conduct outside of members’ real estate practices.

OnlineEd Blog

(November 13, 2020)

 

Salem, Oregon November 13, 2020 – NAR’s Board of Directors today strengthened REALTORS®’ commitment to upholding fair housing ideals, approving a series of recommendations from NAR’s Professional Standards Committee that extend the application of Article 10 of the Code of Ethics to discriminatory speech and conduct outside of members’ real estate practices.

Article 10 prohibits REALTORS® from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity in the provision of professional services and in employment practices. The Board approved a new Standard of Practice under the Article, 10-5, that states, “REALTORS® must not use harassing speech, hate speech, epithets, or slurs” against members of those protected classes.

The Board also approved a change to professional standards policy, expanding the Code of Ethics’ applicability to all of a REALTOR®’s activities, and added guidance to the Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual to help professional standards hearing panels apply the new standard.

Finally, Directors approved a revision to the NAR Bylaws, expanding the definition of “public trust” to include all discrimination against the protected classes under Article 10 along with all fraud. Associations are required to share with the state real estate licensing authority final ethics decisions holding REALTORS® in violation of the Code of Ethics in instances involving real estate-related activities and transactions where there is reason to believe the public trust may have been violated.

The Board made these changes effective immediately, though the changes cannot be applied to speech or conduct that occurred before the effective date. NAR has produced training and resource materials to assist leaders with understanding and implementing the changes and will be rolling those out in the coming weeks.

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OnlineEd® is a Registered Trademark. For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers, visit www.OnlineEd.com.

OnlineEd blog postings are the opinion of the author. Nothing posted in this or any other article is intended as legal or any other type of professional advice. Be sure to consult an appropriate professional when professional advice is needed. Excerpts from articles not originating with Jeff Sorg/OnlineEd are reprinted with permission; remain the sole property of the author; no permission to reprint articles or portions thereof not arising from this blog but reprinted here is given or implied. Information in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication. Still, it is not guaranteed by the author to be accurate, or information may have been obtained from third-party sources and cannot be further verified for correctness. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices, and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified.

How to Find Out if Someone Holds an Oregon Real Estate License

How the public can easily verify an Oregon real estate license

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(October 1, 2020)

 OnlineEd – The Oregon Real Estate Agency Index Page provides many features for the public and its licensees. One feature the public takes advantage of from this page is being able to confirm that an individual who represents theirself to be a licensee is, in fact, a licensee. Finding out the license status of an individual takes just a few clicks using the Agency’s handy “licensee lookup” feature, and it’s pretty intuitive. For example, a search can be performed by first name, last name, business name, license number, address, or any combination of these fields.

Buyers and sellers should make sure that someone holding theirself out to be a real estate broker is an active licensed before hiring the person. Another reason to search for the legitimacy of a license is to prevent being scammed. Currently, for example, scammers are contacting timeshare owners, giving the names of legitimate Oregon real estate licensees, representing they have a buyer for their timeshare, asking the owner to wire transfer money to pay a “transfer fee” to effect the transfer of the timeshares. Finally, the scammers will ask the seller to sign over a deed.

Clearly, the Agency provides this service for many reasons. It only takes a few moments using the Agency’s tool to find out if someone is legitimate or to find the actual contact information to make verification. A few minutes could save thousands of dollars and a whole lot of trouble!

 

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OnlineEd® is a Registered Trademark. For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers visit www.OnlineEd.com.

OnlineEd blog postings are the opinion of the author. Nothing posted in this or any other article is intended as legal or any other type of professional advice. Be sure to consult an appropriate professional when professional advice is needed. Excerpts from articles not originating with Jeff Sorg/OnlineEd are reprinted with permission; remain the sole property of the author; no permission to reprint articles or portions thereof not arising from this blog but reprinted here is given or implied. Information in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication. Still, it is not guaranteed by the author to be accurate, or information may have been obtained from third-party sources and cannot be further verified for correctness. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices, and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified.

Escrow Explained

Escrow is a legal arrangement for the delivery of documents or funds to a neutral third party to be held until a particular event happens

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(September 17, 2020)

Escrow is very important to real estate, but it is not unique to real estate. Escrow is used in many non-real estate transactions, ranging from holding funds in an account pending the release or delivery of goods in daily commerce to holding funds or documents pending the settlement of a legal proceeding. So what is escrow? Escrow is a legal arrangement for delivering documents or funds to a neutral third party, to be held until a particular event happens or condition is performed. Once the event or condition happens, the subsequent release of those documents or funds to another party will occur.

In the real estate business, escrow, in its most basic form, is delivering the deed by the property seller to a neutral third party who will hold it until the buyer deposits the full amount of the purchase price. When escrow has collected the deed and funds, and the closing date arrives, escrow will deliver the deed to the buyer, and the sale proceeds to the seller.

Escrow is depositing funds, documents, and other instruments by a buyer or seller, or a borrower or lender, with an impartial third party for delivery on completion of the terms of the escrow instructions. The escrow agent acts only on written instructions from the transaction principals, and also serves as a custodian for the funds and documents. Escrow is also a kind of clearinghouse to collect and make payments of all demands, and an agency to perform the clerical details to settle the accounts between the parties.

Because a party completes the responsibility for handling the funds and documents with no interest in either, escrow also ensures property ownership transfers happen fairly, impartially, and with minimum risk to either the buyer or seller. Escrow should be used whenever a third party is needed to ensure impartiality or to hold funds and documents safely until all the contract requirements of each party have been fulfilled or agreed to.

