(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — The Real Estate Roundtable – which represents owners of approximately 14 billion square feet of office and industrial space, nearly 3 million apartments, 3 million hotel rooms and other rental buildings totaling nearly $5 trillion – today calls on all owners and operators of business and residential rental real estate to voluntarily, proactively work in a positive and constructive manner with their COVID-19 impacted tenants respecting current rent obligations.
These proactive building owner actions are intended to recognize that millions of individuals and countless business operations are not able to meet their rent obligations certifiably due to the COVID -19 crisis. They should not fear negative implications for their personal or business credit rating during this stressful time. With this relief, individuals and families should be able to remain in their residences and business owners should be able to retain and pay their employees so they can emerge from the current pandemic more quickly and holistically.
Obviously, individuals and businesses whose income has not been disrupted due to the pandemic, or who can otherwise meet fully or partially their rent obligations, should do so in order to help enable building owners and others to meet their obligations.
Similarly, The Real Estate Roundtable calls on the nation’s financial system regulators to encourage all providers of credit in the economy to proactively work with their business borrowers to address their financial liabilities without undue added penalties. We call on all lenders and credit market participants – be they banks, bondholders, rating agencies or life companies – to exercise fully and freely the latitude provided by supervisory and regulatory authorities.
Specifically, The Federal Reserve, the U.S. Treasury and other federal agencies must work with federal and state regulators to facilitate these efforts, including issuing explicit assurances to financial institutions, bondholders, rating agencies and servicers that such emergency accommodations will not result in any adverse regulatory, capital or ratings impact.
We are all in this together. This approach enables lending sources, building owners and their tenants to soften the tremendous negative near term and systemic human and economic impact posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.