WASHINGTON — There’s a new tool for District renters who are struggling to pay rent during the pandemic.
Back in April, DC Council passed emergency COVID-19 legislation that required mortgage lenders to offer deferrals to property owners. The legislation also called for those property owners to pass that same relief on to their renters.
DISB, the District’s Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking created a tool that allows renters to hold their landlords accountable.
It's called the mortgage deferment locator tool.
Karima Woods, Acting Commissioner for the District’s Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking told The Q-and-A team, "The mortgage deferment locator tool can be used by tenants to see if their address is received mortgage deferment."
Woods said the District’s mortgage deferral program was a response to people not having enough money to pay their rent or mortgage because of the coronavirus pandemic.
She said participation in the program is voluntary for national banks and federally chartered credit unions. Her department is in charge of overseeing this new tool.
So how does the tool work? It’s super easy.
- Go to this website.
- Type in your address in the search bar.
The site will tell you if the address has been approved for a mortgage deferment, how long the deferment lasts and who the mortgage lender is.
And if your address doesn’t populate any information?
According to Woods, "a tenant should still reach out to their landlord to confirm whether the landlord received the deferment, even if their address does not appear in the locator tool."
So what can renters do if their landlords received the deferral but didn’t pass it onto them?
"If the tenant's landlord received...deferment, and that has not been passed on to the tenant. They can reach out to our office via email at mortgagerelief@DC.gov, or they can call 202-727-8000 and ask for the complaints department."