Uniform Property Management

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Comprehensive Eviction Diversion Initiative To Keep People Saf...

Fareed Ibrahim - Monday, October 19, 2020

BOSTON — Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced a comprehensive set of resources, known as the Eviction Diversion Initiative, to support tenants and landlords during the financial challenges caused by the pandemic. The goal of this initiative is to keep tenants safely in their homes and to support the ongoing expenses of landlords once the Commonwealth’s pause of evictions and foreclosures expires on Saturday, October 17th. This strategy was developed by a cross-agency team assembled by the Administration in coordination with the Massachusetts Trial Court to manage the end of the moratorium on October 17th and reflects input from a broad range of stakeholders.

“The pandemic has created financial challenges for many individuals and families who are struggling with rent payments, and today we are pleased to announce a $171 million initiative to promote household stability, and provide more support for tenants and small landlords,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This strategy has been designed to be user friendly and easily accessible for tenants and landlords in need, and is comprised of new or expanded programs to help people stay in their homes. This would not be possible without the Legislature’s foresight in granting flexibility for the RAFT authorization. I am grateful to the Court System and all stakeholders for their partnership in this effort in keeping all families and households stable throughout this pandemic.”

“We are pleased to provide new options for tenants and landlords to come together prior to an eviction and to quickly find a new home if a resolution is not reached,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “These new and expanded resources will meet residents where they are and provide enhanced assistance in navigating a complex process, which has been made even more difficult by this pandemic.”

“The Trial Court has modified its procedures to provide for a two tier process that will enable tenants and landlords to access resources and mediate their disputes in order to preserve tenancies,” said Trial Court Chief Justice Paula Carey. “The Trial Court has worked to increase its technological capacity to handle these cases safely when parties come into court and to provide those without assistance with information and access to technology where needed.”

The Administration is making a $171 million total commitment this fiscal year, with $112 million of new funding to support new and expanded housing stability programs during the remainder of the fiscal year, including:

  • $100 million commitment this fiscal year to expand the capacity of the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program to provide relief to renters and landlords impacted by COVID-19;
  • $48.7 million to HomeBASE and other rapid rehousing programs for when tenants are evicted and are at risk of homelessness;
  • $12.3 million to provide tenants and landlords with access to legal representation and related services prior to and during the eviction process, as well as community mediation to help tenants and landlords resolve cases outside of court;
  • $6.5 million for Housing Consumer Education Centers (HCECs), the “front door” for those facing a housing emergency; and
  • $3.8 million for the Tenancy Preservation Program (TPP), to provide case management support and to act as a neutral party to help tenants and landlords come to agreement.

New investments will expand the capacity of the RAFT program and increase the maximum benefit available through RAFT from $4,000 to $10,000 per household, with a goal of helping more families stabilize their housing for six months, or until the end of June if there are school-age children in the household, on their path to recovery.

New funding will also expand capacity at the nine regional Housing Consumer Education Centers (HCECs) to provide housing counseling and coordinate with community mediators, legal services, and caseworkers. Income eligible tenants and landlords will also be able to access legal representation and related services as they navigate the eviction process.

The Administration is also updating the RAFT program to improve turnaround time on applications, while maintaining program integrity, by:

  • streamlining the application process for both the RAFT and Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance (ERMA) programs for low to moderate income households;
  • verifying applicant eligibility with data collected through MassHealth, the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA), and the Department of Revenue (DOR);
  • referring applicants to MassHIRE Career Centers; and
  • allowing landlords who own fewer than 20 units to apply directly for RAFT and ERMA, with consent from tenants.

“It is important that we support both our tenants and landlords who are struggling due to COVID-19, and changes to the RAFT program, as well as increased resources, will deliver relief more efficiently,” said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy. “To keep people in their homes and help property owners with expenses, we are streamlining the RAFT application process, expanding the capacity at the ‘front doors’ where tenants access assistance, and allowing small landlords to apply directly for available funding.”

"We are beyond proud of the collaborative approach that led to the Eviction Diversion Initiative, and are thankful for our partners at the Massachusetts Trial Court Division and Chief Justice Paula Carey, and our vital housing agencies, including CEDAC, MassHousing, and MHP,” said Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Jennifer Maddox. “This package of new and expanded resources will help us reach thousands more households in need to prevent evictions and ensure stability for families with children through the end of the school year.” 

