Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will continue to offer COVID-19 forbearance to qualifying multifamily property owners as needed, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). However, this will be subject to the continued tenant protections FHFA has imposed during the pandemic.
This marks the fourth extension of the programs, previously set to expire Sept. 30, 2021. On Oct. 1, 2021, FHFA will allow Fannie and Freddie to continue offering COVID-19 forbearance to qualified multifamily owners, unless otherwise instructed by the FHFA.
“Given the uncertain nature of this pandemic, FHFA is taking further action to protect renters, property owners and the mortgage market,” said FHFA Acting Director Sandra L. Thompson.
Property owners with Fannie and Freddie-backed multifamily mortgages can enter a new or, if qualified, modified forbearance if they experience a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Property owners who enter into a new or modified forbearance agreement must:
– Inform tenants in writing about tenant protections available during the property owner’s forbearance and repayment periods
– Agree not to evict tenants due to the nonpayment of rent while the property is in forbearance
Additional tenant protections apply, including:
– Giving tenants at least a 30-day notice to vacate
– Not charging tenants late fees or penalties if they don’t pay their rent
– Providing tenant flexibility in the repayment of back-rent over time, and not necessarily in a lump sum