Resources and Guidance when impacted by COVID-19Over the past week or more, we have all witnessed the growing crisis unfold across our nation known as COVID-19. As government and businesses have sought to stem the spread of this virus, businesses, schools, entertainment events and other social gatherings have ceased or greatly been reduced. Given these rapid changes we wanted build a resource to help our members with the ever-changing environment. Following are some FAQs that might help in communicating with your residents.
If you have a resident that is unable to pay rent during this time of crisis, what should you do?
The most important thing that you can do is communicate. If a resident has been impacted by COVID-19 ask them to providing documentation from an employer or other documentation that shows how they have been impacted by this crisis. Continue sending notices and requests for
them to contact you. Frequent and timely communication is the best course of action. A recent decision by Congress states that Justice of the Peace courts will not hold eviction cases or remove people from their homes through April. However, it is prudent to continue to serve
notices and keep lines of communication open.
If you have a renter that needs assistance paying bills. Where can they go for help?
Please see the following resources. This will be updated as resources are identified.
If your resident is unable to pay their utility bills during this time of crisis, what should you do?
LP&L, SPEC, Atmos have all suspending disconnects during COVID-19 crisis. The bills will continue to accrue but will not be disconnected. Utility assistance programs are available, please see the resources below.
If you are a Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) property.
Both public housing and Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) residents who experience a loss or reduction of wages can submit a change of income request to LHA. Call them at 806.762.1191. More information can be found at: https://lubbockha.org/
Resident Service and Access to Amenities
During the crisis, Rental Communities are following CDC recommendations to practice social distancing. Some members are:
- Close/Limit Amenities
- Ask you to pay rent online
- Encouraging residents to call, email, use their website to report maintenance request or pay rent
- Closing offices to non-employees and/or asking visitors to review COVID-19 symptoms before entering as well as wash and sanitize their hands before handling business
- Limiting repairs to emergency situations only. Some examples are plumbing stoppages or backups, no heat or air conditioning in extreme temperatures, water penetration, or other items determined to inhibit the living condition of your apartment.
Late Fees and Payment Arrangements
Following guidelines from the Texas Apartment Association they are encouraging members to:
- Waive late fees
- Establish payment arrangements with residents
- Forms: Notice of Temporary Waive or Late Fees, Payment Plan Agreement
Evictions and Small Claims Courts
With the latest decisions from the Texas Supreme Court and Texas Court of Criminal Appeals courts are currently on hold until April 19th (see document).
It is the recommendation from local JP courts that you stay in contact with your Precinct court for current and future filings. As resources are updated, we will let you know.
Live video with Judge Ann-Marie Carruth Q&A on evictions recorded March 23rd, 2020
Where do I go for more information?
Small Business Guidance and Loan Resources (CARES)
Federal Finance Housing Agency
NAA COVID-19 Policy and Advocacy Resource
National Apartment Association
National Apartment Association Guidance for Property Management Video Series
Texas Apartment Association
National Multifamily Housing Council
TWC Waives Certain Requirements for Unemployment Benefits
Texas Offers Application For Economic Injury Disaster Loan to Help Small Businesses
City of Lubbock Health Department
City of Lubbock Helpful Resources
City of Lubbock Permit Department Self Service
Lubbock County Justice of the Peace
Lubbock Chamber of Commerce
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Texas Health and Human Services
World Health Organization Information
Federal Reserve System
Texas Apartment Association FAQ for Renters
Assistance for Renters City of Lubbock and Lubbock County
South Plains Food Bank
Lubbock Area United Way
American Red Cross
Catholic Family Service Diocese
Guadalupe Economic Services
Lubbock County General Assistance
Lubbock Housing Authority
LP&L – City of Lubbock Utilities
South Plains Electric Coop