With the goal of bringing landlords and tenants together to avoid an eviction, the Administration will invest in expanding access to mediation services. In coordination with the Trial Court, the Administration is working to launch a new Community Mediation program that will be available prior to a court filing, and supplement court-provided mediation that is generally available after a filing has been made. The Administration will also provide funding to the Trial Courts to support bringing back recall judges to help handle caseload once the moratorium ends and to add additional housing specialists to help mediate agreements. Additionally, the existing Tenancy Preservation Program (TPP) will be expanded to serve a broader population of vulnerable households.

Massachusetts will also provide additional funding for post-eviction diversion, helping households to find new housing quickly and prevent a longer period of homelessness. HomeBASE, the Commonwealth’s rapid rehousing benefit, and the Strategic Prevention Initiative (SPI) will be expanded and continue to offer financial assistance and stabilization case management services to families as they are in the process of securing stable housing. A new temporary emergency program will also provide funds to households for periods of up to 12 months to assist with moving expenses, rent, including first or last month’s, or security deposit, while transitioning into a stable housing situation.

CDC Moratorium

When the state moratorium expires, a moratorium established by the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) will become effective in Massachusetts. Through December, the CDC moratorium will prevent evictions for non-payment for qualified tenants who submit a written declaration to their landlord. Courts will accept filings and process cases, and may enter judgments but will not issue an order of execution (the court order that allows a landlord to evict a tenant) until after the expiration of the CDC order. Protection is limited to households who meet certain income and vulnerability criteria. Declaration may be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/declaration-form.pdf

In order to ensure tenants are aware of available resources, the Administration has kicked off a public information campaign, including a new option available to call the Massachusetts 2-1-1 information hotline, effective Tuesday, October 13. Operators for 2-1-1 are trained to answer questions and connect residents to the agencies that administer RAFT and ERMA. An easier path to important information has also been launched on the state’s website: mass.gov/CovidHousingHelp. This effort also includes outreach through social media, videos, webinars, and other mediums. All materials and messaging will be made available in multiple languages.

"Housing is a human right and, in the middle of this pandemic due to COVID-19, it is both a concern for public health and economic stability. We applaud the Baker Administration's commitment to launching this important initiative,” said Annette Duke, Senior Housing Attorney, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute. “A broad coalition has come together to support access to legal assistance in eviction actions in Massachusetts because such access will avert unnecessary evictions, displacement, and homelessness - and will prevent human and economic devastation. This initiative creates a path to housing stability that will strengthen all our communities."

“Community mediation is uniquely suited to be of service during this pandemic. It increases access to justice and builds capacity for conflict resolution and social capital within communities,” said Susan Jeghelian, Executive Director, Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration. “The Baker-Polito Administration’s plan to deploy community mediation as a tool for eviction diversion to promote housing stability is a smart, strategic use of local dispute resolution resources.”

"The Baker-Polito Administration recognizes the threat an eviction crisis poses to our existing housing and public health crises and is taking important steps today,” Stefanie Coxe, Executive Director, Regional Housing Network of Massachusetts. “There's a long road ahead and those who need help should get in line now."

“As the public health emergency persists, renters and property owners continue to struggle in keeping up with mounting bills. The Governor’s commitment for RAFT will help thousands of people catch up and pay their rent for the next several months, helping renters, property owners, and neighborhoods stay stable through these turbulent times. Legal assistance for tenants and owners with low incomes and outreach about available resources are also key components to preventing evictions, and we thank the Administration for including these provisions,” said Rachel Heller, CEO, CHAPA. “However, more funding from the federal government will be critical in the months ahead to prevent people from losing their homes during and after the pandemic."

"A lot of us, renters and landlords alike, have been badly impacted by the events of the last seven months. Now that small owners can apply for RAFT on behalf of our renters, it's clearer than ever that we're all in this together and we can get through this together,” said Doug Quattrochi, Executive Director, Mass Landlords.

These resources and programs will help thousands of families remain in their housing during this critical time. It is essential that tenants understand their rights and the resources available to them, and all of us can help spread the word,” said Joe Kriesberg, President and CEO, MACDC. “Now we need the federal government to come to the table and pass meaningful relief! CDCs remain committed to keeping their tenants stable and safe, and we urge all landlords to partner with their tenants to find equitable solutions.”

Together, the Administration estimates resources will help thousands of households with varying levels of needs; up to 50,000 households will have access to services at their local Housing and Consumer Education Centers, up to 25,000 households will have access to legal support or community mediation, and up to 18,000 households will have direct financial support. These investments reflect the Administration’s strong commitment to stable housing for families.

