We have received several inquiries from members regarding TAA's current and future activities as it relates to COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
The COVID-19, or Coronavirus, is a situation the leadership of the Tulsa Apartment Association is taking very seriously. TAA leadership is following the reopening phases and guidelines as we continue to evaluate in-person events. We will continue to evaluate the situation and make adjustments as needed.
TAA's top priority and focus are to help our members through the uncertainty and concerns of the situation. Please contact the Tulsa Apartment Association office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 918-747-6217 if we can be of assistance.
Residents in northeastern Oklahoma can submit an application for rental assistance through Restore Hope.
In Oklahoma County or other counties outside of northeastern Oklahoma, residents can contact Community CARES at https://okcommunitycares.org/.
On June 24, 2021, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) extended its temporary halt in residential evictions to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 through July 31, 2021. Click here to view information about the Order. The CDC order keeps the modifications added during the March 28 extension in place, while the core elements of the Order remain the same. The CDC has stated that it does intend this to be the last extension of the eviction moratorium.
- Applies to virtually all rental housing providers and prohibits any eviction action to remove a renter from their housing during the covered period, so long as the renter provides the required declaration to their housing provider;
- Does not prevent evictions based on the lawful reasons articulated in the order, other than nonpayment of rent;
- Does NOT eliminate the resident’s obligations under the lease, and housing providers may charge late fees or other penalties for nonpayment of rent; and
- States that any person or organization that violates the order may be subject to up to $500,000 in fines per violation and/or jail time. Enhanced penalties apply if the violation resulted in death, at the discretion of the U.S. Department of Justice.
For renters to be eligible for the order’s protections, they must provide a declaration under penalty of perjury to their housing provider indicating the following:
- The individual has used best efforts to obtain rental assistance;
- The individual expects to earn no more than $99,000 (no more than $198,000 when filing jointly); was not required to report income in 2019 to the IRS; or received a stimulus check pursuant to the CARES Act;
- The individual is unable to pay their full rent due to a number of factors that remain unconnected to COVID-19;
- The individual is using best efforts to make timely partial payments; and
- Eviction would likely render the individual homeless or force the individual to move into and live in close quarters in a new congregate or shared living setting because the individual has no other available housing options.
- An example of the declaration can be found in the order, and the CDC has provided the document on the website here. Please note that this form will immediately halt any eviction proceedings, and housing providers are not required to distribute the form to residents.
To help housing providers better understand their rights and responsibilities under the order, the National Apartment Association in partnership with the Texas Apartment Association prepared preliminary guidance and FAQs. This guidance is not intended to be state-specific and should be used in conjunction with advice from local legal counsel to interpret these requirements in light of existing federal, state and local eviction laws. Contact the Tulsa Apartment Association office at email@example.com or 918-747-6217 if you would like to discuss specific issues relating to Oklahoma and/or the Tulsa area.
The National Apartment Association hosted a webinar providing guidance on the eviction moratorium. The recording is available to members. If you would like to receive access to the recording, contact the Tulsa Apartment Association office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 918-747-6217.
GUIDANCE: THE PROCESS OF REOPENING
The state of Oklahoma began reopening on April 24th. The three-phased plan allows a gradual process of getting back to business as usual. The following is information that will help you adjust your policies & procedures during this reopening process.
We sent a survey to TAA members to gather information about how management companies are planning to reopen. The information below is a summary of the responses we received.
We received a mixed response to when clubhouses/leasing offices would be opened to the public again. A few stated they never closed, while others planned to open in early May, and some were waiting until May 18th or June 1st (following the dates provided in the three-phased plan). Many stated that they would first open their office to appointments only and limit the number of people that could be in the clubhouse/office based on the size of the clubhouse/office. Those who were waiting longer to open would not require appointments at that time. Everyone plans to continue social distancing protocols and regular sanitizing. Some are requiring employees to wear masks.
BUSINESS CENTERS & AMENITY ROOMS (i.e. Theater Rooms)
If business centers were in the clubhouse/leasing office, then most plan to open when they opened their office. For amenity rooms there was a variety of answers, with some opening May 18th and others looking to open June 1st or later. Everyone would be requiring social distancing, sanitization before and after use and providing sanitization supplies, limiting occupancy, and posting signs to inform residents of policies.
Many apartment communities stopped accepting packages for residents, but during the reopening process some are going to resume this when their offices reopen. Many are looking at not going back to accepting packages, and others have package lockers for their residents to use.
In a survey to our members, we found out that management companies are varying the dates when they are reopening their fitness centers. Some are opening on May 18th and others are waiting until June 1. Everyone is limiting the number of people that can be in the fitness center at one time. Some are moving equipment for social distancing and/or limiting fitness center hours. Everyone that is opening their fitness centers plan to provide sanitization supplies for residents to clean equipment before and after use and posting signs stating sanitization requirements, and others are taking the extra step of having their staff clean the commonly touched areas in the fitness center every hour or every morning & evening. Some management companies have asked residents to bring their own sanitization products due the limited availability of the products.
Guidance from the Tulsa Health Department.
Are pools currently in the process of being inspected? When can apartment community pools be opened?
