COVID-19 FAQs for Fall 2020 Residents

We're here, and we’re ready to help!

Our hearts go out to our residents and the many families who are experiencing hardship and uncertainty as a result of COVID-19. Trimark is closely monitoring the information put out by the University of Florida, the CDC, and health departments so that we can provide full assistance to our current and future residents. We are also closely following legislation and financial programs which provide supplemental income, offer forbearance on student loans, and possibly provide assistance to residential residents. We will continue to advocate for our residents and their families during these challenging times. We have provided a list below of financial support for those in need.

Trimark Properties is continuing to provide normal services and 24/7 emergency support for our residents.

Questions About University of Florida Classes

1. I'm a UF student and am unsure if my classes will be in-person or online in the Fall. I signed a lease that starts in August. What happens if my classes are all online?

The University of Florida recently announced that it plans to reopen the UF campus and return many students to on-campus classes in the Fall. According to the draft of the UF Reopening Plan, the University of Florida also plans on opening their on-campus housing and allow students to move into dorms, which shows their confidence in their plan.

That said, it is important for you to understand that the lease contract which you signed is not contingent upon whether or not you have face-to-face instruction at UF.

Whether you take classes on-campus or online in the Fall, your Trimark lease contract will remain in full effect. That means that you will be held to the terms of the lease, including making rental payments as scheduled, regardless of the University’s decision. While we realize that some students may choose to spend part of the semester outside of Gainesville if they do not have classes in person, Trimark also knows that many of our residents each year choose to move to Gainesville and then take their classes online. Face-to-face instruction opportunities are only one of a myriad of reasons that residents move to Gainesville. In fact, at some of our communities, as many as 60% of our residents in the past few years were not taking classes in person. Our residents cite many reasons for moving to Gainesville outside of face-to-face instruction, including their desires to interact with other students, utilize world-class libraries, participate in internships, grow through exclusive job opportunities in the Gainesville market, and because it allows them private space away from parents, where they can focus on their schoolwork.

Trimark is committed and contractually obligated to provide housing for our residents. Unfortunately, it is not generally an option for any private housing provider to cancel housing contracts since they continue to incur ongoing costs that monthly rental income covers, such as property taxes, insurance, costs of employees, utility costs, mortgage costs, etc.

We are excited to hear that the University of Florida will offer in-person classes to many students in the Fall. Regardless of UF's class offerings and/or an individual's class choices, your apartment at Trimark will be available for you to reside in, and we will continue to closely follow the guidelines and recommendations provided by the CDC and health officials to ensure high quality housing.

2. My lease starts in August, but I don't think I'll be in Gainesville until January. Can I start my lease later?

Unfortunately, we are not currently offering any lease modifications that would shorten or change the lease terms. We will continue to monitor the updates from the University of Florida, as this situation is obviously very fluid.

3. What if I want to cancel my lease contract because my classes are online?

If lease holders wish to put in a cancellation request for any reason, in accordance with the lease, they must put their request in writing. We recommend that they do so by filling out our Contact Management Form. As stated in the lease, cancellations are solely at the discretion of the landlord. When Trimark receives a written cancellation request, our management team meets and performs a re-rental risk analysis based on the point in time in which the cancellation request is received in writing. It is unfortunately not possible for us to estimate cancellation opportunities for an unspecified time in the future, since the re-rental risk changes over time and as market conditions change. Cancellation options, if any, and the cancellation fees associated with the options, if any, will be based solely on Trimark’s re-rental risk and the legal merits.

That said, since the far majority of residents have already secured housing for the August 2020 – July 2021 rental season, the likelihood of Trimark successfully re-renting units this late in the season is very low, and if the University of Florida announces that they will not hold the majority of classes in person this fall, we expect that demand would further decrease. In that case, in all likelihood, cancellation requests would be denied. If cancellation requests are denied, lease signors and cosignors will be held to the financial obligations outlined in the lease.