For people in need of assistance, please call 211, visit the frequently asked questions website here, and see the fact sheet here Please be aware all offices are closed for the holiday on Monday, October 12, 2020.

Article URL: https://www.mass.gov/news/baker-polito-administration-announces-comprehensive-eviction-diversion-initiative-to-keep

Why Hiring a Property Management Company Will Put More Money in Your Pocket and Save you the Cost of...

Fareed Ibrahim - Monday, October 19, 2020

Are you a just starting on your rental property journey? OR Are you a seasoned investor? If your answer to both questions is YES, more likely your goal is to maximize your profits and expand your portfolio. If this is your primary focus, then managing your own investment properties would not be very practical, even if you feel capable.

Let us learn more about having your rental properties professionally managed to maximize your revenue stream.

Increase Your Profits by Hiring a Property Management Company Maintaining a rental property comes with a significant amount of time-consuming responsibilities. In addition to this, it also requires having extensive knowledge of the subject (Landlord-tenant laws, fair housing laws, local/state laws, building/sanitary codes, etc.) to ensure that all your bases are covered. For instance, advertising and marketing, tenant screening, and property upkeep, are just a few of the elements that, if done properly and efficiently, will boost your profits.

If you are eager to learn more, look at these 7 reasons why hiring a property manager for your real estate investments will increase your profits and keep more money in your pockets:

1.Avoid Financially Draining Vacancies with Proper Marketing Strategies

An experienced property management team can literally save you thousands of dollars with their proven marketing strategies. Their advertising efforts can pull in a huge pool of candidates very quickly. This can certainly fill your rental property vacancy within a timeframe that prevents you from losing money. Also, a property management company will have the necessary experience and skills for writing compelling rental ads and creating professional photos. In addition to this, they are set up to be able to negotiate advertising rates; cutting your costs even more.

2. Escape Financial Risks by Weeding Out Bad Tenants

Even if you have the time to sit and interview all your applicants, do you have the experience to spot the red flags for problem tenants? A lousy tenant or two can cost you more than you realize. From lawsuits to property damage, an undesirable tenant can certainly lower your profit margin. Hiring a real estate property management company will ensure that all the proper steps are taken when searching for the perfect tenant. This would include verifying employment, checking credit and criminal reports, contacting previous landlords, and much more.

Experienced and trained property managers have an eye for spotting troublemakers. Additionally, they have a good sense as to which individuals are more likely to be reliable renters who will take care of your property. In sum, a good management property team can successfully preserve your revenue stream by placing qualified tenants in your rental properties.

3. Efficient Rent Collection Ensures a Consistent Cash Flow

Let us face it, rent is expensive these days and tough times happen. You can expect to have some issues with rent collection. Time is money, and if you must spend your time chasing down rent payments, as well as taking the proper steps when a tenant just can’t make that payment, it’s going to affect your bottom line. Hiring a real estate property management team that is equipped to handle all situations pertaining to monthly rent collection, will allow you to maintain a consistent cash flow. It is their job to ensure that your tenants follow the lease agreement down to the fine print, which includes payment guidelines and late fees.

4.Boost Your Revenue by Achieving Higher Tenant Retention Rates

Maintaining a high tenant retention rate – keeping your current tenants from moving out, can easily be accomplished by property managers who know how to keep your tenants happy. Rental management teams have the experience to maintain good relationships with your renters. This includes such things as taking care of maintenance issues in a timely manner, conflicts with other residents, as well as keeping the property looking well maintained and attractive. Additionally, providing a rental portal for easily making payments and submitting repair requests is a bonus for your renters.

Basically, when property managers take your tenant’s needs seriously and make them feel well taken care of, it will go a long way. This can keep your current tenants from moving elsewhere. In the long run, it will decrease expensive tenant turnovers, and keep more money in your pockets.

5.Save Thousands by Letting a Management Company Handle Property Repairs

By hiring a real estate property management company, you will, without a doubt, save a considerable amount of money on maintenance and property repairs. By doing so, you will be able to utilize the management company’s professional and experienced maintenance staff. Plus, property management companies have access to bonded, insured, and licensed contractors who provide discounts for consistent workloads. This will not only add up to significant savings but also increase your property value.

