COVID-19, the Coronavirus, has turned life upside down for just about everyone, including landlords. Here's my video on the current situation with evictions in Kentucky and some best practices for landlords.
Here are the notes:
Evictions Postponed Statewide
- All non-emergency court cases, including evictions, are postponed beginning Monday, March 16 through Friday, April 10.
- As far as we know, we will still be able to file evictions for you – we just don’t know when the court will hear the case.
- It is my understanding that you will be able to get Writs and perform set-outs next week for cases that you already have a judgment on.
- It is my expectation that the court will move the March 16 docket to April 13, March 17 to April 14, etc. But I do not know that for a fact. As soon as I get word from the court on scheduling, I will let you know.
Best Practices Generally
- Clean and disinfect your public areas (leasing offices) and any enclosed common areas every day.
- Keep your distance from residents and other staff members (six feet minimum).
- Keep hand sanitizer in multiple areas of the office and encourage its use.
- Close your community rooms, business center, fitness centers, etc.
- Postpone social events.
- If you have an elderly population in an enclosed building, you should consider limiting visitation to one family member, caregiver, or health care professional. You'd want to give some prior notice of the policy change and make clear that the duration of the change will be limited.
- If you get a maintenance request from a resident, it is permissible to ask if they have any flu-like symptoms. If they do, you may postpone non-essential maintenance tasks until the resident has been cleared by their health care professional.
- If the maintenance task is essential (heat, water, flooding, fire damage, etc.), you may require the resident to stay in a room that is distanced from the area that is to be addressed. Maintenance staff should then take precautions to disinfect the area in which they will be working prior to engaging in the repair.
If you have a Resident who has been exposed to or diagnosed with Covid-19:
- Request that they follow CDC Guidelines – which means they need to self-quarantine, except for medical appointments.
- Request that they notify you when using the common areas such as elevators and doorways so that you can implement disinfectant protocols immediately after their use.
- If they refuse to self-quarantine – contact the local Health Department. They may be able to issue a directive to the person to self-quarantine, then pursue an injunction from a court if the person violates the directive.
- Keep your residents informed – let them know that another resident has been exposed and that it’s important that they follow CDC Guidelines on preventing the spread.
- Print the CDC Guideline PDF and attach it to your notice.
Be a Voice of Calm
Residents are worried. Staff members are worried. And there is legitimate reason for concern until we as a nation figure out exactly what we’re dealing with.
So we need steady people at the helm. Every single voice of calm leadership will matter. Be that person for your residents and your staff.
This situation is changing by the day, sometimes by the hour. I’ll keep you updated as it happens. Take care. We will make it through this, and likely be all the better for it. We’ll talk soon.