WILMOTH Group Updates – August 1, 2020


Eviction Moratorium Extended

Not surprisingly, the Indiana eviction moratorium was extended this week until August 14. This is not a surprise but what is interesting is the extension was only for 2 weeks. The explanation provided by Governor Holcomb is that the extension aligns with the current moratorium on utility disconnections. So, the optimist might think we only have a couple of more weeks. Reality says the cases of positive COVID-19 in Indiana have increased and the state will remain in stage 4.5 throughout August.

At this point, nothing is really unexpected, and much is unanticipated. And the most common scientific explanations include the highly regarded summary of “who knows”?

Taking Action On Your Delinquent Tenant

Funds are starting to be received from the rental assistance program in Marion County. The program continues to be suspended but we have been hearing decisions this week. Not at all surprised to see many application denied. Reasons seem to vary but the fact the tenant has not resided in a home for 90 days or could be determined to have been affected by COVID are the big ones. As we have stated, we will confirm if your tenant receives assistance.

After assessing the impact of the assistance program, it’s subsequent suspension and the ongoing moratoriums we just can’t keep waiting on the non-paying tenants. As we said when the crisis first started back in March, the tenants truly impacted are communicating and making whatever payments they can. The problem is the evictions that were already moving forward before COVID and now have continued for months with no payments.

We are moving forward with a cash for keys offering for these tenants. What we want to accomplish is to secure your property and get it back on the market prior to winter. Yes, this program will cost you additional funds, but it is less than what you are losing now. Frankly, many experts don’t expect the moratoriums to be lifted by August 14. Even when the moratorium is lifted, the backlog of cases will be extensive.

Please contact us today at owners@wilmothgroup.com and let us know if you approve us making an cash for keys offer to your tenant. Please give us the base amount to be offered and a top range we have permission to negotiate. If you are not sure please ask and we will give you some guidance based on our usage of these offers with foreclosures.

Reminder – Add Your Properties to the Indianapolis Landlord Registry

We have written about this before and most of you have gone through the process. One of the benefits is when you list WILMOTH Group as your property manager, we receive notices by local mail if there are health department violations. In the last few weeks, we have heard from owners who have been cited (by US Mail) and by the time they open the citation there is a day or two to rectify. We do our best but this is pretty tight depending on the issue. If your local landlord is listed on the registry, we have even had the Health Department call us to advise they were sending out a violation. We have a good relationship with them but they are not going to waive fees for us. They know we work hard to keep your properties at a level above the minimum codes. If you have not registered, and your rentals are in Indianapolis-Marion County, please take time and handle this now.

Here are a couple of posts we have published that will assist you in completing the registration.

Tenants Rights Law in Indianapolis – We Have You Covered!

We have also been fielding questions about the new Indianapolis Tenants Rights Ordinance. The ordinance was effective July 1, 2020. We have written about this several times in our weekly newsletter plus the linked blog post. It sounds like the city started sending letters out to people registered in the Landlord Registry. If you have missed our efforts to keep you informed please know that we have implemented the procedures required and your properties are in compliance.

A common point of concern is when does the tenant need to acknowledge the new statement document published by the city. We have been advised by legal counsel that this is ONLY required with new leases or renewals of existing leases. We actually began using the statement in mid-late June in these circumstances.

Hopefully you find all the above helpful to your rental business! We look forward to continuing to serve as your partner!

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