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COVID-19 Information for Kentucky

The purpose of this page is to provide apartment industry professionals with an overview of the issues affecting our industry with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic. The page is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute, and should not be construed as, legal advice. This resource is not intended to provide a mandatory standard of care for the industry.

State and Local Affiliates

Please remember to use your state or local apartment association as the primary resource for the most up-to-date information on your responsibilities. Find your local affiliate.

We highly suggest you contact a local attorney before you decide to initiate an eviction action against a resident in the current environment as overlaying federal, state and county laws or restrictions on the judicial process may apply. This includes: issuing a notice to vacate, initiating any eviction-related action, or assessing fees or penalties on residents for nonpayment of rent or other lease violations. In addition to the below, you can access NAA's statutory information on late fees, eviction laws and other policy issues.

Reopening Order

Kentucky is currently under Phase 3 of its reopening plans. Under Phase 3, all businesses face industry specific and universal minimum requirements, including:

  • Enforce Social Distancing (six (6) feet or more)
  • Universal face coverings
  • Provide Adequate Hand Sanitizer and Encourage Hand Washing
  • Ensure Proper Sanitation
  • Conduct Daily Temperature/Health checks

Face Mask Mandate

Governor Beshear has extended the state’s mandate requiring face covering for another 30 days until October 7.

State of Emergency

Governor Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency on March 6, 2020.

Eviction

Status: Evictions Can Resume with 30-Day Notice to Vacate

Executive Order 2020-700

  • Action: Effective August 25, 2020 Governor Beshear replaced the state’s eviction moratorium with a 30-day notice to vacate requirement. Housing providers will be allowed to initiate the eviction process but must serve a tenant with a 30-day notice to vacate. The notice must request the resident meet with the housing provider to attempt to come to a payment plan agreement. Also announces that $15 million in Federal Coronavirus Relief Funds will be dedicated to an eviction relief fund. These requirements will be in effect through December 31, 2020 and is subject to renewal.
  • COVID-19 Related Impact Requirement: No.
  • Late Fees and Other Charges: Prohibited.

Executive Order 2020-257 (Expired August 25, 2020)

  • Action: Suspension of evictions statewide through the end of the public health emergency. All law enforcement officers are directed to cease enforcement orders of residential evictions.
  • Scope: Nonpayment of rent.
  • COVID-19 Related Impact Requirement: No.
  • Residents Responsible for Rent: Yes.
  • Additional Commentary: The governor has added a Landlord Eviction Waiver to his website. Housing providers can now fill this out and get a waiver to evict a resident for reasons other than nonpayment of rent.

Supreme Court Order (Expired)

  • Action: Under the State Supreme Court's order, except for emergency and statutorily required proceedings, evictions are continued, and new evictions cannot be filed until 30 days after the expiration of the order.
  • Duration: Through May 31, 2020. 

Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance

Governor Beshear announced the Healthy at Home Eviction Relief Fund, which uses $15 million to reimburse eligible landlords for missed rent payments and give them some advanced rent so tenants can stay in their homes.

The governor says the fund will be used to prevent evictions in 119 of Kentucky's 120 counties. Jefferson County has its own COVID-19 eviction prevention fund to assist landlords and tenants.

On September 8, Kentuckians will be able to submit their applications to receive assistance. Information on how to apply has yet to be announced. Applications will be reviewed by the Kentucky Housing Corporation starting on approximately September 21, 2020. Once both the tenant and the landlord have completed their application, they have reserved a place in line to receive payment, if eligible. Assistance will be paid as lump sum payments to landlords. Payments are anticipated to be dispensed to landlords no sooner than September 25, 2020. Assistance with back rent can be calculated back to March 1, 2020. Applications will close when funds are exhausted (before December 10, 2020).

To learn more about how to apply, please click here.

Rent Freeze

No rent freeze is in effect at the state or local level. Local rent regulation is preempted by Kentucky Code § 65.875.

Price-Gouging Law

Under Kentucky Code § 367.374, it is unlawful to sell, rent, or offer to sell or rent a variety of services at prices in gross excess of their price prior to a declaration of emergency. In Kentucky, housing is included in these offered services. A price does not violate this statute if it is related to additional costs imposed by the supplier of the good onto the seller, if the price is 10 percent or less than the price prior to the declaration of emergency, 10 percent or less than the sum of the seller’s cost and normal markup, or is generally consistent with fluctuations across regional, national, or international markets. The language of this statute can hold for up to three additional 15-day periods. 

Local Legal and Regulatory Information

Louisville (Jefferson County)

Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance

The City of Louisville has created an emergency fund to deploy resources to residents impacted by COVID-19. The fund will provide funding for rental assistance, childcare assistance, transportation aid, food access, utility assistance, pharmaceutical needs and other.

The funding is administered by Develop Louisville, the city's real estate and community development arm. Families and individuals earning up to 50% of area median income — $38,200 for a family of four — are eligible for the aid.

Additionally, Louisville's Office of Housing recently announced a COVID-19 eviction prevention fund, supported by $21 million in CARES Act funding. The fund, which will pay for up to three months of rent for households facing COVID-related delinquencies, may only be used to pay rent and will make payments directly to the property owner or landlord. Interested applicants can find more information here.

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Owensboro

Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance

The City of Owensboro has established the rollout of OBKY COVID-19 Emergency Relief Programs, which consist of three distinct opportunities that will provide assistance to residents and businesses within City limits. 

The Small Business Relief Fund will support eligible small businesses — those with 10 or fewer employees — with a $2,500 grant that will not have to be repaid.

The grant could be used toward rent or mortgage costs, utilities, payroll (excluding the owner’s), inventory or equipment and consultant fees. Items needed to apply include a copy of your lease or tax/mortgage bill, a copy of profit/loss (income) statement for each month your business was adversely impacted and a city business license number. Nonprofit businesses are not eligible. Additionally, all businesses within City limits will be eligible for a sanitation relief program. They will receive a sanitation credit that will cover $18/month for May and June. 

The City is also providing a $150,000 Low Income Rental Assistance program for individuals who reside in the City, offering to cover up to three months’ rent for those who earn less than 80% of the area median income for their household size.

OBKY COVID-19 Emergency Relief Program Guidelines are posted at owensboro.org. Funds will be distributed until depleted on a first-come, first-served basis.

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