COVID19

COVID-19: Updates from RI REALTORS®

Check regularly for new information!

Last updated: 07/30/21

Biden seeking to extend moratorium

July 29, 2021 – The Biden Administration on Thursday said it would not attempt to unilaterally extend the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) national eviction moratorium, allowing it to expire on July 31.

In a statement, the White House acknowledged a recent Supreme Court ruling on the issue, saying, “. . . the Supreme Court has made clear that this option is no longer available.”

President Biden is now asking Congress to intervene and extend the ban.  Read more…

Rental assistance guidance is available on NAR’s website. The White House has also been preparing tenants for weeks for the end of the moratorium, issuing new guidance yesterday on how to obtain rental assistance.  Also, find information on RentReliefRI here.


SBA Announces Opening of Paycheck Protection Program Direct Forgiveness Portal:

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is launching a new, streamlined loan forgiveness application portal that will simplify forgiveness for millions of small businesses. The new portal allows borrowers with Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans of $150,000 or less  to apply for forgiveness directly through the SBA, instead of their lender. Read more on the new portal here.


New masking recommendations from the CDC: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday announced new recommendations that vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the coronavirus is surging. Scientists cited new information about the ability of the delta variant to spread among vaccinated people. The CDC also recommended indoor masks for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.

At a rate of more than 57 new cases per 100,000 persons over the past week, Rhode Island is now considered to have “substantial transmission” of the coronavirus by the CDC’s standards, however Governor McKee has indicated that he is not instituting new executive orders at this time. The state is recommending universal mask use within school settings though, regardless of vaccination status, when the 2021-22 school year begins.


RI Division of Taxation: The Rhode Island Division of Taxation reminds taxpayers and tax preparers about the tax treatment of unemployment benefits. Any REALTORS who received unemployment benefits in 2020 must pay tax on them in Rhode Island. The federal government excludes up to $10,200 in employment benefits from federal taxes.


Governor McKee extends RI State of Emergency to August 6.


Governor McKee announced that students will return to school in the fall. Masks will be required for children riding on school buses. It will be up to school districts to set guidelines for students who are not vaccinated.


The Biden administration has extended the nationwide ban on evictions until July 31st to help tenants who are unable to make rent payments during the coronavirus pandemic. See FAQs here.


June 18, 2021 Executive Orders Re: Masks: https://governor.ri.gov/documents/orders/Executive-Order-21-69.pdf

June 18, 2021 Executive Orders Re: Reopening: https://governor.ri.gov/documents/orders/Executive-Order-21-68.pdf


Vaccinated and unvaccinated people in Rhode Island will no longer need to wear masks outdoors starting Wednesday, June 2nd, though they are recommended in crowds. The removal of the outdoor mask mandate applies to all ages and outdoor settings, including live performances, youth sports and summer camps.


The work search requirements for UI claimants are reinstated as of May 23, 2021. Click here for more information.


R.I. fully opened Friday, May 21. Pandemic restrictions lifted with few exceptions: Nightclubs; indoor venues featuring live performances; indoor hookah bars; and gyms that want to use saunas will  required to check the vaccination status of customers, if they want to open to full capacity for unmasked patrons.


Latest OPEN HOUSE GUIDANCE: Per the R.I. Dept. of Business Regulation, fully vaccinated individuals are not required to wear masks, either outdoors and indoors, at open houses. However, establishments/businesses  may (but are not required to) supplement existing rules with their own rules regarding mask wearing, proof of vaccination, testing and other mitigations.  Also, homeowners/sellers can set the rules for their own home. Therefore, you should still arrive prepared with masks and tell your clients to do the same. Also, the latest guidance does not require the 3’ social distancing rule.

MLS Customers, please remember to:

  • Use the Open House Comments section to spell out the “rules” regarding your open houses and;
  • Cooperating Brokers should LOOK for the Open House comments BEFORE sending customers to an Open House to make sure the rules of the open house are understood.

R.I. lifts mask requirements with some exceptions. See May 18, 2021 Executive Orders regarding masks here.

Also see May 18, 2021 updates to Executive Orders covering travel, quarantine, capacity and more.


