Posted by Dr. Honora Norton
The Rotary Club of Scottsdale welcomed Mark Zinman, a partner within Zona Law Group P.C. as keynote speaker at it recent Rotary meeting.  During the introduction, Rotarian Jason Brock, noted that Mark has been practicing as a landlord attorney for over fifteen years with a focus on multi-housing communities and single-family residential property management issues. Mark has handled real estate matters for property owners, property managers and investors. This includes quiet title and easement litigation, evictions, fair housing disputes, litigation resulting from trustee's sales and civil litigation relating to landlord-tenant matters; as well as, advising on development of operational policies.  
Mark stated that over 200 (70,000 annually) people a day are moving to Maricopa County, and they need a place to live. Due to limitations to building, supply has not kept up with demand and rents have increased.  Per Elliott Pollack Study, the apartment industry generates an annual impact of 21,907 jobs, $695.9 million in wages and $3,8 billion in annual economic output.   Per Mark, landlord ROI is only 9% the rest on the monies are directed back to the property. 
Mark has been advising clients about changes in the industry as a result of COVID-19, through AMA seminars and his firm’s newsletter, podcasts and other mediums.  He discussed the impact of COVID-19 to renters and landlords. There was an estimated $130M in rental funds, but that was for residents and required residents to apply.  At the same time, there was a federal moratorium on some rental properties, and the Governor’s executive order delaying writs for all properties in the state.  By preventing evictions, it removed the incentive for residents to apply.  Also, there are significant issues with releasing that money (only 7% as of 8/10/2020).  This has created a conflict between landlords and tenants over a public issue.  Mark recommended as an easier solution – if landlords were not being paid, they should have been able to apply for rental assistance.  This would have avoided residents being evicted and owners could still have been paid. 
Mark updated the Rotarians on The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act which was passed by Congress with overwhelming, bipartisan support and signed into law on March 27th, 2020.  This over $2 trillion economic relief package is suppose to protect the American people from the public health and economic impacts of COVID-19.  The CARES Act included a 120-day federal eviction moratorium for renters who participate in federal housing assistance programs or live in a property with a federally backed mortgage.[5] The moratorium prohibited owners of the defined properties from both filing new evictions against tenants for not paying rent and charging additional fees because of non-payment. This ban expired on July 24, allowing landlords to issue 30 days’ notice for tenants to vacate properties.
Additionally, Mark reviewed the Governor’s Executive Orders applying to all Arizona properties, which potentially delay writs of restitution until 10/31/2020.  A person must show: affected by COVID, job loss, reduction in compensation, close of place of employment, obligation to be absent from work to care for a home-bound school-age child, and/or other pertinent circumstances.  Landlords realize that evictions and delinquency have high turnover costs. Landlords prefer setting up payment plans, as non-paying tenant costs will likely be spread across everyone’s rent.  
Other topics related to property management and COVID-19 that Mark discussed were: new grants being released for small business owners, paycheck protection programs, property amenity reductions, property maintenance (worker and renter) issues, and “Zona Law Podcasts” available on YouTube.  Mark closed his talk, stating “COVID is a community problem not a landlord problem.”