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What debt and rent-related issues due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic should I know about?

During COVID-19, federal, state, and local governments provided protections and assistance to renters and landlords. Make sure that any rental debt claimed by a landlord or debt collector is accurate.

During the coronavirus pandemic, protections and assistance were put in place to help renters and landlords. If you or your landlord received assistance during the pandemic, there are a few important questions that can help you understand whether you owe money to a landlord or debt collector.

Did you or your landlord receive federal emergency rental assistance money or other state funds because of COVID-19?

You will want to make sure that any funds you received through the federal emergency rental assistance program to pay your landlord rent, or that your landlord received for your rent, were accurately applied to reduce or eliminate your rental debt. Make sure you get a receipt for the rent payments when you pay the assistance to your landlord.

Was your rental housing covered by the CARES Act?

If your housing was protected under the CARES Act, your landlord can’t charge you late fees between March 27 and July 24, 2020. If your landlord received forbearance assistance under the CARES Act, you can’t be charged late fees during the period they were receiving forbearance.

Does your state provide other protections?

Your state may have other protections. For example, some states prohibited late fees or other penalties from being charged during the pandemic. Check with your state attorney general , legal aid programs , or your state courts , to make sure you have the most current information on any new laws or programs that could impact the amount of your rental debt.

Learn more about debt and credit reporting during the pandemic, including the CARES Act.