COVID-19 RESIDENT FAQ
For student housing communities, are residents able to stay in their apartments during this time?
We understand that universities have decided to suspend in-person classes and instead conduct classes online for the remainder of their semester. That said, your apartment remains available to you to live in, and for your possessions to remain in.
What should I do if I am unable to pay my rent?
McKinney Properties is committed to working with residents directly impacted by COVID-19. If you have suffered financially due to the outbreak, please contact your property manager.
In addition, we have identified resources offered by federal, state and local governments to help you secure financial assistance. Please visit the COVID-19 Resources Page.
For our residents who have not experienced a job loss: It is important to understand that all existing rent and related obligations remain in place. We are committed to helping those directly impacted by the pandemic. Still, we rely on timely rent payments from those who haven’t been affected to pay our employees who maintain the cleanliness and safety of our communities and to meet our financial obligations like mortgages, property taxes, and insurance.
I am a renter and need assistance paying my bills. Where can I go for help?
If you need rental payment assistance, there are several groups and agencies that may be able to help. Many churches and other community non-profits also offer emergency financial assistance. There may also be assistance to help with other needs, such as utility or medical bills. Please visit the COVID-19 Resources Page.
If you are unable to pay your utility bills during this time of crisis, what should you do?
Several, but not all utility providers have suspended disconnects and are waiving late fees during the COVID-19 crisis. Please check directly with your providers on what options they offer during this time. Remember that even if disconnection is suspended, your bills will continue to accrue.
Do I still need to pay rent even though evictions have been halted?
Yes—the temporary halt of evictions does not affect your obligation to pay rent and continuing to pay your rent protects your rights as a renter under the law. If you’re concerned you will not be able to pay your rent, we recommend you communicate with your Property Manager with specific information about your situation to see what options they may be able to offer in this unusual circumstance.
This crisis has affected all of us and McKinney Properties wants to do their part in helping people remain in their homes. Like every other business, we have employees and supplier partners who depend on us for their livelihood, as well as other obligations we must meet like mortgages, taxes, insurance and utility bills.
Failing to pay your rent hurts our ability to meet those obligations, as well as our ability to operate and maintain the property where you live. Ultimately it may also hurt your credit or result in an eviction once that process is reinstituted.
Can I be evicted even though there is a public health crisis?
Most state court systems
have temporarily halted most
evictions, including for non-payment of
rent. Someone may still face eviction for posing an imminent threat
of physical harm to others or engaging in criminal
Is the community provided
internet service able to accommodate students taking online
We realize that most universities have moved to some form of on-line course work for the remainder of the semester. It is our goal to ensure that our residents can continue to receive academic instruction, and in order to do so, need adequate internet service to complete their studies. Many of our communities are contracted with local service providers to deliver high speed service to ensure residents are able complete their coursework Our local partners are standing by to assist with any service interruptions. Please see the property website for contact information if assistance with service is needed.
What if I have to move/apartment hunt during the pandemic?
• Practice basic prevention—Take the usual precautionary measures, including not shaking hands, washing your hands after your visit is concluded, not touching your face and not touching surfaces, especially in common areas. Use hand sanitizer.
• Consider virtual tours
• Inquire about safety measures in place—Apartment communities are incorporating additional measures during this outbreak, such as deep-cleaning and disinfecting high-traffic surfaces. They may have closed or limited access to common rooms, gyms and laundry rooms. Finally, inquire how was the apartment you plan to rent sanitized.
• Vet your moving/van rental company—Before scheduling your move, inquire what sanitation procedures your moving company has in place. Ask for movers to wear gloves to avoid contaminating your belongings. Alternately, consider moving your belongings yourself to minimize exposure, but make sure to inquire about sanitation procedures your moving van rental company has in place.
During this crisis, rental communities are following CDC recommendations to practice social distancing and take measures to limit spread of the virus. As a result, rental properties may:
• Close select or all amenities
• Ask you to pay rent online
• Close office to non-employees
• Limit repairs to emergency situations only
If you are interested in renewing instead of moving/apartment hunting, please contact the leasing office to determine if your apartment is available for renewal.
