COVID-19 Tenant Resources

COVID-19 Tenant Resources

Statement from Berkshire Hathaway Property Management Concerning COVID-19 and Rent  

We encourage all residents who are in financial distress to proactively reach out to work with their community managers BEFORE RENT IS DUE.
 
We value our relationship with you and wanted to reach out in these difficult and uncertain times.
 
The COVID-19 pandemic, and the measures being taken to reduce transmission of the virus, will mean adjustments and challenges for all of us. To help us help you, we ask that you be open and honest about how the pandemic is impacting you and your family.
 
Please let us know immediately if you have returned from foreign travel, or you’re experiencing cold-like symptoms, such as cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing or mild to moderate fever.
 
These may be symptoms of coronavirus-19. There will be no detrimental repercussions, we simply want to be proactive and alert others in the building and maintenance/service crews that may need to enter.
 
Going forward, please know we are exploring options for financial assistance that the federal government recently announced. While we cannot stop costs associated with ongoing needs, such as rent, heat and water, maintenance, we are investigating aid that may help us minimize our monthly rental property expenses — and this would give us the opportunity to pass this aid on to you.
 
Until then, we encourage you to investigate help that is being offered by federal and provincial governments. Just recently, the federal government announced a number of measures that may  be of help, including an emergency care benefit for people who are self-employed, deferral of income tax owing until August 2020, and expanded criteria for employment insurance eligibility.
 
Finally, we ask that you openly communicate with us. If you are experiencing COVID-19-related financial challenges that will affect your ability to pay your rent on time, please contact us at 414-688-6772 or info@mke-pm.com to discuss available options.
 
Perhaps you are facing job uncertainty, temporary loss of income or other financial hardship due to coronavirus public health measures and their impact on the local and national economy. In these uncertain times, we want to work with you to ensure your housing is secure, despite the challenges ahead.
 
MAINTENANCE REQUESTS:  Please fill out any written maintenance requests through your portal as needed. Non-emergent requests may be routed and scheduled in order of importance.  All emergent requests will be handled.  Although Our Office is closed to the public, we are available via phone, email and text from 9am-9pm daily. We wish you and your family well and,  “Be kind, be calm, be safe.”  BEFORE RENT IS DUE
 

 

 

If you unable to pay rent on time. 

Reach us BEFORE Rent is Due. 

 
Please send the following documentation to:
FAX – 414-409-7661

 

If there are multiple tenants in same household affected, each tenant will need to supply the above information. ***If only 1 tenant of multiple are affected this will only affect the affected persons rent.

  1. Provide a detailed letter of current circumstances. Please include what your plan is to Pay rent for the missed due date, when you are able to pay and re-pay plan. 
  2. Proof of job loss or Income due to COVID-19. Can be a letter or statement from your employer or Health care professional.
  3. Proof of application to community resources such as FMLA or Unemployment
  4. Copy of most Recent Tax Filing showing you make under $99,000/year
  5. Each adult tenant listed on the lease agreement must complete the following declaration, or a similar document under penalty of perjury, and provide a copy to their landlord:
    https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2020-19654.pdf (the declaration starts on page 33 of this document).

If there are multiple tenants in same household affected, each tenant will need to supply the above information. ***If only 1 tenant of multiple are affected this will only affect the affected persons rent.

 

Landlord Tenant COVID19 FAQs

 

What is the federal Order halting residential evictions issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)?

Effective September 4, 2020 through December 31, 2020, there is a federal moratorium on residential evictions due to failure to pay rent because of the impacts COVID-19 for tenants that meet certain criteria.

What residential properties are covered under the CDC order?

“Residential property” means any property leased for residential purposes, including any house, building, mobile home or land in a mobile home park, or similar dwelling. The property does not have to be federally insured or federally backed.

What tenants are covered under the CDC Order?

The moratorium applies to tenants that declare under penalty of perjury that ALL of the following statements are true.

