In HUD’s latest Q & A (dated July 31, 2020) available on our RBD/Resources/COVID-19 Resources page, HUD provides new information about the Management & Occupancy Review - specifically in regards to the applicant/tenant file review, under Asset Management in the Table of Contents, page 17.
"Q3: In light of concerns about site visits to HUD properties, what is the status of Management and Occupancy Reviews (MORs) performed by Performance-Based Contract Administrators (PBCAs)?
A: Effective May 22, 2020, HUD has lifted the suspension of MORs performed by PBCAs in locations where there are no restrictions by state or local law or ordinance to prevent them from performing these reviews.
HUD will, until September 30, 2020 (or such later date as HUD may determine), allow PBCAs to conduct on-site MORs, without entering resident units.
For REAC follow-up, in determining whether Exigent Health & Safety (EH&S) and other deficiencies have been corrected, the PBCA must attempt follow-up on those affected units via contact directly with the resident by way of phone or email and document the results or attempt(s) made on the MOR report.
A physical on-site visit to the property must still occur to document the physical conditions, general appearance, and security of the property, and the visit should include a visual assessment of each building, including the common areas, and the grounds of the property.
An on-site, entrance/exit interview with the owner/agent should occur, except in instances where state or local law or ordinances prevent such meetings. In instances where these interviews are prohibited from occurring on-site, they should be conducted by telephone or email and documented as such in the MOR Report.
Tenant file reviews may be conducted remotely when owners/agents voluntarily create and transmit electronic tenant files to the PBCA in accordance with all requirements of Office of MFH Programs COVID-19 Q&A and HSG Notice 2020-04 Electronic Signature, Transmission and Storage - Guidance for Multifamily Assisted Housing Industry Partners.
Personally identifiable information (PII) must be encrypted or transmitted and stored in a secure manner to prevent its release. Violations of the Privacy Act may be subject to fines up to $5,000.
Owners/agents and reviewers must comply with EIV Data Sharing Agreements to prevent any prohibited use of or access to EIV records.
PBCAs must continue to conduct MORs in accordance with their approved work plans regardless of owners’ willingness to provide electronic tenant files.
All other portions of the MOR, including the Desk Review and On-site Review, including the review of tenant files, must be completed in their entirety.
Please note, this answer supersedes the initial guidance offered in earlier versions of this document on 3/13/20 and 3/16/20."
Keep in mind that HUD clearly states providing applicant/tenant files electronically is voluntary. If you do not wish to provide electronic copies of tenant files, we assume review of the applicant/tenant files will be conducted at the property.
Reviewers are required to provide at least 10 days notice of an upcoming Management & Occupancy Review. Such notification must be in writing unless owner/agents have agreed to receive required communications electronically.
Reviewers may not require submission of any information less than 10 days after notification of the date of the MOR. Reviewers may provide more time at their discretion.
Session 3 of our HUD Today 2020 class provides updated information about preparing for the MOR. And Session 4 provides information about updating policy and procedure including incorporating use of eSignatures, eTransmission and eStorage. Seats are limited so register today!!