HOUSTON, Texas — Hashtags like “Rent Strike” and “Rent Freeze Now” are taking over social media,
This comes as rent and mortgage payments are due on April 1 for millions of people across the country, including in Houston.
John Boriack, president-elect of the Houston Apartment Association said, “If you know you’re one of those who is not going to be able to afford to make that payment, it’s super important that you communicate that to your manager today.”
The Texas Supreme Court stopped most evictions, including for non-payment of rent, until April 19.
The big question that has been asked is: Do I still pay rent?
The simple answer is ‘yes’.
“A lot of housing providers are making arrangements to waive late fees or stretch out payments overtime to try and make it easier on those renters who have been affected by this crisis,” Boriack said.
The halt of evictions still requires leaseholders to pay rent and continues to protect renters’ rights under Texas law.
The Texas Apartment Association is working to stop people from being displaced from their homes.
Boriack said, “It’s a tough balancing act of encouraging renters to pay while at the same time offering grace to those who we know can’t because of the circumstances.”
As far as homeowners go, there are COVID-19 mortgage relief options.
A 120-day moratorium has been placed on evictions on mortgages back by companies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Boriack said don’t ignore notices and requests to contact your property manager or landlord.
The TAA has never encountered a situation like this and are getting through it but add the longer the Stay Home-Work Safe order is in place the harder it’s going to be.
He said, “Apartment owners can’t keep buildings functioning and utilities turned on and the trash service and everything else without residents paying rent but as an industry we understand what’s going. We’re doing everything we can to help everybody in need.”
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