  1. They have used best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing;
  2. They either expect to earn no more than $99,000 in annual income for Calendar Year 2020 (or no more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax return), were not required to report any income in 2019 to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, or received an Economic Impact Payment (stimulus check) pursuant to Section 2201 of the CARES Act;
  3. They are unable to pay full rent or make a full housing payment due to substantial loss of household income, loss of compensable hours of work or wages, lay-offs, or extraordinary (at least 7.5% of income) out-of-pocket medical expenses;
  4. They are using their best efforts to make timely partial payments that are as close to the full payment as the individual’s circumstances may permit, taking into account other nondiscretionary expenses;
  5. If evicted they would likely become homeless, need to move into a homeless shelter, or need to move into a new residence shared by other people who live in close quarters because they have no other available housing options;
  6. They understand that they must still pay rent or make a housing payment, and comply with other obligations that they may have under the tenancy, lease agreement, or similar contract. They must further understand that fees, penalties, or interest for not paying rent or making a housing payment on time as required by the tenancy, lease agreement, or similar contract may still be charged or collected;
  7. They understand that at the end of this temporary halt on evictions on December 31, 2020, their housing provider may require payment in full for all payments not made prior to and during the temporary halt and failure to pay may  subject the tenant to eviction pursuant to State and local laws;
  8. Any false or misleading statements or omissions may result in criminal and civil actions for fines, penalties, damages, or imprisonment.

Each adult tenant listed on the lease agreement must complete the following declaration, or a similar document under penalty of perjury, and provide a copy to their landlord:

https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2020-19654.pdf

(the declaration starts on page 33 of this document).

Does the CDC Order cover all types of evictions?

No. Tenants may still be evicted for reasons other than not paying rent or making a housing payment. The Order specifically mentions evictions may be based on the following:

  1. Engaging in criminal activity while on the premises;
  2. Threatening the health or safety of other residents;
  3. Damaging or posing an immediate and significant risk of damage to property;
  4. Violating any applicable building code, health ordinance, or similar regulation relating to health and safety; or
  5. Violating any other contractual obligation, other than the timely payment of rent or similar housing-related payment (including non-payment or late payment of fees, penalties, or interest).

Can I be evicted under an eviction order dated before September 4, 2020?

No.  Under the Order, eviction orders dated prior to September 4 may not be executed.

Is a landlord required to renew my lease under the CDC Order?

No.  The CDC Order does not require landlords to renew leases that expire while the CDC Order is in effect.

Am I still responsible to pay rent, fees, and penalties under CDC Order?

Yes.  The CDC Order does not change the tenant’s responsibility to pay rent, and any applicable fees or penalties as provided under the lease agreement. If you can pay rent, you should do so. If you are unable to make rent payments during the emergency, you will have a debt for the rent payments that you were unable to make.

May a landlord charge late fees or penalties for missed rent payments or late rate payments that occurred during the CDC Order?

Yes.  Late fees and penalties may be assessed on any missed rent payment or any late rent payment that occurred during the effective period of the CDC Order.

Have evictions been suspended for tenants living in Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured Single Family properties?

Yes, evictions of tenants from properties secured with FHA-insured Single Family mortgages, excluding evictions of legally vacant or abandoned properties, are also suspended through December 31, 2020.

For more information on Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidance related to COVID-19, please see the following resources: https://www.hud.gov/ and the WHEDA FAQ.

How is the CDC Order different from the FHA moratorium on evictions?

Tenants must meet certain criteria for the CDC Order to apply, including certain income requirements. Tenants living in FHA covered properties do not have to meet additional requirements.

Where can I find a copy of the CDC Order?

Click here to find a copy of the CDC Order. (https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2020-19654.pdf)

Are there resources and funding available to assist in the payment of rent?

Yes.  The Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program will provide direct financial assistance for owed rent, security deposits, and wrap around services for program eligible individuals.  For more information on this program see: https://doa.wi.gov/Pages/LocalGovtsGrants/COVID-Grants.aspx.  In addition, local agencies may also have rental assistance programs.

What can landlords do if they are not receiving rent payments?

