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Real Property Management Heritage is committed to providing Landlords with updates, resources, and recommended practices regarding the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and their Rental Property.

Keep checking back—this page will be updated regularly with new information. Updated: March 28, 2020

*As information is changing daily, we recommend seeking qualified professional counsel before acting on any of information below.

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COVID-19 & Landlord FAQs

How does a Landlord find out what they should or shouldn't do during this time?

Your first guide is to check the rental agreement or lease. It is still a binding agreement between you and your tenants. This is your guide on what you can and cannot do.

Then, refer to state laws that covers rent-related issues, including limits on late fees, the amount of notice a landlord must provide to increase rent under a month-to-month tenancy, and how much time a tenant has to pay rent or move before a landlord can file for eviction.

Lastly, check with your local courts for closures or rulings like halting evictions in Texas until March 31, 2020.

My tenant said they can't pay the rent because they lost work because of the Coronavirus. What do I do?

At this time, the law has not changed with respect to a tenant’s obligation to pay rent. We advise Landlords to create a policy during this time of how to address rent payment issues with tenants in the coming weeks. Contact us for guidance.

CARES Act: If your rental home has a Federally Backed Mortgage Loan, you are prohibited from posting a notice to vacate, file for an eviction, evict, or charge any fees related to late payments for 120 days since March 27, 2020.

Decide how to communicate with your tenants
The right communication at the right time is key to this process. Knowing how and when will have everyone come out with the best result during this time. Stay away from rushing to reach out with emotions. This is a great time to pause and take a breath.

Should Landlords consider rent relief or a delayed payment plan?
Currently in Texas, evictions are delayed until March 31, and rent is still due. There no law or court ruling forcing landlords to provide rent relief or a delayed payment plan.
If you want to consider some sort of rent relief for your tenant, it would be out of grace and compassion and is a great option if you’re worried about protecting the condition of the home. Rent relief can be in the form of a promissory note for future payment, partial payment with deferred payment plan, or simply a reduction in rent.

You can also direct your tenants to the following income assistance programs:

    • The Texas Workforce Commission says if you lose your job because of the outbreak, you might be eligible for unemployment. They will look at past wages, how you lost the job and ongoing eligibility requirements.
    • If your tenant has a small business, they can apply for Disaster Loan Assistance through the US Small Business Administration (SBA)

If you own your house free and clear or through other means:

  • If your local court has halted evictions, can Landlords still post a 3-day Notice to Vacate or Evict?
    You can follow all steps for eviction including posting a 3-day Notice and filing for an eviction if possible.
  • What about Late Fees?
    Check the lease and your state laws. The consideration here is that if the courts are closed and evictions halted, it can be a similar situation to a federal holiday and pausing late fees for those days is considered.

UPDATED 3/28/2020

My vendors/repair companies are backing out and tenants are nervous about letting people into their homes. If I have repairs and routine maintenance that need to be done, what do I do?

This is a good place to be proactive.

If you do not have your own maintenance/repair professionals on staff, reach out to your third-party vendors now and see what their company policies are with respect to whether they will continue to work in the coming weeks. Line up a back-up plan as needed. Communicate with your vendors about what their health and safety protocols are so that if the tenant asks, you can provide that information. If you have a tenant that is refusing vendor access, work with the tenant as much as possible to postpone routine scheduled maintenance or stabilize the repair as needed.

My tenant shared that they are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 and/or has been diagnosed. Do I have to do maintenance on the property?

Depends on the repair. The exact terms of the landlord-tenant relationship, including access to the rental unit, are established through the lease and the Texas Property Code. Essentially, landlords are required to repair or remedy conditions that would materially affect the physical health or safety of an ordinary tenant. Determine if the repair request fits the criteria, and decide. It is important to take all appropriate health and safety measures to protect both the the maintenance repair persons and the tenants. Click here to see the recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

What happens when my tenant cannot afford to keep utilities on pursuant to their obligation under the lease because of this crisis?

Many utility services are offering some sort of limited protection against terminating services during this public health crisis. If tenants have questions on this issue, they should contact their relevant utility provider.

My tenant’s lease is up and he was supposed to move out this week or in the coming weeks. They are refusing to leave. What do I do?

Landlords consider how they will handle tenant requests in the coming days and months. The terms of the lease with the tenant still govern everyone’s rights, obligations, and potential remedies during this national emergency. A tenant who doesn’t vacate may be subject to legal action, but whether a particular landlord is willing to pursue those remedies is ultimately up to that landlord. You can consider signing an agreement with the tenant to go month to month or a short term lease.

In addition, the Mayor has requested that all domestic travelers coming back to Houston to self-quarantine for 7 days, and international travelers for 14 days. This could mean that people will not be able to leave their homes. Again, landlords should begin to consider how they will handle tenant requests in the coming days and months.

I own a property with multiple units and have had tenants coming to me asking if anyone in the building has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are showing symptoms. What should I say?

At this time, landlords are required to disclose any tenant’s COVID-19 diagnosis or share that they are showing symptoms.

A material adverse fact must pertain to the physical condition of the property, not the tenant residing there. Even if you knew, there may be privacy issues that would likely prohibit such disclosure.

What is my responsibility to clean a unit before a new tenant moves in? What if I know the previous tenant was infected with COVID-19?

While there may be emergency standards established by a state government agency, none exists at the present time.  It is important to use an accepted industry standard. Click here to see the recommendations from the CDC.

Here are the facts:

  • CARES ACT (ADDED 03/28/2020)
    As of March 27, 2020, The Coronavirus Aid Relief Economic Relief Security Act (CARES Act) passed. This brings additional guidance specifically in Sections 4021 – 4024. Source: (

      • If you have a Federally Backed Mortgage Loan on a single family up to fourplex, you can call your Loan Servicer to see if you qualify to suspend mortgage payments for 180 days with no fees, no penalties, no additional interest.
      • If it’s a multifamily unit (5+), 30 days forbearance that can be extend for up to 2 additional 30 day periods upon the request of the borrower.
      • IF (THIS IS A BIG IF) the home has a Federally Backed Mortgage Loan
        For 120 days, landlord cannot issue a notice to vacate, initiate an eviction, or evict for nonpayment of rent/fees/charges OR charge any late fees, penalties, or any other charges for late rent
      • If the home is owned FREE AND CLEAR or through some OTHER means like a HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit),
        • Moratorium does not apply. You can continue with evictions, charges, and fees.
      • If you’re a landlord reporting to RentBureau or some other credit agency and providing an accommodation, you must report the account as CURRENT or the same status as it was before the accommodation.
  • As of March 19, 2020, Th Supreme Court of Texas halted all evictions through March 31st. (source:
  • HUD has suspended all evictions and foreclosures for housing  for single family homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages for the next 60 days.  This halts all new foreclosure actions and suspend all foreclosure actions currently in process; and ceases all evictions of persons from FHA-insured single-family properties. (source:
  • The Harris County Civil District Court, serving the Houston area, has suspended civil jury trials for the rest of March and has suspended criminal jury trials through March 20. (source:
  • The Texas Supreme Court issued guidance March 12, 2020 calling on courts to suspend proceedings or schedule them to avoid gatherings of large groups of people until at least April 1, including jury trials and large docket calls. (source:
  • Nearly 1 in 5 Americans have reported a reduction in work hours according to a recent poll. (source:

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