6.Build Great Wealth by Investing in the Best Rental Markets

When you manage your own real estate investments, you may be limiting yourself to investing in convenient locations, as opposed to the best markets for profit gain. If you simply hire a property management company to maintain your real estate investments, you can set up rental properties in just about any location you feel is profitable. They can manage your rental to make life easy for you, as well as increase your cash flow. For instance, let us say you live in NYC, and there is a prime rental property situated in California. It could be very difficult to manage the property yourself long distance. How would you effectively screen tenants, deal with emergencies, or periodically check on your property from 3,000 miles away? It only makes sense to hire a professional property management team in the area to attend to the needs of your property and your tenants. It would cost more to maintain it yourself due to travel and lodging costs, and well as possible high tenant turnover losses if you are not able to keep up with their needs.

7.Grow Your Portfolio by Seeking Out Other Profitable Real Estate Investments

Hiring a good property management company to handle all aspects of your property will free up the necessary time for you to seek out other profitable investments. When a property manager deals with the day-to -day tasks of your rental property, that means you will not have to. Therefore, you can invest time into growing your portfolio.

In a nutshell, your job is not to service properties; you are an investor. So, let the professional property management companies service your rental properties for you. That is what they are there for. If you manage your own properties, you can only grow your portfolio up to a certain point, and this will cap your revenue. Are you starting to see the big picture now?

As you can see, managing your own properties can end up being a full-time job that is better left to the professionals. Hiring a rental property management company will keep your tenants happy, ensure your property is well maintained, and increase your profit margin. Furthermore, letting a professional team manage your investments will not only put more money in your pockets, it will also allow you the freedom of making passive income and enable you to enjoy more time with your friends and family, which is priceless.

Uniform Property Management Condo Rehab Photos

Fareed Ibrahim - Monday, August 17, 2020

Summer Humidity: 5 Steps To Find Mold Problems in Your Rental Property

Fareed Ibrahim - Thursday, August 6, 2020

With the humidity of summer hitting, here are 5 steps to check to detect mold problems in your rental property, the weekly maintenance tip from Keepe.

Mold can not only lead to structural damage to your property, but also cause serious health risks to you and your tenants if not caught and treated in a timely manner in your rental property.

Because of the severe and broad effects that mold can have, responsible ways to detect mold problems and evaluated them will require both physical examinations of your property as well as open communication with your tenants and/or on-site building manager.

Here are some tips to check during the summer humidity season:

No. 1 – Mold spores or dark spots

Let’s start with the most severe. If you can see mold, you likely have a significant problem on your hands.  Visible mold usually indicates just a small portion of a problem that lies underneath.

No. 2 -Water or moisture collection

Mold needs moisture and dampness to settle and grow. Elevated moisture levels in building materials can be another sign of possible mold.  A common complaint, for instance, may be a water stain on the ceiling.  Official assessment will require a professional with the appropriate materials to confirm whether it’s just a leak to be fixed, or mold.

No. 3 – Musty or damp smell

Not all mold has the same scent, so this may be hard to pinpoint. Generally, the scent of mold is unpleasant and as though something is moist in the area.  Some compare the smell to rotten wood or wet socks.  Bottom line—if it is not a common scent in the building or apartment, it should be investigated.

No. 4 – Flooding

If your building or any apartment within it has a history of flooding, you should keep a watchful eye on that space. If the flood was not handled by an appropriate professional, you stand the risk of growing mold on both a short- and long-term basis.

No. 5 – Health symptoms

There are several symptoms that could mean exposure to mold. These can be tricky, because the symptoms alone cannot prove a mold problem.  However, if you are evaluating all of the above factors on a periodic basis, any additional health reactions can help you determine whether you have a problem.  Signs of health symptoms from residents (or others who spend significant time on your property) that may be problematic:


    1. A lingering cold or flu-like symptoms;
    2. Frequent headaches that perpetuate and/or get worse;
    3. Nosebleeds;
    4. Difficulty breathing or other respiratory issues;
    5. Irritated eyes, skin, throat or nose.

Mold detection should be part of your regularly scheduled property inspections.

Keep in mind that problem areas can include places that have the most exposure to moisture and little access to light, such as basements, bathroom ceilings and ductwork of your HVAC systems.

However, if you notice (or your residents report) any of the listed red flags in the interim and detect mold problems, don’t wait to take action.  A mold problem will only get worse and cannot be solved by a simple cleaning in your rental property.

If you stay proactive, you will be better positioned to minimize your mold risks, keep costs down and keep your tenants happy.

