The Consumer Financial Protections Bureau (CFPB) has issued a new regulation, imposing a requirement on ‘debt collectors’ that attempt to collect rent under penalty of eviction. This new rule applies to landlords, property managers acting as agents for landlords, and attorneys representing landlords.
Under this new rule, if you are serving a 3-day notice for non-payment you must include the mandated language in your notice that notifies the tenants of their rights under the CDC Order. This new rule takes effect on May 3rd and will likely stay in effect until the CDC Order expires. The Order is currently scheduled to expire June 30th but there is a good chance it will be extended beyond that date.
If you use your own non-payment notice form, the required disclosure language is as follows:
“Because of the global COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for temporary protection from eviction under Federal law. Learn the steps you should take now: visit www.cfpb.gov/eviction or call a housing counselor at 800-569-4287.”
Landlords should include this language to any non-payment notices immediately. If you would like to use our form, we have included a sample for your convenience here.
Failure to include the required disclosure language on non-payment notices will be treated as a violation of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA). Violations of the FDCPA allow for the tenant to sue landlords, agents, and possibly attorneys, and violators can be held liable for actual damages, statutory damages, and attorney’s fees. Class action suits may also be brought under the FDCPA.