Struggling with rent payment? Here's some tips

Posted at 8:35 PM, Apr 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-02 17:26:27-04

BOISE, Idaho — US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said he expects most people to get their Coronavirus stimulus checks by April 17, the New York Times reports. But with rent due April 1, many Idaho renters are left examining slim options in the wake of COVID-19 impacts.

Technically, private property owners can still file for eviction with the courts, though most hearings will not be scheduled until after April 15 due to a recent Idaho Supreme Court decision.

But leaders of the Idaho Apartment Association, which is made up of thousands of property managers across the state, say communication is key. They are urging at-risk tenants who have been economically impacted by COVID-19 to bring a rent deferral agreement to meetings with their landlord. They have pre-drafted an agreement, and it is available here.

Paul Smith, executive director of Idaho Apartment Association, says concerned property managers should try to be flexible.

"There may be some mortgage forebearance," said Smith. "Federal government has already announced certain types of programs for large apartments that have Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac financing -- that they can delay paying mortgages for 60 days. So, we think that local banks will be very flexible... we ought to definitely be flexible with our renters and our customers."

The director with local eviction intervention group Jesse Tree of Idaho says they are receiving roughly 20 to 30 more calls per day than usual on their housing crisis line, (208) 383-9486.

Need help? For supportive services, mediation, and rental assistance, Jesse Tree is one option, but Jesse Tree's director also recommends that you call Health and Welfare navigators at 211, or if you have kids in the Boise School District, to contact the 'SAFE' hotline at (208) 472-2233.