Landlords and tenants are encouraged to make reasonable, good faith efforts to work together during this public health emergency. Landlords should document all relevant communications.  Landlords could see if the tenant is aware of the Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program to help the tenant gain assistance for rent payments.  They could also reach out to their mortgage lender for guidance and possible assistance as needed.  Landlords may also check to see if they are eligible for services or benefits under the CARES Act.

Who is responsible to enforce the CDC Order?

The federal Department of Health and Human Services and cooperating state and local authorities have authority to enforce the CDC Order.

What was the emergency rule related to rental late fees and penalties?

DATCP promulgated an emergency rule to prohibit the charging of late residential rental fees and penalties from April 25, 2020 through August 8, 2020. This was an effort to provide some relief to tenants who had been affected by the COVID19 economic challenges.

However, on June 25, 2020, the Wisconsin Legislative Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules suspended the emergency rule. As a result, late fees and penalties may now be charged as outlined in rental contracts effective June 25, 2020. Fees and penalties for the period the emergency rule was in effect, April 25, 2020 to June 24, 2020, may never be assessed or charged to a tenant.

On what date may landlords resume charging late rental fees and penalties because the emergency rule is no longer in effect?

As of June 25, 2020, the Wisconsin Legislative Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules suspended the emergency rule related to residential rental late fees and penalties. As a result, late fees and penalties may now be charged as outlined in rental contracts effective June 25, 2020.

Fees and penalties for the period the emergency rule was in effect, April 25, 2020 to June 24, 2020, may never be assessed or charged to a tenant’s balance.

May a landlord charge a fee or penalty for nonpayment or late payment of residential rent?

Yes, starting June 25, 2020, landlords may charge a fee or penalty for nonpayment or late payment of residential rent IF it is part of the rental agreement. On June 25, 2020, the Wisconsin Legislative Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules suspended the emergency rule which had prohibited these fees and penalties starting on April 25, 2020, through 90 days following the expiration of the Governor’s Executive Order #72.

When the effective period of the emergency rule ended, may a landlord then charge late fees or penalties for missed rent payments or late rate payments that occurred during the emergency rule?

No.  Late fees and penalties may never be assessed or charged for any missed rent payment or any late rent payment that occurred during the effective period of the emergency rule.  With respect to missed rent payments and late rent payments that occur during the period of the emergency rule, late fees and late penalties are prohibited.

Will there be any delays in eviction proceedings due to COVID-19?

The scheduling and holding of court evictions hearings will depend on each court’s procedures and caseload.  For information on current circuit court operations, please see the COVID-19 tab on the following webpage:  https://wicourts.gov/.  For the most up-to-date information regarding individual county operations, please visit their website or contact the clerk of circuit court office.

Can I be evicted under an eviction order dated before March 27, 2020?

No.  Under state law, eviction orders dated prior to March 27 may not be executed by a sheriff.

Are there going to be any considerations or assistance given to tenants who are unemployed and don’t have money to pay rent?

Landlords and tenants are encouraged to make reasonable, good faith efforts to work together during this public health emergency.  Tenants may be eligible for CARES Act financial rental assistance through the state or if available in their county.  For more information on the statewide Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program see:  https://doa.wi.gov/Pages/LocalGovtsGrants/COVID-Grants.aspx

May a landlord refuse to rent to a person because the person might be at risk for COVID-19? May a landlord evict a tenant because the tenant has, had, or is at risk for COVID-19?

Discrimination in housing is unlawful (Wis. Stat. § 106.50). Refusing to rent or making housing unavailable because a person has, had, or is at risk for COVID-19 might violate the prohibition of discrimination in housing. If a prospective or current tenant thinks that a landlord has engaged in discrimination by refusing to rent or by making housing unavailable because of COVID-19, that person may file a complaint with the Equal Rights Division of the Department of Workforce Development.

May a landlord enter a leased rental property?

Landlords should check with their local authorities on whether any local order prohibits entry by landlords, contractors, prospective tenants, or other persons in leased rental properties due to COVID-19.

 
 
Although Our Office is closed to the public, we are available via phone, email and text from 9am-9pm daily.
 
We wish you and your family well and,  “Be kind, be calm, be safe.”
 