What can I do to help to limit the contamination spread?
• Wash your hands often, avoid touching your face and practice respiratory hygiene
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick
• Clean and disinfect your apartment to maintain a healthy environment
• Limit contamination of common amenities, such as the communal gym, movie room, or a laundry room, by using disinfecting wipes before and after you use the equipment. Avoid using common areas and amenities if you are sick.
• Limit visitors—Practice social distancing by limiting visitors to your apartment or inviting friends/family to share common areas with you.
What measures is McKinney Properties taking in relation to COVID-19?
The safety and wellbeing of our residents and employees remain our top priority. Out of an overabundance of caution, and per the recommendations from the CDC, we are taking the necessary appropriate steps to help mitigate the spreading of the virus by implementing the following steps:
- All community sponsored events are temporarily cancelled.
- Renting/Reserving of the common space (where applicable) for events is suspended.
- Most amenity spaces have been temporarily closed including club rooms, study lounges, business centers and fitness centers. Common laundry rooms, where applicable, will remain open for residents to use during this time, please use disinfectant wipes before and after using the equipment.
- While the office is staffed, we are asking that communication between residents and staff be done via phone calls and emails in an effort to limit person-to-person exposure.
- Team members are aware of and practice the CDC’s recommendations on safe distancing.
- We are increasing the cleaning of frequently touched hard surfaces such as common area doorknobs, elevator panels and common area hard surfaces and equipment.
- We are asking everyone to use the Resident Portal to make rental payments to minimize the handling of checks and money orders.
- For maintenance requests we are also requesting for everyone to use the Resident Portal or call the property office with their request.
- We are temporarily suspending the coffee and tea service. (Where Applicable)
- We have advised all employees of the CDC guidelines pertaining to coming to work. We are actively asking any employee with any types of symptoms to stay home to avoid exposing residents or other staff members.
With respect to Maintenance Requests:
Only emergency maintenance requests are being performed at this time.
If you have a non-essential maintenance request that we may be able to assist with over the phone, please put in a maintenance request via the resident portal or by calling the office. We will, at a minimum, talk to you about the issue and determine if there is anything, we can assist you with over the phone.
What if I have a maintenance emergency such as no heat or leaking pipe?
We will continue to address these situations while taking in the following precautions:
If we or a service provider need to enter your apartment, we will be asking residents the following three questions before performing work in the apartment:
- Is anyone in the apartment displaying symptoms such as shortness of breath, cough or fever?
- Has anyone in the apartment come in contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 during the last 14 days?
- Is anyone in the apartment currently diagnosed with COVID-19?
In order to practice safe distancing, we are asking the resident when we are entering the apartment to remain in a bedroom with the door closed while we are performing the work. If the work is required in the bedroom of the resident, we will ask the resident to relocate in the apartment to an area where they can be 8 feet away from the work area. Our staff members will take the following precautions:
- Wear disposable gloves.
- Possibly use further disposable items such as suits or masks depending on the situation.
- They may use a disinfectant cleaner on the area before and after on the work area if needed.
- Wash their hands immediately after removing the gloves with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
- Use hand sanitizer if they are unable to wash their hands immediately.
What happens if another person in my building has COVID-19?
If we become aware of a resident having COVID-19, we will speak to the local health authority and follow their guidance on alerts or information sharing. We will remain diligent in our efforts to keep common areas clean throughout this difficult time. Based on the science available at this time, we think it is prudent for residents to treat every person they come in contact with and every common area as a possible source of COVID-19.
Are apartments still available to lease during this time?
Yes, while we are not performing in
person tours, virtual property tours
and our team members will be
happy to assist you over the phone and walk you through the
process. Applications and leases can all be filled out online
without ever having to set foot in the leasing
What should residents do if they think they or another member of the apartment have been exposed to the virus or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms?
If residents think they have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop flu-like symptoms, we are advising that they immediately contact their healthcare provider, the local health department and follow their instructions. Please refer to CDC.gov.