The Best Appliances In Rental Property

About Keepe:

Keepe is an on-demand maintenance solution for property managers and independent landlords. The company makes a network of hundreds of independent contractors and handymen available for maintenance projects at rental properties. Keepe is available in the Greater Seattle area, Greater Phoenix area, San Francisco Bay area, Portland, San Diego and is coming soon to an area near you. Learn more about Keepe at https://www.keepe.com

Article URL: https://rentalhousingjournal.com/5-steps-to-detect-mold-problems-in-your-properties/

Why the Cares Act Seems So Uncaring Towards Landlords

Fareed Ibrahim - Thursday, August 6, 2020

By David Pickron

Landlords, it’s time we all pay very close attention.

A second devastating wave of trouble is thundering towards us, and it is imperative that you know how to protect yourselves and your investments.

On July 26, 2020, the 120 days of eviction relief provided by the Cares Act expired.  With that, landlords across the United States were given the green light to start the eviction process for non-payment of rent, with the caveat of having to use a special 30-day notice as required by the act.

We are seeing that landlords are generating notices with $4,000-$8,000 demands for the last several months of unpaid rent, begging the question that if these renters couldn’t afford $1,000-a-month rent, what makes us think they can come up with $4,000 to make the landlord whole?  It appears that tenants interpreted the eviction moratorium as “we do not have to pay rent,” which could not be further from the truth.

So, what happens now?

Over the next 30 days, if the Cares Act is not extended, thousands of people in your area face being evicted and receiving a judgment against them for thousands of dollars.

These costly judgments had to come from somewhere, to help the landlords who have carried their loans and their unpaying tenants for months.  For many landlords, the burden was too great, and they did not survive carrying these unexpected costs.

The Cares Act gave businesses large PPP loans to cover employee pay, and some individuals who were unemployed collected more than they would have if they worked, all to help people cover their expenses.  What did the struggling landlord get from the Cares Act?  Nothing but their properties “seized” by the federal government if they had a loan backed by Fannie Mae or other government-backed loan (something the landlord did not ask for) and told they could not make decisions for properties they own.  This has resulted in landlords who are financially stretched and a pool of potential tenants that are not all that dependable.

COVID has had a significant impact on our society but it is by no means the first time that people have endured challenging situations.

People deal every day with illness, cancer, and other diseases and disabilities that are terribly unfortunate.  In the past, tenants who have struggled with these types of issues have leaned on family, savings, or churches to help them make ends meet.  With the Cares Act, the landlord was the one forced to carry the bill.  We have been beat up enough and the struggle is not over.  The current pool of potential applicants in the next 30 days will have evictions and judgments against them that can hurt you.

Here is how to protect yourselves

  1. Call your screening company and make sure they search for eviction records in your local jurisdiction and in the jurisdictions your applicant has lived. Credit bureaus removed eviction and judgment data from their reports last year, so the only way you can find a civil eviction record is for your screening company to go right to the court.  Keep in mind, since these are off the credit bureaus, these evictions will not affect credit scores.
  2. Ask for proof of payment of rent for the last four months, through bank statements or canceled checks. Do not fall for “they were living with family and did not have to pay rent.”
  3. Give good landlord verifications. What that means is when you are asked about a current or former tenant, stick to fact-based answers, and stay away from sharing your personal, biased opinion of the people.  A factual question you can answer and provide backup for is “Has your current tenant paid his or her last few months of rent?”  It’s a simple question with a simple answer of yes or no.  We need to protect each other so no one gets hurt again, and that can happen when we ask for and provide good landlord verifications.
David Pickron says to protect yourself “Call your screening company and make sure they search for eviction records in your local jurisdiction and in the jurisdictions your applicant has lived.”

Right now, the collection companies are salivating over these new, large judgments to collect on.

If you rent to a person who has a judgment, chances are they will be garnished at every job to which they apply, leaving them with less money to pay you rent.  With the “free-money” mentality and the ability to obtain a residence after their first eviction, they might consider making their smaller car payment over their larger rent payment and take a chance that a second eviction won’t hurt them either.

As a landlord, you don’t want to experience the pain all over again.

I do not want to see any fellow landlord be victimized again.  We are good people who have been responsible enough to be able to provide housing across this country to millions of people.  For the most part we are all not rich, but rather are living simple responsible lives, trying to get ahead a little and raise our families.  More than ever we must band together to survive in an environment that has been stacked against us by our legislatures and tenants.  Together we can weather the storm and come out of this a stronger and more unified group.

