How to Fill Out The California Covid-19 Rent Relief Program Application
If you have questions on how to fill out the California Covid-19 Rent Relief Program application, we’ve created this guide to help explain the many sections as well as include an example application for you to practice and or view what the required information is. Please use the button below to download a free copy of the official application.
If you’re a landlord or a tenant who is ready to apply to receive COVID-19 rent relief funds, you can visit the official website here.
The California Covid-19 Rent Relief Application
The application itself is a 10 page application and asks for both landlord and tenant information. Both the landlord or the tenant can initiate the application process but only the tenant is required to participate. If the landlord decides to participate, the payments will be made directly to the landlord. If they wish not to participate (fill out the application), the tenants will be paid directly.
Program General Overview (pages 1-3)
The first three pages of the application go over a general overview of the program such as the 3 steps to complete the application process, tips on how to speed up the process, what to expect from the program and general information.
What is the California Covid-19 Rent Relief Program?
This program is designed to help Californians (tenants and landlords) with financial hardships suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program helps eligible tenants pay past due and future rents and utility bills to provide relief.
3 Step Application Process
- The landlord should fill out the application with as much information as they have on hand to see if their tenant qualifies and to grant the correct amount of money.
- The tenant will receive an email letting them know that the application process has started. The tenant must participate to be able to receive payment for overdue rent and utility bills. The application will only be processed once the tenant submits the corresponding application.
- If more information is required from the landlord, a case manager will reach out to you and help you the rest of the way. If the landlord cannot be reached or does not respond with the correct information, the landlord will not be paid directly.
* Note: The application takes about 30 minutes to fill out, on average
Tips to speed up the application process
- Once you (the landlord) have initiated the application process, you should contact your tenants and encourage them to participate and follow all the instructions in the invitation email they will receive. (email will be sent by “firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Both landlords and tenants should watch out for and quickly reply to all emails/phone calls from the program.
- Double check all information and documents that are uploaded through the portal to ensure accuracy.
- Make sure you provide reliable contact information for you and your tenant. The more information you provide, the quicker the application can be processed.
What to expect from the program
- Participating landlords will receive payments directly (instead of through the tenant).
- No personal/sensitive information will be shared with your landlord or any other government agency.
- You can call 1-833-430-2122 to request information on the status of your application.
- You should not submit multiple applications. Landlords shouldn’t submit one application per tenant and instead list all of their properties and tenants on one application.
- Both landlord and tenant will be notified once the application is approved and payment is processed.
- The California Covid-19 Rent Relief Program does not end on June 30th, 2021. Financial assistance to renters will continue to be provided until all funds are exhausted.
- All landlords are required to submit an IRS W-9 form.
- Falsifying information, paperwork or omissions is subject to state and federal criminal penalties.
- If you or your tenant is a person with special needs, you can call the program at 1-833-430-2122 and request accommodations to apply.
Section A. Landlord Information (pages 4 – 6)
The first section (Section A.) is the landlord’s information. The application will ask the landlord to provide general information as well as tax information. The information requested will be:
- Landlord Name (as it appears on IRS W-9)
- Landlord Address
- Phone number (make sure you can easily be reachable)
- Email (make sure it’s an email account you can easily access)
- DUNS number, if applicable
- EIN, TIN or SSN number for payment records
The application will ask that the landlord upload a completed and signed IRS W-9 form and also have you select the preferred method of payment.
The landlord can also name an alternate landlord (such as a property manager).
Vacated Units With Covid-19 Rental Debt
You can request rental assistance for unpaid rent by tenants who are no longer residing on your rental property. You can request reimbursement for unpaid rent dating back to April 1st, 2020.
If you are going to request rental arrears for tenants who have moved out:
- The former tenant must complete the tenant application they receive through email to confirm eligibility.
- These payments are only paid directly to the landlord.
- Current and complete tenant information is crucial for this part of the application.
Next the application will request that you provide information on if your rental property is a subsidized unit that requires tenant income verification for eligibility.
Question A.16 asks you to provide a list of tenants whom you have started an eviction against or plan to for nonpayment of rent during COVID-19.
Section B. Tenant’s Information (page 7)
Section B of the Covid-19 Rent Relief application asks the landlord to provide a list of all the tenants who the landlord would like to participate in the program. All tenants listed here will receive an email with instructions to follow to participate.
If there are more than 10 tenants, the landlord can use this external spreadsheet to add all the tenants at once.
For each tenant, the landlord must provide the following or as much information as possible:
- Rent ledger or statements documenting the rental debt.
- Rental agreement
- Tenant’s income and recertification documents for subsidized rental properties.
- If your tenant does not have an email account, you can ask your tenant to call 833-687-0967 to make an appointment with an application assistant.
- You can use email@example.com for tenants who do not have an email account to facilitate your case manager in connecting your application with your tenant.
- You should not use your own email or a fake email as this will compromise your application.
Submit (pages 8 – 10)
You are not finished with the application until you receive a message on the website that states “Application Submitted”. Once you submit your application, it can only be re-opened by an administrator so make sure you double check all of your information before submitting. If you do not receive emails from “Neighborly”, check your spam folder.
Before submitting the application, you will have to check three boxes stating that the information you are submitting is true to the best of your knowledge, that you understand what could happen if you falsify any information or documents and that you agree that any monies received shal be used to cover past due rent and your tenant no longer owes you rent. There are also 11 “clauses” you are agreeing to that should be carefully read before you submit your application.
This is an oversimplification of the terms you have to agree to before submitting the application, we strongly suggest you thoroughly read the official terms on the application before submitting.
Before you go
It’s important to mention that as of October 1st, 2021, all new evictions filed in eviction court (unlawful detainers) must include an application number before proceeding. This is designed to encourage all landlords to begin the California Covid-19 Rent Relief application process.
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