Client Alerts

COVID-19 Real Estate Updates

About: Real Estate, Real Estate

Current Landscape of Eviction and Foreclosure Relief Measures in Response to COVID-19

By: Kristin W. Boose and Robert L. McEvoy

April 3, 2020 – In recent weeks, federal, state, and local governments and public officials have implemented a multitude of sweeping measures in connection with eviction and foreclosure proceedings in an attempt to negate the adverse economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and provide economic relief to tenants and landlords. The measures affect various types of tenants and landlords, and can be almost impossible to keep up to date with due to ever-changing and newly promulgated actions, executive orders, and legislation. While the situation is fluid, below sets forth measures taken with respect to eviction and foreclosure proceedings at the federal level, state-specific actions in Ohio, actions taken by local Ohio courts, as well as measures taken by some other states and jurisdictions.

Federal Level

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act of 2020 (“CARES Act”)

On March 27, 2020, the CARES Act was enacted to provide economic relief to U.S. citizens. Title IV, Subtitle A of the CARES Act sets forth the Coronavirus Economic Stabilization Act of 2020, which, among other things, established a 120-day moratorium prohibiting landlords of certain residential buildings secured by federally-backed mortgage loans from initiating new eviction proceedings against their tenants for non-payment of rent or other charges. In addition, landlords are prohibited from assessing penalties, fees, or other charges for non-payment (or late payment) of rent during the period the moratorium is in effect.

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COVID-19 Recommendations for Real Estate

By: Lori Pittman HaasJodi RichKristin W. Boose and William D. Edwards

UPDATED MARCH 26, 2020 – State and federal laws are changing every day with respect to the novel coronavirus called COVID-19. As of Wednesday, March 25, 16 states have or will have implemented stay at home orders affecting more than 40% of the population. As the laws related to your business change, we will continually keep you updated. Here are some guidelines to follow as we await specific legislation related to owners, tenants, property managers, and occupants of real estate and prospective sellers and purchasers of real estate.

General Guidelines

If an individual residential tenant or employee of a commercial tenant is diagnosed with COVID-19, the identity of the patient should not be disclosed. It is acceptable to share that a positive diagnosis has occurred within the building and encourage other tenants to take appropriate precautions. If you are a property manager or landlord, take all possible steps to ensure that common areas in your buildings, such as lobbies, security areas, and elevators, are regularly cleaned with solutions that will kill the COVID-19 virus. Consider temporarily closing discretionary social gathering areas, such as exercise rooms, pools, and party rooms, where the spread of COVID-19 is more likely. Follow guidelines from the CDC. The CDC’s website has excellent, up-to-date information about precautionary measures to take to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Be aware that even if a contract appears clear, a court may not enforce a contractual obligation that was impossible to fulfill due to governmental ordered closures or that would risk the health and safety of tenants, their employees, or customers. What a court may have done before COVID-19 may not be what a court will do in the current climate of COVID-19.

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How the Ohio, Kentucky, and Illinois Shelter in Place Orders Affect the Real Estate Industry

From Ulmer’s Real Estate Advisor Law Blog
By Bradley D. Kaplan

March 24, 2020 – As of Monday, March 23, 2020, Illinois, Ohio, and Kentucky have issued executive orders for the purpose of limiting person-to-person contact to avoid the transmission of the COVID-19 virus. This article summarizes how each of these three states are defining “essential businesses” and “essential services.”

Illinois

Governor J.B. Pritzker issued Executive Order 2020-10 on March 20, 2020. Section 9 of the order includes in the definition of “Essential Infrastructure” in part the following activities that apply to real estate and construction: construction of food production/distribution facilities; health care facilities; public works facilities; building management; building maintenance; construction and repair of highways, railroads, and other means of transportation; waste and recycling removal; and telecommunications facilities and infrastructure. The order specifically states that it should be interpreted as broadly as possible.

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COVID-19’s Impact on Commercial Real Estate Lending – Initial Observations

From Ulmer’s Real Estate Advisor Law Blog
By Kristin W. Boose

March 23, 2020 – On March 20, 2020, the CRE Finance Council hosted a great conference call entitled, “The Impact of COVID-19 on the Commercial and Multifamily Real Estate Property & Finance Markets.” Like many of us in the commercial real estate world, I’m anxious to get my arms around what impact, both short and long term, the COVID-19 pandemic will have on our real estate markets, including real estate finance, a focus of my practice. Spoiler alert – we don’t truly know. These experts provided us with their thoughts and observations, discussing both the lending and debt markets, including macroeconomic and microeconomic aspects. Here are important takeaways I learned concerning COVID-19’s impact on lending and the various real estate sectors:

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