Our tenants and potential tenants health and safety are vital to us at Berkshire Hathaway.

 

We understand that at this time many people need some sort of assistance and are not certain where to turn for help.

We have compiled a small list of resources for those in need.

CARES Relief Funds – Rental Assistance

Beginning June 8, 2020, Wisconsin residents that have experienced a significant loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic and need help with their rent can apply for the Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program (WRAP). In general, eligible applicants must be an adult Wisconsin resident with a household income at or below 80% of the county median income in the month of or prior to the application date.

If you have had a loss of income because of the COVID-19 pandemic and can’t pay your rent or security deposit, contact your local Community Action Program (CAP) to apply for WRAP funds. Contact information for the CAP agency that serves your county is found on the Department of Administration’s website

For more information about your local CAP agency and their services, visit the Wisconsin Community Action Program Association’s website.  

Public Assistance

If you do not have enough money to pay your bills and you need help finding and keeping a job or help applying for SSI, you may be eligible for the Wisconsin Works (W-2) program. You may also be eligible for monthly cash payments while you work with the W-2 program to look for a job or do other activities that will help you get a job or SSI.

To apply for W-2, contact your local W-2 agency: Find Your Local W-2 Agency

Emergency Assistance

If you are a low-income parent and are facing an emergency, you may be eligible for Emergency Assistance—a one-time payment that can help pay an emergency housing or utility related expense. An emergency could be due to fire, flood, or natural disaster; homelessness or impending homelessness; or an energy crisis.

To find out if you are eligible and to apply for Emergency Assistance, contact your local W-2 agency: Find Your Local W-2 Agency

Attention: Because of COVID-19, if you are looking for help with programs like W-2 and Emergency Assistance, call the W-2 agency phone number to find out if they are open and how you can apply for assistance.

Job Access Loans 

If you are a low-income parent and have emergency needs to keep your job or take a job, like paying for car repairs or have required employment clothing/uniform or equipment expenses, you may be eligible for a Job Access Loan (JAL).

To apply for a JAL, contact your local W-2 agency.

Food Assistance

FoodShare helps people with limited money buy the food they need for good health. If you need help buying food, visit the Department of Health Services website to see if you are eligible for and to apply for FoodShare.

Medical Assistance

The Department of Health Services (DHS) administers many programs that provide high-quality health care coverage, long-term care, and other services. If you need health care coverage or other medical care assistance services, more information can be found on the DHS website.

Other Employment Assistance Programs

DCF is dedicated to helping everyone who wants to work find meaningful employment and has several subsidized employment programs to help parents in the transition to unsubsidized, family-supporting careers. Find out if one of our subsidized programs is available in your area and is right for you.

Transform Milwaukee Jobs (TMJ)

W.R.A.P. Program

The impact of COVID-19 has been extremely challenging, especially for people experiencing poverty. Many are struggling to make ends meet, put food on their table, and facing eviction from their homes.  On March 27, Governor Evers‘ announced the Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program to provide relief to renters facing eviction due to COVID-19.

The Division of Energy, Housing, and Community Resources partnered with the Wisconsin Community Action Program Association to administer the $25 million allocation to residents of Wisconsin. As a result, SDC received $5.7 million to assist residents of Milwaukee, Ozaukee, and Washington counties with rental assistance. Thousands of people contacted SDC expressing a need for help even before the program launched.

On Monday, June 8 we launched the WRAP program. With additional staff hired, we have been working as fast as possible to contact and process applications for the WRAP program. If you need help paying rent or obtaining a security deposit to secure housing, you may qualify for assistance.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Complete the electronic form using the link below. Be sure to complete the requested information including your best contact number and county where you live.
  2. Please look at the general eligibility guidelines below and check the website regularly for updates.

This program is made possible through funding from the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis, and the program will expire once CARES funding is exhausted.