The key to the escrow process is neutrality. The escrow company should be agreed upon between the clients. Still, in reality, the real estate agents like to entrust their transactions to escrow officers with whom they have become familiar and trust to do an efficient job. A trusted escrow officer is one that can take a tremendous burden off the busy real estate agent. Real estate agents also feel obligated to give business to the escrow company that provides them with property research information and other useful information and tools. Nevertheless, licensees should remember that in the relationship between the licensee and the escrow officer, the escrow officer must always be independent and neutral.

The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) of 1974 is a federal law that affects how closing is handled in most residential transactions. The main goals of the act are to provide borrowers with information about closing costs, to allow consumers to become better shoppers of settlement services, and to eliminate kickbacks and referral fees that increase the cost of settlement for the consumer.

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OnlineEd® is a Registered Trademark. For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers, visit www.OnlineEd.com.

OnlineEd blog postings are the opinion of the author. Nothing posted in this or any other article is intended as legal or any other type of professional advice. Be sure to consult an appropriate professional when professional advice is needed. Excerpts from articles not originating with Jeff Sorg/OnlineEd are reprinted with permission; remain the sole property of the author; no permission to reprint articles or portions thereof not arising from this blog but reprinted here is given or implied. Information in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication. Still, it is not guaranteed by the author to be accurate, or information may have been obtained from third-party sources and cannot be further verified for correctness. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices, and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified.

CDC Halts Evictions Nationwide – Renters Must Claim Protection

Centers for Disease Control Moratorium Stops Residential Evictions to Help Prevent Spread of COVID-19

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(September 2, 2020)

Worried couple facing eviction

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), located within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), announced the issuance of an Order under Section 361 of the Public Health Service Act to temporarily halt residential evictions to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. The moratorium becomes effective on its publication date in the Federal Register of September 4, 2020, and remains in effect through December 31, 2020.

Under the order, a landlord, an owner of a residential property, or another person with a legal right to pursue eviction or possessory action, shall not evict any covered person from any residential property in any jurisdiction to which the moratorium order applies during its effective period. The order does not apply in any State, local, territorial, or tribal area with a moratorium on residential evictions providing the same or greater level of public-health protection than the CDC order. Nor does it preclude State, local, territorial, and tribal authorities from imposing additional requirements that provide greater public-health protection and are more restrictive requirements. The order is a temporary eviction moratorium to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 and does not relieve any individual of any obligation to pay rent, make a housing payment, or comply with any other obligation under a tenancy, lease, or similar contract. Nothing in the order precludes charging or collecting fees, penalties, or interest as a result of the failure to pay rent or other housing payments on a timely basis, under the terms of any applicable contract.

For renters to qualify for the CDC’s protections, they must make less than $99,000 a year, or $198,000 if filing taxes jointly, be unable to pay rent because of loss of income or extraordinary medical expenses, if they would become homeless or be required to live in crowded conditions, and have to declare that they have no other housing options available if evicted. This CDC ban will apply only if there isn’t a more protective state moratorium already in place.  According to the CDC, “In the absence of State and local protections, as many as 30–40 million people in America could be at risk of eviction. A wave of evictions on that scale would be unprecedented in modern times. A large portion of those who are evicted may move into close quarters in shared housing or become homeless, thus contributing to the spread of COVID-19.”

Tenants, under penalty of purgery, must swear to the following:

  • They have used best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing;
  • They either expect to earn no more than $99,000 in annual income for Calendar Year 2020 (or no more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax return), was not required to report any income in 2019 to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, or received an Economic Impact Payment (stimulus check) under Section 2201 of the CARES Act;
  • They are unable to pay my full rent or make a full housing payment due to substantial loss of household income, loss of compensable hours of work or wages, lay-offs, or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses;
  • They are using best efforts to make timely partial payments that are as close to the full payment as the individual’s circumstances may permit, taking into account other nondiscretionary expenses;
  • If evicted that they would likely become homeless, need to move into a homeless shelter, or need to move into a new residence shared by other people who live in close quarters because they have no other available housing options.
  • They understand that they must still pay rent or make a housing payment, and comply with other obligations that they may have under their tenancy, lease agreement, or similar contract. And further understand that fees, penalties, or interest for not paying rent or making a housing payment on time as required by their tenancy, lease agreement, or similar contract may still be charged or collected.
  • They further understand that at the end of this temporary halt on evictions on December 31, 2020, their housing provider may require payment in full for all payments not made before and during the temporary halt, and failure to pay may make them subject to eviction under State and local laws.

 

Any person who violates the CDC order may be subject to a fine of no more than $100,000 if the violation does not result in a death or one year in jail, or both, or a fine of no more than $250,000 if the violation results in a death or one year in jail, or both, or as otherwise provided by law. An organization violating the order may be subject to a fine of no more than $200,000 per event if the violation does not result in a death or $500,000 per occurrence if the violation results in a death or as otherwise provided by law.

[Image Credit: (c) CanStockPhoto] [Source: Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19]

 

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OnlineEd blog postings are the opinion of the author and not intended as legal or other professional advice. Be sure to consult the appropriate party when professional advice is needed.

Excerpts from articles not originating with Jeff Sorg/OnlineEd are reprinted with permission; remain the sole property of the author; no permission to reprint is given or implied.

For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers, visit www.OnlineEd.com.

Information in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author or may have been obtained from third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

OnlineEd® is a registered Trademark

Categories: Mortgage, Real Estate Tags: , , ,