Federal Court strikes down eviction ban


Applications open for $200M rent program

A new $200 million, emergency rental assistance program administered by the R.I. Housing and Mortgage Finance Corp. has launched to help tenants and landlords who have lost income during the COVID-19 pandemic. RIHousing has created a website for the RentReliefRI program with a signup form for people who are interested in more information


 

SBA to Increase Lending Limit for COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans


USPAP Extended:

The current edition of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) will be extended by one year. The 2020-2021 USPAP will now be effective until December 31, 2022. USPAP is the generally recognized ethical and performance standards for the appraisal profession in the United States. The ASB cited the extra time is needed to fully address issues brought up by conducting socially-distant appraisals during the COVID-19 crisis and growing concerns about discrimination in the development of appraisals and other opinions of value.


The Biden administration announced that it would extend the foreclosure moratorium and mortgage forbearance through the end of June. The actions would block home foreclosures and offer delayed mortgage payments until July, as well as offer six months of additional mortgage forbearance for those who enroll on or before June 30.

The eviction moratorium remains in effect through March but was not included in the actions.

The departments of Housing and Urban Development, Veterans Affairs and Agriculture will work together to enact the actions, according to the announcement from the White House. Resources for homeowners will be consolidated on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s website.


Find vaccine updates here: COVID-19 Vaccine | RI COVID-19 Information Portal


For information and updates on PPP, visit SBA.gov/PPP or Treasury.gov/CARES.

 


See the latest real estate/tenant transaction guidelines on the RI Dept. of Business Regulation’s website. 


There will be no in-person meetings, events or classes held by RI REALTORS® until further notice. 

Information REALTORS® need to know:

This page and the links below will be continually updated as information becomes available.

Thank you for your patience during this challenging time. Please check this website often for updates. If you have further questions after reviewing this information, please email covid19@rirealtors.org.

For legal questions, please contact Monica Staaf – General Counsel at 401-432-6945 or monica@rirealtors.org.

Looking for legislative or municipal updates? Email your questions to governmentaffairs@rirealtors.org.

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Leann D'Ettore
Leann D'Ettore

Stay positive everyone! RIAR leadership and staff are all working hard to find solutions for every single hitch that threatens our ability to continue serving our clients during these unique circumstances. Please post you concerns here and we will do our best to work together to make the best of it and find the best solutions for everyone.

Jean Michael
Jean Michael

RI Governor is mandating that as of today 3/22/2020 No Open Houses are allowed. Why is RIRealtors.org saying differently such as it’s at the realtor and sellers discretion to do them limiting to ten people at a time?

Monica Staaf
Monica Staaf

Check out the new COVID-19 Addendum to Purchase and Sales Agreement under REALTOR® SPECIFIC INFORMATION on this page. Please contact me with any questions at monica@rirealtors.org. I have worked with Rhode Island REALTORS® for nearly twenty years because I admire you for your entrepreneurial spirit, creativity, and the care that you provide to your clients and customers. For those of you who are newer to real estate, please know that REALTORS®, over the years, have survived the banking crisis, 9/11, double digit interest rates, recessions, and many other challenges. We’re all working together – leadership, staff, and you – to… Read more »

RI REALTORS - Staff
RI REALTORS - Staff

Hi Jean, contrary to what you may have heard on the news, the Gov. requested that we ask members to stop holding open houses. Legally, if agents/owners can limit the open houses to less than 10 people at a time, they are allowed to hold them. However, RAIR does not recommend it. Please see here for more information: https://www.rirealtors.org/riar-mls-ask-realtors-to-refrain-from-holding-open-houses/

Benjamin Newcomb
Benjamin Newcomb

This is exactly why we have to catch up to speed with the overwhelming majority of markets and move to online deeds, SUPRA or other lockboxes, and virtual closings! There is a huge opportunity here to get us up to speed with better technology, increased access/productivity-> it’s time we evolve in RI. I know we are a stubborn bunch, but the rewards are so clearly attainable.

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Linda Elliot
Linda Elliot

Hi Monica, I applied for unemployment benefits this morning at http://www.dlt.state.ri.us/
I received a notice today from my office manager stating that all licensed realtors had received a notice today to apply at https://covidemergencyuibenefits.dlt.ri.gov/
Do you know if realtors need to apply only to this site?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Regards,
Linda Elliot
Coldwell Banker

Kate
Kate

Now that the stay at home order is lifted and phase 1 of re-opening has begun, is the governor still urging agents to refrain from holding open houses?

RI REALTORS
RI REALTORS

Open house guidance remains as it has been. Until there is a change announced by the Governor, RI Realtors is still advising refraining from holding in-person open houses which could result in a situation where people are waiting in line outside to get in. We are hearing of some REALTORs who have been arranging back-to-back showings one day a week. We also have new tools on Matrix which offer live stream open houses and virtual tours. Hope this helps. Stay safe.