We know that many businesses and families are facing financial hardship due to COVID-19. We have put together a list of financial support options available, to help those facing hardships meet their financial obligations. You can read more below.

Move-in Questions

1. Will move in be the same as normal, for residents moving in during August 2020?

Trimark is closely following the evolving recommendations and regulations that reduce the spread of COVID-19. Trimark’s management team is weighing several options for reducing congestion during the move-in process. One option is to move in as we typically do, with residents picking up keys at a designated location, while asking parents or guests to wait outside or in their vehicles. Alternatively, we may choose a different check-in method that is off-site that allows residents to pick up keys via drive-thru. Another option includes staggering move-in times by offering residents appointment times to pick up keys and move their personal belongings into Trimark’s apartments, dorms, and houses. Our goal is to prepare for several options for the move-in process, and we will choose the method that best matches the situation as it stands in Gainesville (and based on the recommendations and laws) in late July. We will send out additional information about move-in times, appointments and processes closer to your move-in day. As always, our focus will be on designing a move-in process that is as convenient and safe for our residents as possible. It’s an exciting time for us all, and we look forward to seeing you!

2. I’m moving into Ivy House, which is a dorm. How will the move in process work?

Trimark is exploring several options for our incoming dorm residents in order to make the process as smooth and seamless as possible. We will provide details on the process for dorms closer to the move in day. Please see our answer to #1 under "Move-in Questions Above" and Go Gators!

3. I know that move in is still weeks away, but I’m having furniture delivered or need to schedule movers. When should I schedule them to move items into my apartment, dorm, or house?

Due to social distancing requirements, it is possible that the check-in and move-in process may take longer than in previous years. We suggest scheduling items to be delivered the day after the first day of your lease, to ensure that you do not pay fees or miss your window if you have not successfully processed through the check-in line or there are any delays due to social distancing requirements.

Rent Questions

1. Is my contract still valid? Does COVID-19 change the housing contract?

Your contract remains in full effect, and rent remains due on the 1st day of the lease and again on the 1st of each month. Trimark is closely monitoring numerous proposed federal relief options. At this point, the details remain vague or are still awaiting further vote on a federal level. We realize that everybody, including us at Trimark, wants answers quickly, but unfortunately we must wait for the federal aid packages to pass before we can make any adjustments. Once legislation is passed (whether it's relief to landlords/property owners or relief to residents affected by the shut downs or no relief at all), we will determine how, if at all, our existing contracts can be modified. At this time, there are no modifications that can be made. We hope that changes at some point, but it will require some legislative action. We sincerely empathize with residents experiencing financial hardship and understand that these are very difficult times for everybody. We too are seeking to meet our legal and financial obligations, employ our staff, and serve our residents.

2. Is my rent still due on the 1st day of the lease and again on the 1st of each month?

At this time, we are not offering any variances in our rental contracts. Rent remains due on the 1st of each month.

3. If I don't come to Gainesville because my classes are online, do I still have to pay rent?

We are all living in unprecedented times with tremendous impacts on our professional and personal lives. While we realize that some students may choose to spend part of the semester outside of Gainesville if they do not have classes in person, Trimark also knows that many of our residents each year choose to move to Gainesville and then take their classes online. Face-to-face instruction opportunities are only one of a myriad of reasons that residents move to Gainesville. In fact, at some of our communities, as many as 60% of our residents in the past few years were not taking classes in person. Our residents cite many reasons for moving to Gainesville outside of face-to-face instruction, including their desires to interact with other students, utilize world-class libraries, participate in internships, grow through exclusive job opportunities in the Gainesville market, and because it allows them private space away from parents, where they can focus on their schoolwork. At this time, we are not offering any variances in our rental contracts. We have the contractual lease obligation to house our residents for the entire term of the lease. Residents have the freedom to physically occupy their apartments, houses and private dorm rooms as they choose. For example, it is not uncommon for residents to go home during breaks between semesters, during spring break, etc. In the case of COVID-19, we remain committed to providing stable housing for all of our residents, regardless of whether or not they choose to physically occupy the units if they have classes online.

