COVID-19 FAQ for Homeowners
COVID-19 pandemic concerns for Homeowners with rental properties
Zenith is fully operational and in compliance with the Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order. We are providing the premium service to our clients through the hard work of our adaptive professional Zenith team.
We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions addressing concerns many homeowners have regarding their rental property. In the current climate of uncertainty right now, and with many unknowns, we will regularly work on keeping this page up to date with the latest information available regarding COVID-19 and the concerns homeowners may have with their rental properties and tenants.
What is the Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order?
To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), effective midnight on Wednesday, March 25th, Governor Inslee issued a statewide “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. The Order will initially last for two weeks and requires the closure of all “non-essential critical infrastructure businesses.” Workers that are considered non-essential and who do not have in-person contact with others, can continue to work remotely from home only. The Order may be extended and may be modified. On Saturday, March 28th, in cooperation with Washington Realtors, Governor Inslee agreed to certain modifications to the Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order for the real estate and property management industries. Due to the fact that the vast majority of real estate brokers and property managers are abiding by the order, several of the original restrictions on in-person activities have been revised – provided that strict protocols for social distancing are implemented.
What are the required protocols for any permitted in-person activity?
The protocols that must be followed for permitted in-person activities include:
- In-person activities must be by appointment only;
- No more than two people, including the leasing agent, may be at the property at any one time; and
- Those two persons must strictly follow social distancing guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) by remaining at least six feet apart at all times.
Can a property manager physically preview or show properties?
Yes. In-person previews or showings of properties are permitted if the required protocols are followed. Previews or showings must be by appointment, a total of no more than two people, including the Property Manager/Leasing Agent, are permitted at the property at any one time, and those two people adhere to strict social distancing guidelines established by the CDC. Any previews or showings should be conducted as expeditiously as possible. Owner clients should vacate the property prior to any preview or videoing of a property. In addition, Property Managers/Leasing Agents should stagger showing appointments to avoid any overlap. In lieu of physically showing the property, Property Managers/Leasing Agents can utilize virtual tours and videos that are included with the listing. Property Managers/Leasing Agents should also consider virtual showings to further practice social distancing.
Can a Property Manager conduct a “walk-through” inspection during the Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order?
A walk-through may be conducted, provided that it is by appointment, a total of no more than two people, including the Property Manager or agent of the Property Manager are at the property at any one time, and those two people adhere to strict social distancing guidelines established by the CDC. The walk-though should be conducted as expeditiously as possible. Owner clients should vacate the property prior to the walk-through.
Can a Property Manager input new rental advertisement? What about Property Photos?
Yes. Property Managers are permitted to input new advertisement of rental properties in all formats formerly used to advertise – from their home. Property Managers may conduct rental listing appointments on site to take photos and video of the property provided that those activities are done so by appointment, a total of no more than two people, including the Property Manager, are at the property at any one time, and those two people adhere to strict social distancing guidelines established by the CDC.
Can a Property Manager install for-rent signs at a property during the Stay Home Stay Healthy Order?
Yes. Property Managers are permitted to install for-sale signs, provided that the sign is installed by appointment, a total of no more than two people, including the Property Manager, are at the property at any one time, and those two people adhere to strict social distancing guidelines established by the CDC. 3 As a practical matter, Property Managers should install a temporary sign until the order is lifted, as third party sign installers and “call before you dig” services are not considered essential.
Can vendor/contractors make repairs during the Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order?
Repairs are allowed that are emergency in nature and necessary to the structural integrity of the property.
When Will The Tenant Be Responsible For Paying Back The Deferred Rent?
Zenith with handle each situation individually acting in the best interest of the our owner/client. This is a fluid situation. Rules are changing rapidly. Zenith has implemented an assessment process during this time. We will be working out agreeable solutions to the best of our ability. We are sending links to our tenants for unemployment and stimulus check resources.
Is There Financial Support for Landlords Who Don’t Receive Payment from Their Tenants?
This situation is constantly changing. The best course of action at this time is to contact you lender for specific forbearance/deferment plans available.
What Happens if My Tenant Wants to Break Their Lease Early?
We understand this may be a real possibility for some homeowners, especially if your tenants are have lost their income. A lease is a contract, they will be responsible for the lease break fee and all terms of the lease. Because of Covid-19 Zenith will have to address specific needs on an individual basis. Zenith will need to make payment arrangements with the tenant when appropriate and necessary.