Seasonal pools that are licensed do not have to be inspected by the Tulsa Health Department before they open. The Tulsa Health Department is doing inspections as quickly as they can with the hope that inspections can be completed for pools to be open for Memorial Day weekend.
The Tulsa Health Department requires the adherence to the following guidelines:
- Cut bathing load (occupancy) in half
- Maintain social distancing between families
- Frequently clean commonly touched areas
Are individuals responsible for maintaining the pool required to be Certified Pool Operators? When will the Tulsa Health Department be offering the Certified Pool Operator training?
The Tulsa Health Department is going to deal with each facility individually when it comes to the pool operator. Experienced operators who have permits that have expired will probably be granted extensions. New operators need to get with experienced individuals or with their inspector to receive basic training. As of now the City of Tulsa is planning to host the Certified Pool Operator training on May 27th and June 8th, but that may change. Click here to find the latest information about the training classes.
Based on the survey we sent most management companies are planning to open their swimming pools to their residents Memorial Day weekend while some companies stated they would not be opening their pool. Some management companies are moving pool furniture, adding sanitization stations, posting signs to encourage social distancing, and some are limiting pool hours to office hours so they can monitor (occupancy & sanitization) and others are removing pool furniture and telling their residents to bring their own towel/chair/etc. because they don’t have the manpower to constantly sanitize the area. Everyone is communicating their changes to their pool policies to their residents.
The Tulsa County Courthouse will be reopening on May 18th but will not be hearing eviction cases until June 1st. Cases that were scheduled at the end of May have been rescheduled. When you have a new hearing date you must serve a notice of the hearing to the tenant.
If you have a pending eviction case filed on or after March 27th you will be required to complete the Verification of Compliance with Section 4024 of the CARES Act. This allows the court to determine if your apartment community is subject to the eviction moratorium established in the CARES Act.Click here to download this form.
Currently, the rules for entering the courthouse include:
- entering the courthouse using the northside Plaza entrance
- masks are required & handwashing stations are available
- social distancing required
- no more than 10 people in the courtroom (this includes the judge & court staff)
COVID-19 FEDERAL UPDATE WEBINAR FOR OKLAHOMA
On April 27th the Oklahoma State Apartment Association in partnership with the National Apartment Association and local affiliates hosted a webinar to provide an update on the federal regulations regarding COVID-19 and the multifamily industry. Click here to download the slides from this presentation.
NATIONAL APARTMENT ASSOCIATION RESOURCES
The National Apartment Association (NAA) and the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) have put together resource pages. The links to these resource pages are below:
CITY OF TULSA RESOURCES
Fair Housing During COVID-19 Webinar
Monday, April 20, 2020
10:00-11:00 AM CT
This web-based training is hosted by the Center for Housing Solutions and the City of Tulsa. The session will be co-facilitated by Teressa Webster, Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma Fair Housing Project Advocacy Director, and LaKendra Carter, City of Tulsa Compliance Officer. The training will provide an overview of fair housing protections, including protections for those who have or are perceived as having COVID-19. The webinar will also cover the fair housing complaint and investigation process, including potential outcomes. This session will be helpful for landlords, tenants, and all A Way Home for Tulsa members working to support clients obtain and maintain housing.
Register in advance for this training:
Safety in Multifamily Housing During COVID-19 Webinar
This web-based training is hosted by the Center for Housing Solutions and the City of Tulsa. Kendra Wise of the Tulsa Health Department explains safety precautions for tenants and landlords in multifamily housing to remain healthy and limit the spread of COVID-19.
Landlord Rights and Requirements During COVID-19 Webinar
This web-based training is hosted by the Center for Housing Solutions and the City of Tulsa. The session will be co-facilitated by landlord tenant attorneys Kelly Knopp and Blaine Frierson and Homebase's Alissa Weber and will provide an overview of the Oklahoma eviction moratorium and the CARES Act eviction moratorium and mortgage forbearance provisions. We will cover landlord rights and requirements related to evictions, leases, rent, fees, and mortgage forbearance and will provide opportunities for Q&A. The primary audience for this training will be landlords and property managers.
If you are in need of training for your employees during this time, we encourage you to check out our online learning platform. Visto is an online training platform provided in partnership with the National Apartment Association and Grace Hill. Click here to view online learning opportunities related to COVID-19.
We encourage everyone to rely on trusted resources for information related to COVID-19, and share this information with employees and residents. Below are links to organizations where you can get information directly from the source:
- Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- President of the United States
- State of Oklahoma
- Oklahoma State Department of Health
- City of Tulsa
- City of Bartlesville
- City of Bixby
- City of Broken Arrow
- City of Claremore
- City of Coweta
- City of Glenpool
- City of Jenks
- City of Muskogee
- City of Owasso
- City of Sand Springs
- City of Sapulpa
- City of Tahlequah
If you are a resident in need of assistance we recommend you visit 211 Eastern Oklahoma website, or call 211, or text 211OK to 898211.
211 Eastern Oklahoma is a free and confidential link to help and hope for those in need, whatever the need, 24/7. Get connected to thousands of community resources and services near you, including crisis support.