COVID-19: Updates from RI REALTORS®

Check regularly for new information!

Last updated: 05/12/21

Important news re: the RentReliefRI portal: Glitch in online application portal for rental assistance program fixed |

Still have questions? Click here for more information.

Face masks still required in R.I. through May 27 with some exceptions – See Executive Orders updated May 7.

May 17 Tax Deadline Approaching:

The IRS has extended the tax filing and payment deadline to May 17.

Note:  The extension does not apply to 2021 estimated-tax payments, which are used to pay levies in quarterly installments on income that is not subject to withholding, such as earnings from self-employment, alimony, dividends and capital gains.

Related: Businesses who didn’t receive forgiveness on their Paycheck Protection Program loans can now claim a tax credit instead, thanks to a provision in the coronavirus stimulus package. According to guidance posted on January 21st, the IRS pointed to a provision of the legislation that allows employers to claim the tax credit even if they have received a Small Business Interruption Loan under the Paycheck Protection Program.

Federal Court strikes down eviction ban

Applications open for new $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.

The IRS said it will automate refunds for unemployed people who have already filed their tax returns because of a provision in the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill.

The provision made the first $10,200 of unemployment benefits in 2020 tax-free for people who earn up to $150,000, whether they are married or single. Married couples who file jointly will see $20,400 of tax-free unemployment benefits — $10,200 per spouse.

Small-business Loan ‘Lifeline’ Extended

If your real estate business continues to feel the effects of the pandemic, you now have an additional two months to apply for a loan through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program. On Thursday, by a bipartisan vote of 92–7, the U.S. Senate passed the PPP Extension Act of 2021, which extends the application deadline through May 31, 2021. Read more here.

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.

Keep yourself and your clients safe in 2021!

In this busy market, please be aware that crowding can be hard to control at open houses so we strongly advise other methods of showing the property – individual appointments, virtual open houses, etc.   If you must hold an open house, please review the guidelines as they relate to physical space occupancy limits, business processes, screening procedures, enhanced cleaning and more.  Also, please find resources such as screening templates, signage, etc. under General Office Guidance on (Scroll to the bottom of the CommerceRI web page to see resources.)

Properties with a quarantined individual in the property are not available for any type of in-person showing.

MLS Customers should also:

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

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 or

Unemployment fraud has ramped up in Rhode Island.  If you should receive a fraudulent unemployment claim form, please call the unemployment office at 401-243-9137 to report that it is a fraudulent claim.  You can also call 401-462-1522 (the Fraud Tip line) and leave a message there.  It is very important for each individual who receives a fraudulent claim form to call the State at 401-243-9137 to make sure the claim is not processed.

Find out what the travel restrictions are in the different states/locales here.

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

For legal questions, please contact Monica Staaf – General Counsel at 401-432-6945 or

Looking for legislative or municipal updates? Email your questions to

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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 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 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 »


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:

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.

Is Real Estate an Essential Service?

[…] Rhode Island NO DESIGNATION […]

Linda Elliot
Linda Elliot

Hi Monica, I applied for unemployment benefits this morning at
I received a notice today from my office manager stating that all licensed realtors had received a notice today to apply at
Do you know if realtors need to apply only to this site?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Linda Elliot
Coldwell Banker


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?


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.