Rental Assistance FAQs

 

 

What happens with an application after it is submitted?

(Click each box for details of each stage of the process. If you have not received a response, your application is in Step 1)

 

 

DeKalb County’s Tenant Landlord Coalition
(Emergency Rental Assistance Program)

This FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) provides information for the Tenant Landlord Assistance Coalition program. The FAQ may be supplemented with additional guidance as received from the federal government:

What is the DeKalb County Tenant Landlord Coalition and how does this program work?

To form DeKalb County’s Tenant Landlord Coalition, DeKalb County applied for and obtained a grant in excess of $21 million through the United States Emergency Rental Assistance program. The purpose of DeKalb County’s program is to provide financial assistance to eligible households for the payment of rent, rent arrearage, utilities, utility arrearage and other housing costs incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Who should apply?

An adult tenant in an eligible household. An eligible household includes one (1) or more individuals who are obligated to pay rent on a residential dwelling and (a) one (1) or more individuals within the household has qualified for unemployment benefits or (b) experienced a reduction in household income, or incurred significant costs or experienced other financial hardship due, directly or indirectly, to COVID-19 pandemic. The applicant must be able to attest in writing that one (1) or more individuals within the household can demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability such as (1) past due utility or rent notice or eviction notice, (2) unsafe or unhealthy living conditions, or (3) any other evidence of such risk as determined by DeKalb County.

An owner or landlord renting to an eligible household, as described above, may apply on behalf of the tenant.

What if I am not on the lease, and that person is not able to apply, but I live here and face eviction?

If an adult is living in leased property in DeKalb County and faces the possibility of eviction, you should apply using the Tenant Application. You will be eligible if you meet the financial and other requirements for an eligible household.

If I have been making partial payments on my rent, may I apply?

Yes

If I was evicted already, may I apply?

Yes

I am not behind on my rent – just my utilities and fees to the LL or utility, may I apply?

Yes

I am not a Tenant – I am a homeowner behind on my mortgage. May I apply?

No. This program only provides assistance for residential dwelling rental obligations.

I am a Landlord – may I apply?

Yes, you may apply on behalf of your tenant. Please note that a Landlord applicant must obtain the tenant’s signature (electronic signature is permissible), provide documentation to the tenant of the application and apply all funds received pursuant to the application to the tenant’s rental obligation. Please ensure that both Landlord and Tenant’s application are completed to the extent possible.

I am homeless, may I apply for assistance?

Yes. If you otherwise qualify and already lost the occupancy of housing, you may apply to obtain financial assistance to pay the landlord and/or utility companies for the outstanding rental arrears and/or utility arrears.

What if I do not have a written lease, but just pay month to month?

You are a tenant for purposes of this application, and you may file an application. However, you may be required to provide other evidence of the landlord/tenant relationship, such as proof of prior payment.

Do I have to live today where I lived on March 31, 2020?

No. If you lived in a different location on or after March 31, 2020 and you have a past due balance with that Landlord, you may apply. If a judgment has been issued against you, you may apply.

Why do you need my social security number, other personal information, and documents?

The federal government’s Treasury Department requires certain information and documentation to show that DeKalb County has properly used the funds in this program, including but not limited to income information, social security numbers, and/or other information and documents. All of the information gathered may be delivered to the Treasury Department by DeKalb County to facilitate proper tracking of DeKalb County’s use of funds. If you fail to provide your social security number or any other required information and/or documentation, the application cannot be processed.

What if I do not have certain required information and/or documents?

You may not be able to successfully complete the application and qualify for assistance. Your application must include your income and personal demographic information that is required on the application. However, you may inquire via the contact information below to determine whether there is an alternative that will allow you to successfully complete the application and qualify for assistance by discussing the information and/or documentation that you are unable to provide.

Why do you need to know my gender, race, and ethnicity?

DeKalb County must report information about participants in this assistance program, including the gender, race, and ethnicity of the primary applicant.

What do I select if the application does not list my gender identity?

If the list does not include the gender by which you identify, please select Non-Conforming.

How do I determine my household income and what year of income do you mean?

Your household income is the total adjusted gross income of your household for calendar year 2020. You will need to provide DeKalb County with documentation of your adjusted gross income.
If you wish to proceed on monthly income, you must reverify your income with DeKalb County every three (3) months during the duration of the assistance granted. If using a monthly income for your application you must also submit to DeKalb County, documentation for the past two (2) months.
Examples of “documentation” include but are not limited to the following: tax returns, public benefits statements, wage statements, social security or disability statements, interest statements, or unemployment compensation statements. If you have no income, you may be required to certify your status and lack of income in a sworn statement that is documented and memorialized with your application.

How many months of my rent balance can I apply for?

