Help for landlords
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused money struggles for both renters and landlords. You’re an important part of the rental economy. If your rental income has fallen, you can take advantage of options to keep you in control of your property and your financial situation.
Recover back rent – apply for rental assistance
Rental assistance can help you recover rent that your tenants owe and get your finances back on track. Here’s what you need to know to get started.
1. You may need to apply for your tenants.
As a landlord, you may think that rental assistance is for tenants. But right now, 3 in 4 programs funded by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program take applications from landlords.
Where tenants can apply, they usually need information from you to complete the process. Why? Rent payments are usually delivered straight to the housing provider.
2. Eligibility is based on your tenant’s needs.
Eligibility for federal rental assistance is based on your tenant’s household income, financial hardships they’re facing, and their housing situation.
3. Is rental assistance worth the trouble? You do the math.
Consider all your options. Money from 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. Evicting tenants can be time-consuming and expensive. When it’s over, you may never recover unpaid rent.
Tell your friends and family about rental assistance
Like other folks, you probably rely on friends and family, work colleagues, and other trusted professionals to stay on top of rapid developments during the pandemic. If you’ve found this information helpful, please share our handouts with your networks as well as your tenants
Stay in control by working through all your options
You have options and applying for federal emergency rental assistance is a good first step. At the same time, don’t underestimate the power of an open conversation with your tenant about realistic ways you can continue your rental relationship.
Explore forbearance to pause your mortgage payments
Many homeowners are having trouble making their monthly mortgage payments. This includes property owners who depend on rental income to make ends meet. If it has become harder to pay your mortgage during the coronavirus pandemic, you may be eligible for forbearance. This is a temporary pause or reduction in your monthly mortgage payments. Some owners may be concerned about their credit. However, during the pandemic emergency, getting forbearance may not affect your credit.
Understanding renting to veterans experiencing homelessness
You can serve as a landlord to a veteran of the armed forces and make a positive difference to a person who has served our country.
Understand protections for servicemembers and military families
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) provides legal and financial protections to those who have answered the nation’s call to serve. If your tenant is on active duty in the military or uniformed service, a reservist on active duty, a member of the National Guard on active duty, or a dependent of one of these active-duty servicemembers, you are required to comply with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. SCRA protections start on the date when active duty orders are received. Under the SCRA:
- Servicemembers and their dependents have eviction protection rights – If rent costs less than $4,214.28 a month (as of 2022), you can’t evict a servicemember or their dependents from a residential home during their military service, or seize their property as payment of rent, unless you have a court order.
- Servicemembers can pause a court eviction – If you are pursuing an eviction in court, servicemembers and their dependents can pause the eviction for up to 90 days upon request. The court can also order a pause on its own, without a request.
- You must reimburse rent paid in advance – If a servicemember receives orders to deploy or for a permanent change of station, you must reimburse any advance payments they made toward their rent within 30 days of the lease termination.
- Servicemembers may terminate their leases – Servicemembers must be allowed to terminate residential leases without penalty if they receive orders to deploy or for a permanent change of station (PCS), even if the lease began before their military service.
Get expert help
Talk to a housing counselor
Be proactive. Talk with a local expert who can help you locate rental assistance programs in your area, understand your options as a property owner, and make an action plan. Contact a HUD-approved housing counseling agency in your area.