If you reside outside of Milwaukee, Ozaukee, and Washington Counties please click the following link to find your service provider. https://doa.wi.gov/Secretary/WRAP-CAPContacts.pdf

General Eligibility Guidelines

  • Meet all the non-financial and financial eligibility criteria
  • An adult Wisconsin resident
  • Household income at or below 80% County Median Income (CMI) in the month prior to the date of application
    • Persons at or below 60% CMI receive priority
  • Only one recipient per qualified household
  • Must provide documentation showing a loss of employment or a reduction in income due to COVID 19
  • The following will not qualify for WRAP:
    • Assistance needed for public rental assistance (Public Housing Program, Section 8 HCV and PBV programs, etc.)
    • Mortgage payment

You May Be Eligible for Help

Temporary rent assistance may be available for tenants who experienced a loss of income due to COVID-19 based on their circumstance. To apply, go to this page to begin the application process, or request an application by emailing renthelp@communityadvocates.net or calling 414-270-4646. Tenants do not need to wait until they receive a 5-day notice to apply.

 

 

IMPACT 211 PROGRAM

  1. Text your zip code to: 897211
  2. 2-1-1 Wisconsin – Resource Directory  https://211wisconsin.communityos.org/
  3. 2-1-1 Wisconsin – COVID-19 Information  https://211wisconsin.communityos.org/coronavirus
  4. COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Resources  https://www.impactinc.org/covid-19-resources/

APPLYING FOR JOBS, UNEMPLOYMENT AND RESOURCES

  1. https://www.wisn.com/article/coronavirus-useful-links-applying-for-jobs-unemployment-and-more/31759743

MILWAUKEE COUNTY RESOURCES

  1. The Milwaukee County Department on Aging is offering home delivery and some meal pick up options.  https://county.milwaukee.gov/files/county/department-on-aging/PDF/MCDACOVID19Updates031920.pdf
  2. Milwaukee residents older than age 60 who meet certain income requirements can get a free box of healthy food from the Hunger Task Force.  https://www.hungertaskforce.org/what-we-do/get-help-now-covid-19/ 
  3. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee are providing three meals a day for kids under age 18. Follow the link for a map of participating locations. https://www.bgcmilwaukee.org/meal-continuation-program/
  4. The Hunger Task Force’s mobile produce market will still be serving seniors in Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha counties.  https://www.hungertaskforce.org/what-we-do/get-help-now-covid-19/
  5. Apply for state unemployment benefits here. The state also has an FAQ about applying for unemployment during the COVID-19 outbreak. https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/uiben/
  6. The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation has compiled a list of COVID-19-safe outdoor and indoor activities to stay active, including over 350 virtual workouts, tips for social distancing with kids and online yoga classes.   https://www.birkie.com/birkie-together/
     
  7. Federal Stimulus Check: Individuals can receive $1,200 and married couples $2,400 Parents can receive an additional $500 per child under 17. You MUST file your taxes to receive a stimulus check, even if you did not have income or if you may owe taxes. Taxes are easy to file online TaxACT • H & R Block or Tax Slayer

    Apply for Emergency Assistance Help for low-income parents to pay for emergency housing or utility-related expense. Apply for Emergency Assistance Online (414) 389-6000 UMOS 2701 S Chase, Milwaukee, WI 53207

    We Energies will not be charging late fees or disconnecting services.

    Energy Assistance Currently once each heating season, Oct 2019-May 2020; Applications over the phone (414) 270-4653, or schedule on-line. It takes about an hour to sign up. Eligible applicants receive a $200-$900 credit on their WE Energies bill Apply for Energy Assistance

    Emergency Food Hunger Task Force has on-line map of up-to-date, reliable food sources in the community Hunger Task Force For information by telephone dial 211. MPS is providing Free Meals for Students. The Milwaukee County Department on Aging provides home delivery and meal pick up options. Wisconsin – FoodShare Information on how to sign up.

    Domestic Violence Sojourner 24-hour Hotline Sojourner Online Hotline (414) 933-2272 Latina Resource Center (414) 389-6510 UMOS Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault Help

  8. Unemployment Benefits If you have been laid off or have reduced hours due to COVID19, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits. Apply by phone (414) 435-7069 or online at Apply for Wisconsin Unemployment Once you apply you will have to file a weekly claim until you return to full employment