Federal Agencies Warn Large Landlords About Tenants’ Pandemic Protections

Two federal agencies have issued letters warning large landlords, who collectively own more than two million housing units, of federal protections in place to keep tenants in their homes and stop the spread of COVID-19, according to a release.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Acting Director Dave Uejio and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Acting Chairwoman Rebecca Kelly Slaughter sent notification letters to the nation’s largest apartment landlords. A recent CFPB report found that renters are particularly endangered, with more than 8.8 million tenants behind on rent.

“With millions of families nationwide at risk of eviction, it’s vital that landlords and the debt collectors who work on their behalf understand and abide by their obligations,” Slaughter said. “We are continuing to monitor this area and will act as needed to protect renters.”

“Landlords should ensure that [Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)]-covered debt collectors working on their behalf, which may include attorneys, notify tenants of their rights under federal law. Nearly nine million households are at risk of eviction due to the economic effects of COVID-19, but no one should lose their home without understanding their rights,” Uejio said. “We will hold accountable debt collectors who move forward with illegal evictions.”

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