Four reasons why landlords should take advantage of federal rental assistance
If you’re a landlord, you might depend on rental income to cover your own housing costs. This means that if your tenants had trouble paying their rent during the coronavirus pandemic, it could affect your financial well-being too.
As you may know, the CDC issued a new eviction moratorium to temporarily halt evictions in counties where COVID-19 is spreading rapidly. But many landlords still do not know that they can apply to a federal program supporting landlords and renters during this difficult time.
The federal emergency rental assistance program can help you recover lost rental income. State and local rental assistance programs are distributing billions of dollars in federal COVID-19 housing assistance. This means they’re making direct payments to landlords and other housing or utility providers in their own communities.
Take advantage of help available to you
Here are the facts about rental assistance so you can take advantage of help that’s available to you.
1. Your tenants may need your help to apply
The overwhelming majority of programs funded by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Emergency Rental Assistance program are taking applications from landlords. Some programs accept applications from tenants too. But where tenants can apply, you’ll usually need to provide information to help them complete the process.
Why do local programs need your information? Rent payments are usually delivered straight to you as the landlord, and they can’t send you the money if they don’t know who you are.
2. If your tenants are eligible, you’re eligible
Eligibility for federal rental assistance is based on your tenant’s household income, financial hardships they’re facing, and their housing situation. Large housing corporations are receiving federal rental assistance money because their tenants are eligible. As an individual landlord, you can get paid, too.
3. Rental assistance can cover up to 18 months of rent
Evicting tenants can be time-consuming and expensive. When it’s over, you may never recover unpaid rent.
On the other hand, federal rental assistance could cover up to 18 months of rent – including unpaid rent incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic and future rent in certain cases – when the money is available.
4. There’s still time to apply and receive help
The federal emergency rental assistance program is still going strong. Under the American Rescue Plan Act, funding for the program almost doubled and only a fraction of the total $47 billion in federal funding has been spent so far. Yet many landlords don’t know rental assistance is still an option for them, or think it’s their tenants who need to apply.
Share with your landlord networks
During the pandemic, you’ve likely relied on friends and family, colleagues, and other trusted professionals to stay on top of rapid developments.
If you’re connected with fellow landlords, we encourage you to share our resources, especially if they or their tenants are facing hardship during the pandemic.