The secret to being successful in this business is finding the right tenant, or what I call “business partner,” and proper screening is one way to beat the challenges ahead.

About the author:

David Pickron is President of Rent Perfect and a fellow landlord who manages several short- and long-term rentals.  He is a private investigator and teaches organizations across the country the importance of proper screening.  His platform, Rent Perfect, was built to help the small landlord find success.

Article URL: https://rentalhousingjournal.com/why-the-cares-act-seems-so-uncaring-towards-landlords/

Baker-Polito Administration Extends Moratorium on Evictions and Foreclosures to October 17

Fareed Ibrahim - Thursday, July 23, 2020

BOSTON — Today, Governor Charlie Baker extended the pause on evictions and foreclosures for 60 days, until October 17, 2020, through the authority granted to the governor by Chapter 65 of the Acts of 2020, An Act providing for a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures during the COVID-19 Emergency, which was signed into law on April 20, 2020. This law’s limitations on evictions and foreclosures have allowed many tenants and homeowners impacted by COVID-19 to remain in their homes during the state of emergency, and this extension provides residents of the Commonwealth with continued housing security as businesses cautiously re-open, more people return to work, and the state collectively moves toward a “new normal.” The moratorium was set to expire on August 18, 2020.

Click here to read the extension letter.

Tenants are strongly encouraged to continue to pay rent, and homeowners to make their mortgage payments, to the extent they are able. To assist low-income households in making rent and mortgage payments, as well as support landlords needing these rent payments to pay expenses, the Baker-Polito Administration launched a new $20 million, statewide fund, the Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance (ERMA) program, on July 1st.

This funding complements the $18 million currently available through the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) homeless prevention program, which can also be used for rent or mortgage payments. In each program, landlords or mortgage lenders receive payments directly from the RAFT administering agencies. 

During this 60 day extension, the Administration will consult with the court administrators and other stakeholders regarding programs and policies to help tenants avoid eviction when proceedings resume. 

The law suspends most residential and small business commercial evictions, as well as residential foreclosures. It does not relieve tenants or homeowners of their obligation to pay rent or make mortgage payments. The law also:

  • Prevents landlords from sending notifications to residential tenants that threaten eviction or terminating of a lease;
  • Limits court actions on non-essential evictions;
  • Relieves tenants, both residents and small commercial, from late fees and negative credit reporting;
  • Allows landlords to use “last month’s rent” to pay for certain expenses, though not as a replacement rent payment, and only with proper notification of tenant;
  • Requires lenders to grant a forbearance for up to 180 days if a homeowner experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 submits such a request; and
  • Allows for alternative payment agreements between lenders and borrowers regarding forbearance payments.

Since the beginning of the State of Emergency, the Administration has supported housing stability for households across the Commonwealth. The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED) has drafted emergency regulations to implement the notice provisions of the eviction and foreclosure moratoriums. The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) supported our state-aided public housing and affordable housing operators with guidance, and worked with stakeholders across the state to coordinate resources. Additional resources and information can be found on DHCD’s COVID-19 Resource Page.

Citation: 

Baker, C., & Polito, K. (2020, July 21). Baker-Polito Administration Extends Moratorium on Evictions and Foreclosures to October 17. Mass.Gov. https://www.mass.gov/news/baker-polito-administration-extends-moratorium-on-evictions-and-foreclosures-to-october-17

July Resources

Fareed Ibrahim - Monday, July 6, 2020

Save Money with an Enhanced Insulation Incentive

COVID-19 and Homelessness: The Massachusetts Response

Department of Transitional Assistance

Energy Saving Tips

Easy Ways to Save – A Quick Guide to Wiser Energy Use

Domestic Violence Resource

Domestic Violence Resource - Spanish

A Guide to Obtaining Housing Assistance

Energy Efficiency Program for Low Income Households

Mayor Sarno and Congressman Neal Announce Local Partnership with Way Finders for $2 Million Mortgage...

Fareed Ibrahim - Friday, June 26, 2020

Springfield, MA – Mayor Domenic J. Sarno joined with Congressman Richard E. Neal, Chief Development Officer Tim Sheehan, and President and CEO of Way Finders Peter A. Gagliardi for an announcement of mortgage, rent and utility assistance and relief.