You can apply for any arrears that occurred after March 31, 2020. You may apply for up to twelve (12) months of rental arrears. If the program has available funds after rental arrears have been paid, applicants that received rental arrears may re-apply for an additional three (3) months of prospective rent.

Am I able to seek monies for future rent?

Possibly. If the program has available funds after rental arrears have been paid and you have received rental arrears, you may re-apply for an additional three (3) months of prospective rent if necessary, to ensure housing stability.

What does “past due rent” mean on the application?

For the application, the term “past due rent” includes all monies due under the Lease for rent including any utilities such as electric, water and sewer, trash, and natural gas that are provided by the Landlord, when it is included in the “rent” that is charged to the tenant. It does not include internet charges, phone service or cable fees, even if provided by the Landlord. No amount due on or before March 31, 2020 is eligible to be covered and will not be considered. As a part of processing the application, you may be required to itemize the debt for “past due rent” by distinguishing payments for use of residential property from utilities and specifying each utility and corresponding amount due.

How do I know if I owe my Landlord for utilities?

Your lease should explain if you owe charges to your Landlord on a monthly basis for electric, water and sewer, trash, and natural gas that are provided by the Landlord. If you do not have a copy of your lease, contact your Property Manager or Landlord to obtain one. If you get no response, make a good faith estimate of what those amounts are each month and how much you have not paid based on the best information available to you.

Will the program help with utilities that are not included in the rent?

Yes, utilities such as electric, water and sewer, trash, and natural gas may be covered in this program where the tenant pays them directly to the utility provider. It does not include internet charges, phone service or cable fees. The applicant should specify the request for assistance with these utilities in the space provided on the application.

What if I do not know how much I owe my Landlord?

You should contact the Property Manager, Landlord, or other person who collects your rent and ask them how much the Landlord has on your account as owed for rent and any utilities such as electric, water and sewer, trash, and natural gas that are provided by the Landlord. Inform the Landlord that late fees, interest, internet, cable, telephone and other charges are not covered under this Program. If you are not able to get into contact with the Landlord to determine the amount, use your best judgment to estimate the amount owed on the application. For instance, if you know your rent is $900.00 a month and you have not paid since July, 2020, multiply 900 x the number of months you have not paid. If you also pay monthly charges for utilities, add those amounts to the total as well. During the application process the Landlord will be contacted and that amount may be corrected, if necessary.

What does it mean that my rental arrears, utility arrears, or other expenses related to housing were incurred “due to COVID-19?”

You must submit documentation that supports your statement that your economic hardship is because of the COVID-19 pandemic. You may do so by submitting proof such as (1) loss of employment since March 13, 2020 and at least ninety (90) days prior to submission of your application, by a Separation Notice from your employer or letter of termination from your employer; (2) proof of your reduced income since March 13, 2020, by submitting proof of income before March 13, 2020 and thereafter, (3) proof of your application for unemployment benefits and any benefits, if any, awarded; (4) proof of expenses incurred during your illness from COVID-19 or the illness of someone to whom you provide support; (5) documentation establishing any other financial hardship directly or indirectly caused by COVID-19.

What if I do not know when my current lease expires?

Look at your lease, the lease should tell you the date the contract ends. If you cannot find a copy of your lease, contact your Property Manager or Landlord and ask for a copy of your lease and the requested information. If you are unable to contact the Landlord, use your best judgment to estimate the ending date of your lease. Your Landlord will be contacted in the application process.

What if the property where I live has been sold and I do not know the name of the new owner?

In the event you do not know the actual name of the new owner, first contact your Property Manager and ask. If you are unable to get a response, fill out the application using the name for the Landlord that is on your Lease or the name of the company or person to whom you paid your rent the last time you paid rent.

What if I do not know the contact information for my Landlord/Property Manager?

Place on the application the last known contact information you have for the Landlord/Property Manager.

What if I do not know my Dispossessory case number?

The case number should be on the paperwork served on your residence and your filed Answer. If you have received communication from the Clerk’s Office about your case, that email should also have the case number. If you cannot locate the case number, please indicate the name of the Landlord and the date you knew about the case and where the case was filed.

If there are multiple people in my home, will it help if all of us apply?

No. Only one application per household.

When is the deadline to apply?

Applications will be considered until such time as all monies are distributed and exhausted. You are encouraged to apply as soon as possible so that your application may be considered.

Once I apply, how do I check the status of my application?

You will receive a confirmation when your application is received with contact information.

Visit www.dekalbcountyga.gov/renthelp for the DeKalb County anti-discrimination policy.

 

*If your question(s) or concern(s) was/were not resolved and/or you still are uncertain of how to complete the application, you may consult the DeKalb County Landlord Tenant Coalition by submitting your question(s) via email to renthelp@dekalbcountyga.gov or call (404) 371-3201