Tenant protection review must begin with state, local laws

July 31, 2023

CUNA filed comments Monday in response to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) request for information (RFI) on tenant protections for Government-Sponsored Enterprise-backed multifamily properties. FHFA issued the RFI to collect data and information from multifamily stakeholders about the challenges tenants experience at multifamily properties.

“Any review of tenant protections must begin with state and local law because those laws generally govern the relationships between multifamily property owners and their tenants,” the letter reads. “The level of tenant protections offered by state and local law can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Unlike the 30-day notice to vacate requirement built into the CARES Act, Federal law does not generally appear to provide the Enterprises with the statutory authority to unilaterally require many of the tenant protections discussed in the RFI or the Survey.”

CUNA’s letter also examines research involving tenant protections, noting more research is needed to make an informed policy decision on tenant protections at Enterprise-backed multifamily properties.

“For example, if it is determined that tenant protections that affect the eviction process like moratoria, diversion programs, or rights to counsel provide most of the reduction in eviction risk, there are other factors that may need to be addressed to the extent that limiting eviction could reduce the supply or quality of multifamily rentals available in the market,” it says.