COVID 19 and Your Residents

Posted By: Denise Hanzlik Community, Industry,

We are in an unprecedented time.  SD Multi Housing Association is here to support you during this COVID-19 crisis. There is a multitude of options that you can consider when dealing with your commercial and residential clients, staff, vendors and buildings.  The follow information is meant to be used as a guide.

Please see Mayor TenHaken Letter regarding the One Sioux Falls fund.

Information is changing rapidly, and we will update as quickly as possible here.

  • Safety is the number one priority for everyone.
  • Maintain a healthy work/home environment. Learn what that means here.
  • We are a people-driven industry and your tenants and residents will expect customer service.
  • Be prepared to shift and pivot policies/procedures as necessary.
  • Notify all staff of any policy changes.
  • Notify suppliers and vendors of any policy changes.
  • Technology is your friend during this pandemic.


  • Supply them with gloves, masks, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.
  • Work Remotely: supply them technology, if needed to work from home.
  • Stagger shifts to lessen interaction or number of people in one place.
  • Mandatory Work From Home period for staff that have traveled out of state or country. This can be tough as our residents are expecting services and we are a service industry.
  • If staff or a member of their family test positive, offer:
    • Sick Leave/PTO: revise to NO punitive sick time (no limit)
    • Flex Time availability
  • Communicate with your staff on policy changes


  • Hand Sanitizer stations, disinfectant wipes. Check them often to ensure they are still in place and are full. 
  • Deep Clean more often
  • If staff tests positive, close office for day and deep clean, sanitize office
  • Close office to limit person to person contact. Offer virtual tours to lease apartments.
  • Close fitness centers and other common areas? Caution, this may bring residents to ask about a rent credit as their access to services have been limited.
  • Limit maintenance to emergency or absolutely necessary work orders? Remembering that this will result in an increased workload in the future.
  • Before entering an occupied unit, have you asked: does anyone in the unit have systems of a cold, the flu or tested positive for the coronavirus. Take safety precautions, determine necessity of the request; decide if staff should enter to complete or a vendor.  What will you disclose to the vendor?
  • Communicate to your residents and vendors on policy changes

NOTICE TO YOUR RESIDENTS: educate for prevention 

  • Wash hands often
  • Encourage that they seek immediate medical advice if concerned or for testing
  • Social Distancing (6’ distance and no more than 10 people in a room)
  • CDC Website for up to date and pertinent information


  • Never disclose WHO has been confirmed.
  • Notify residents and vendors of a confirmed case and the potential risk. Of course, do not disclose further details.  You may want to consult your legal expert on notification statement.
  • Contract for deep cleaning/sanitizing of building
  • Continue to use hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes


This crisis is unlike anything we have ever seen.  We need to be open to changes in policies, which includes when you receive rents.  Some of your residents/tenants may have the financial means available and if they can pay rent, they should.  What are you going to do when residents or tenants are not able to pay rent? April 1st is coming!  This may be specific and different for each owner.  It will also change the longer this crisis continues. 

 We are developing some forms for you to utilize.  Check our website often for latest news and information. In the meantime, here are some questions for you to contemplate.

  • Online Payments are a MUST during a crisis
  • What will you do with those residents/tenants that already owe you money?
  • Share assistance options that are available to your residents.  See Resources blog for current assistance options.
  • Share emergency programs, both local and federal, that will assist your residents and tenants with their rent. See FINANCIAL RESOURCES below.
  • Late Fees: waive all late fees or reduce them for those unable to pay due to COVID-19.
  • Rent abatement or deferral: require that a request is in writing. What documentation will you require from your residents and tenants when they are unable to pay due to COVID-19.  HARDSHIP ACCOMODATION FORM
  • Evictions: No statewide or national ban as of today. Will you STOP evictions on your property’s?  

FINANCIAL RESOURCES: for up to date list, refer to our "We Are Strong" article.

We hope you find this information helpful. 

Please direct questions or concerns to the SDMHA office at 605-336-7756 or