What should I do if I have COVID-19?
We are requesting you let the Property Manager at your property know. This will allow us the opportunity to inform our staff in the event emergency work is needed in your apartment. This will allow the staff to properly prepare to perform the work and to alert any service providers. Additionally, please follow the protocols and advice of your doctor or the local health department.
What if I or a housemate are told to self-quarantine or self-isolate?
or a housemate believe you are
your or their
healthcare provider immediately,
and continue following CDC-recommended cleanliness and social
distancing guidelines. If your housemate
has not contacted their
healthcare provider, please contact the local health officials to
determine the appropriate protocol. The healthcare provider will
work with local health departments to provide additional
instructions and manage the response to any suspected cases of
Basic guidelines on procedures for both the person with symptoms and the people living with the person are provided below. Again, these are just guidelines and the advice of the local health department or your healthcare provider supersede these recommendations. Our staff will also coordinate with local health officials to follow their directions regarding mitigation measures for cleaning and any other recommended protocols. For more information visit the CDC’s website (CDC.gov).
Guidelines for Home Quarantine / Self Isolation (Note: Always follow CDC guidelines)
- Stay home except to get medical care.
- Do not leave your apartment unless it’s an emergency. Do not use common areas.
- If you feel sick, monitor your symptoms. Take your temperature.
- Seek medical attention if you develop a fever, cough or have difficulty breathing. CALL AHEAD before visiting a medical facility. Tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
- When possible, separate yourself from other people and animals in your home and use a separate bathroom.
- When possible, wear a facemask when you are around other people and pets in your home.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based sanitizer that contains 60%-95% alcohol frequently and immediately after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid sharing personal household items (dishes, towels, bedding). Use disposable paper plates and plasticware.
- Clean “high-touch” surfaces daily with a household cleaning spray or wipe.
- To avoid unnecessary contact, or maintenance personnel entering your apartment, consider notifying the management that you are undergoing self-isolation or quarantine.
- Avoid close contact with other people and pets. If you live in a mid-rise building with interior hallways and have a pet that requires time outdoors, we recommend you find someone else to care for the pet during this time.
- Keep your apartment clean and organized to maintain a healthy environment. Clean regularly and sanitize often using items like Lysol spray and Clorox wipes on “high touch" surfaces including countertops, tabletops, doorknobs, nightstands, bathroom fixtures, toilets, refrigerator handles, kitchen faucets, light switches, TV remotes, cell phones, computer keyboards and tablets.
Guidelines for Household Members During Quarantine
- Help with basic needs in terms of food, medications and other personal needs.
- Wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based sanitizer that contains 60%-95% alcohol frequently and immediately after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
- Stay in another room or be separated from the patient as much as possible. Use a separate bedroom and bathroom if possible.
- Prohibit visitors, without an essential need, from coming into the home.
- Household members should care for any pets.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and face with unwashed hands.
- Avoid sharing any personal household items.
- The patient and household members should wear disposable face masks when in the same room; throw masks away after using them.
- Clean “high-touch” surfaces with a cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash laundry thoroughly. Use disposable gloves while handling. Wash hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer after removing gloves.
Are you reducing on-site staff and/or allowing office staff to work from home?
We have implemented reduced work hours for some team members while others are working remotely. Our team members are working staggered shifts, including weekends in many cases, to provide additional cleaning services as well as reduce exposure to other team members and residents. The health and wellbeing of our residents and staff is our top priority.
Do you anticipate any negative financial impact to your business as a result of this pandemic?
This pandemic will impact all businesses including us, at this point we are not sure to what extent that will be. Currently, our primary focus is on serving the needs and protecting the health and wellbeing of our residents, employees and communities.
Are you allowing contractors to continue with improvement projects in communities?
Currently, we are stopping all unnecessary construction projects. However essential projects deemed vital to the continued operation of the building (plumbing, electrical, life safety) will continue including the turning over of vacant apartments in case people need new homes during this crisis. All general contractors are aware of and adhering to the precautions recommended by the CDC while working on-site.