The City of Springfield is making available $2 million in grant funding for renters and homeowners who have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant program will pay up to three months’ rent, mortgage, and utility charges for low to moderate income Springfield residents whose income has been adversely impacted by the pandemic public health orders.

Mayor Sarno states, “I am happy to announce that thanks to the efforts and leadership of Congressman Neal working with HUD, the City of Springfield has partnered with Way Finders to provide much-need relief for our residents in the amount of $2 million for mortgage, rent and utility assistance and relief. I want to thank my Chief Development Officer Tim Sheehan and President and CEO of Way Finders Peter Gagliardi and his team for their work on making this relief program a reality. As my administration has helped out our business community to save jobs, just as important, I wanted to make sure that we continue to help out our residents. These funds will without a doubt provide much needed and vital assistance to those in need during these unprecedented times as we continue to deal with this ongoing COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.”

“In the wake of this public health emergency, Americans need assurance that their homes will remain safe havens,” said Congressman Richard E. Neal. “The assistance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development given to the City of Springfield and administered through Way Finders will ensure that they stay that way. These funds will go a long way to insuring our loved ones and their families have a stable and affordable roofs over their heads.”

Mr. Gagliardi states, “Way Finders is pleased to partner with the City of Springfield to administer this important program. These funds will provide much needed assistance to individuals and families who have lost income as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Together, we can help people preserve their housing and care for their loved ones during these challenging times.”

Nearly 1 in 5 Americans are out of work and, without regular income, many are at risk of losing their housing. Massachusetts has slowed the housing emergency by halting most evictions and foreclosures until August 18 or until 45 days from the lifting of Governor Baker’s declaration of emergency, whichever comes first. But, if rent and mortgages are not current by the time the ban is lifted, many families may face eviction or foreclosure. Small landlords are already suffering as rents are not coming in while utility and maintenance costs are ongoing.

“While the moratorium on foreclosures and evictions was a helpful step, it is unrealistic to assume that once the moratorium expires, that low to moderate income families that remain unemployed or are just going back to work will have the financial resources to pay 3-4 months of past due housing expenses. This program will assist in preventing housing displacement due to the virus and maintain housing market stability in Springfield,” said Tim Sheehan, Chief Development Officer.

Springfield’s rent and mortgage assistance program is funded by two federal grants: the HOME Investment Partnerships Program and the Community Development Block Grant Program. The funds will be available through Way Finders, Inc. Peter Gagliardi, president and CEO of Way Finders, said “It’s critical to keep people in their homes during this crisis. We are pleased to partner with the City to meet this need.” The program will be operated in conjunction with Way Finder’s other emergency assistance programs, including the state-funded Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program [1].

Springfield residents can apply for the funds by completing an assessment at www.wayfinders.org/hcec-assessment [2] or calling 413-233-1600 to complete the assessment on the phone with a Way Finders staff member.

Assistance is available for households that have lost income due to COVID-19 and had household income at or below 80% of area median income ($68,300 for a family of four) before the income loss. Each household may receive up to three months’ rent/mortgage and utility payments, with a maximum of $4000 per household. Payment will be made directly to landlords, banks and utility companies. There is no requirement for an eviction or foreclosure notice in order to receive the assistance.


Source URL:  https://www.wayfinders.org/mayor-sarno-and-congressman-neal-announce-local-partnership-way-finders-2-million-mortgage-rent-and

Links
[1] https://www.wayfinders.org/residential-assistance-families-transition-raft
[2] http://www.wayfinders.org/hcec-assessment

Liability Claims and Lawsuits

Fareed Ibrahim - Friday, June 26, 2020


Running the day to day operations of real estate is a full time job which requires time, experience, and a thorough industry knowledge of your local market. Being a landlord or a property manager is not merely managing properties and keeping residents happy, which is a heavy task on its own.

Property managers have to be well versed with fair housing laws, tenant-landlord laws, sanitary and building codes, and keeping up with the constant changing of laws to stay compliant. Hiring a professional property management company saves you the time, knowledge, experience and gives you peace of mind knowing that your asset and property are protected from unforeseen liability claims and lawsuits that may arise due to poor management or the lack of industry knowledge to stay compliant with housing laws.

Would you rather hire a professional management company to give you that peace of mind or risk paying thousands of dollars in attorney fees, fines, liability claims and lawsuits? You’re free to choose but every choice has a price tag.
#propertymanagement   #realestateinvesting   #realestateinvestor   #propertyowner   #springfieldma  #residentialrealestate