4. I am experiencing financial hardship. What do I do?

Please review the Help with Rent Flyer based on info provided by the National Multifamily Housing Council. It summarizes relief options currently available for residents.


External Financial Assistance For Those In Need

  • The federal government is dispering one-time cash payments directly to citizens. Payment dispersement began in April 2020 either by check or direct deposit. Individuals earning less than $7500 will receive a one-time payment of $1,200.
  • If you have lost your job, you can apply for state unemployment benefits. Click here to apply for Unemployment Benefits in Florida. If you work in another state, you will need to apply for unemployment in the state where you work. Congress is enhancing state unemployment to provide more income to more people.
      - Adds $600 per week for four months on top of state unemployment.
      - Adds up to 13 weeks of additional unemployment benefits to those already enrolled but who are nearing the end of benefits.
      - Expands the program to include a number of workers not normally eligible to receive unemployment benefits.
  • In addition to state and federal relief options, several groups associated with the University of Florida are also offering assistance to University of Florida students impacted by COVID-19. Consider contacting UF's Office for Student Financial Affairs.
  • In March 2020, UF launched the Aide-a-Gator program which offers grants for UF students in order to assist them with paying education-related expenses.
  • On May 5, 2020 two new financial relief programs were announced for University of Florida students. UF Student Government announced that they passed a $500,000 rent relief bill to help qualified students pay for rent during this time (info here.)
  • In addition, the University of Florida announced a $15.5 million reflief package that will go to UF students for federal emergency aid. More than $15,523,000 will be dispersed to UF students as grants for aid needed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The City of Gainesville is also offering support for qualified Gainesville residents earning extremely-low, very-low and low-to-moderate incomes who experienced disruption and loss due to COVID-19 with temporary rent and utility payments for up to two months, not to exceed $1250 per household and funded with a $1,593,000 grant. For more info, see here.

  • MAKING PAYMENTS
    We understand there may be a delay in your ability to access unemployment or financial assistance listed above. Please note that options are limited due to the need for us to generate funds sufficient for us to operate our business. First and foremost, we ask if you have the funds available or access to funds, that you pay the contracted rent according to the rental agreement. Trimark is facing financial challenges similar to other small businesses. We are deeply committed to the community, our residents who must remain in Gainesville, our contractors, and our vendors. In order to meet our obligations to paying our employees, mortgages, taxes, insurance, and utility bills, we must collect rent from our residents. We are relying on those residents and guarantors that are facing less dire financial consequences to help those residents in true hardship cases by paying as contracted. While we understand that many of our financial situations and abilities to pay have been affected, we appreciate all of you.

    5. I normally pay by check. Can I still pay by check? What if I want to pay with a credit card or bank transfer?

    Trimark is still accepting check payments, but we are requesting that residents make payment online via ACH bank transfer or credit card. To request a link to your online account, email leasinginfo@trimarkproperties.com and request info for your online account.

    Customer Service for Current Residents & Parents

    1. What are Trimark’s current hours of operation?

    The Trimark Properties Office remains open during our normal business hours.

    • Mon - Fri, 9AM to 5:30PM
    • Sat - Sun, Closed

    2. I would normally visit the office in person, but I’m currently practicing social distancing. Can someone help me via phone?

    Of course! Please call 352-376-6223 and press the following extensions to be forwarded to the proper department:

    • Leasing or asking questions about how to reserve housing, please press 1.
    • Bookkeeping or rent questions, please press 2.
    • Maintenance or service requests, please press 3.
    • Customer service questions, please press 4.

