COVID19

General Federal/State Information

RHODE ISLAND
  • Executive Orders:
    • Face Masks
    • Effective Saturday, April 18, all employees of customer-facing businesses MUST wear a face mask to go into the office or workplace unless an employee can easily, continuously, and measurably maintain at least six (6) feet of distance from others for the duration of his or her work. (Everyone should be wearing a face mask whenever they are out in public.)
      • Realtors should wear face masks to the office and to all showings unless they can measurably maintain at least six feet of distance from others and even then, face masks are highly recommended.
    • All such businesses must provide, at their expense, face coverings or materials for the making of such face coverings for their employees, made available staff-wide or individually upon employee request.
      • Brokers are required to provide agent face masks when going to the office if requested.
    • All customer-facing businesses shall take steps to request that customers wear face coverings, including the posting of such request at the entrance of the business and such other steps as may be required by DBR.
      • Brokers should post this request in their offices and share it with their licensees.
      • Realtors should take steps to ensure that customers come to showings prepared with face masks.
      • Though requested to wear masks, if clients/customers come to an office or a showing without face masks, you are allowed to let them, provided recommended social distancing guidelines are followed, if you and the seller agree to do so.
  • During phase 1 of the reopening: REALTORS are allowed to have individual showings with buyers – no more than five at the showing, preferably less. 
  • Governor Raimondo orders for  those coming from out of state to Rhode Island to self-quarantine for 14 days still in effect in Phase 1.  Please see question #18 on the FAQs for specific instructions for REALTORS.
HEALTH-RELATED
FINANCIAL 
State & Federal Taxes
  • New Tax Extension deadlines applicable to 1031 Like-Kind Exchanges, Opportunity Fund investments and estimated quarterly tax payments:
    • 1031 Like-Kind Exchanges:If an investor has taken the first step of a like-kind exchange by selling the old property, and either the 45-day or the 180-day deadline falls between April 1 and July 15, the deadline has now been extended to July 15.
    • *Opportunity Fund Investments: If an investor who sold a capital asset planned to roll over the gain into an Opportunity Fund and the 180-day deadline to do so falls between April 1 and July 15, they can now make the investment as late as July 15.
    • Quarterly Estimated Tax Deadline Extension (1st & 2nd Quarter): As a result of the IRS’ earlier notice of deadline extensions, the deadline for first quarter estimated tax payments was already extended to July 15. But before this new IRS deadline relief notice was released today, second quarter estimated payments were still due on June 15, meaning that the second quarter payments were due before the first. Now, both first quarter AND second quarter estimated tax payments are due at the same time, on July 15, 2020, for those who file quarterly.
  • The IRS is moving Tax Day from April 15 to July 15. All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties.
  • The R.I. Division of Taxation has also postponed the filing-and-payment deadline for individuals and certain entities to July 15, 2020. Follow updates on http://www.tax.ri.gov/COVID/.
Small Business Assistance
  • On April 23rd, Congress passed additional funding for small businesses. Read the article.
  • As of April 16th, the SBA has stopped accepting new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program & Economic Injury Disaster Loans due to a lapse in funding. Please know that Congressional leaders are presently in negotiations to appropriate additional funding to the tune of $250 billion, after which, the programs should begin accepting applications again. It is unclear when the legislative logjam will break. On Monday, NAR sent a letter strongly urging Congress to provide additional funding for the PPP and EIDL programs in future COVID-19 response legislation, ensuring the need for these loans is met as this crisis continues. In addition, Congress should clarify implementation to resolve issues with added limits and requirements that are not in accord with legislative intent.
  • RI loan program for small businesses: Rhode Island Commerce, in partnership with Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC), the Rhode Island Hospitality Association and Bank Newport offers a short-term bridge loan program for our restaurants and smallest businesses (1 to 10 employees) affected by coronavirus closings or restrictions.The program is funded through $1 million from the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation’s Small Business Loan Fund and $1 million from Bank Newport. Loan details: Loans will have zero percent interest. You can apply for these loans starting Friday, April 3, through the LISC website.or call 521-HELP.
  • On March 23rd, the SBA announced an automatic deferment on existing SBA Disaster Loans through the end of 2020 to help borrowers still paying back loans from previous (pre-Covid-19) disasters.
  • If companies have questions regarding access to capital and other lending options, please call the RI Small Business Hotline at (401) 521-HELP or e-mail info@commerceri.com.
  • Microsoft Providing Six Months of Office 365 Tools for Free – Learn more.
  • More information on Financial/Business Assistance
Unemployment
  • The RI Department of Business Regulation has applications for unemployment insurance on the DLT website.

Mortgage/Rent Assistance

  • Beginning July 1st, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will have a new payment deferral option to offer homeowners to repay their forborne payments.
  • Rental assistance: Rhode Island has made $1.5 million in emergency rental assistance available to low-income renters who have been impacted by the COVID-19 emergency and are at immediate risk of homelessness. Those who qualify can receive a grant of up to $5,000 to support past due rent payments and other fees. Requirement information and details are available at HousingHelpRI.com or by calling 211.
  • Rhode Island’s financial institutions have stepped up with a pledge to help homeowners facing economic hardship. The relief includes a 90-Day grace period for all residential mortgage payments for individuals impacted by COVID-19. Banks will also not report late payments to credit rating companies, so late payments will not negatively impact credit scores. Find more information on the Department of Business Regulation’s website.
Legislative Sessions
  • The State House will be closed to visitors as of March 17th, 2020.
  • Open meetings may be held by phone or video conference when there is a provision for members of the public to participate.

Information REALTORS® Need to Know

This page and the pages 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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