    3. Can I visit the Trimark office in person for assistance?

    We know that many residents rely on our apartments, houses, and dorm rooms as their primary housing; for others, our housing is their permanent address. Some residents are choosing to remain in Gainesville due to travel restrictions, jobs, in order to isolate, or because their home town is experiencing a larger number of COVID-19 cases than Gainesville. Trimark is committed to providing stable housing and customer service to all of our residents, regardless of where they choose to locate during this time. Our office is currently open and Trimark’s team members are still working full-time to provide full service to all Trimark residents. Due to the fluid nature of the situation as well as changes in local, state, and federal guidelines, we may need to close our office on short notice. Please call before coming to the office in person. Our staff is also working full-time answering questions and providing assistance via phone at 352-376-6223.

    COVID-19 SCREENING QUESTIONS BEFORE ENTERING TRIMARK OFFICE: If you answer YES to any of the questions below, we ask that you not enter the office and instead call us at 352-376-6223 so that we can assist you over the phone:
    1. Have you traveled aboard in the last 14 days?
    2. Have you had any contact with any confirmed COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days
    3. Have you (or are you currently experiencing) any of the following symptoms with the last 14 days?
      • fever greater than 100
      • difficulty breathing
      • cough

    Service Requests

    1. Can I still submit service requests?

    Trimark continues to have a full staff available to complete necessary service requests. We ask residents to continue to submit service requests online as they normally would. In order to limit staff exposure and reduce the spread of COVID-19, Trimark is analyzing all submitted service requests on a case-by-base basis. Some service requests which are deemed non-essential may have their completion delayed based on the travel history and exposure risk of the residents living in the unit. Trimark has purchased additional personal protection equipment for staff in case an emergency work order is entered in a unit with low to moderate risk levels.

    2. What steps is Trimark taking to reduce the spread of COVID-19?

    We have adopted guidelines provided by the CDC and World Health Organization, and we have communicated those guidelines to our staff and vendors. Additionally, Trimark hired a Certified Industrial Hygienist to provide a thorough analysis and make recommendations on how to best reduce risk. Any team member who has exposure risk, is sick, or has a fever has been asked to stay home and isolate, in order to allow healthy team members to service our communities. We have reduced our entry into apartments, dorms, and houses, in order to reduce exposure risks and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in accordance with recommendations from Alachua County government. Maintenance and facilities teams are disinfect tools between uses. We’ve increased cleaning of high-touch areas. In both of our offices, we have increased distancing, hand sanitizing, and hand washing. We have discontinued tours into lived-in units. Prior to entering units, we are asking residents to complete screening questionnaires so that we can assess risk. If work must be done in an apartment, house or dorm room, Trimark staff is utilizing hand sanitizer and cleaning all surfaces prior to touching them and cleaning all touched surfaces again with a disinfectant when leaving.

    How to Tour & Reserve Housing

    1. Are you currently giving tours of models apartments?

    In order to give prospective residents the most accurate picture of what it’s like to live in a Trimark property, Trimark leasing agents usually take tenants into lived-in units. Though our office is open, we have temporarily discontinued touring of any lived-in units. We are now offering prospective residents one-on-one online tours with a leasing agent. During the online tour, the leasing agent will speak on the phone with the prospective resident and him/her access to a exclusive webpage with virtual tours, photos, floorplans, and will go over all specials. We are offering online tours and online reservations from the comfort of your home.

    2. Am I able to schedule an online tour, since you are not touring lived-in model apartments and houses?

    Yes. Click here to schedule an online tour.

    3. Am I able to reserve housing online?

    Yes, we offer a reservation process that is fully online. Reserve your housing from the comfort of your home! Reservations only take 15 minutes and can be completed via desktop, phone, ipad or other tablet.

    4. Can I come into the office to rent an apartment or ask questions?

    COVID-19 SCREENING QUESTIONS BEFORE ENTERING TRIMARK OFFICE: If you answer YES to any of the questions below, we ask that you not enter the office and instead call us at 352-376-6223 so that we can assist you over the phone:
    1. Have you traveled aboard in the last 14 days?
    2. Have you had any contact with any confirmed COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days
    3. Have you (or are you currently experiencing) any of the following symptoms with the last 14 days?
      • fever greater than 100
      • difficulty breathing
      • cough