After a shaky start in the early weeks of the program, round two of the Landlord Compensation Fund began on April 29. From now until May 17, landlords can submit applications to the fund. If eligible, they’ll qualify for a piece of the $70 million in government assistance for unpaid rent.
Portland landlords have shouldered the burden of unpaid rent for over a year during the pandemic. Now with the promise of financial aid finally within reach, many landlords are rushing to get help. However, there are some essential things to keep in mind before applying for round two of the Landlord Compensation Fund.
How Does the Landlord Compensation Fund Work?
The basic tenants of the Landlord Compensation Fund are simple. Qualifying landlords will be eligible to receive 80 percent of their tenant’s unpaid rent accrued through April 1, 2020, through May 2021. In exchange, landlords agree to forgive the remaining 20 percent. During the application period, landlords must not issue an eviction notice, either no-cause or for nonpayment of rent. The fund covers rent owed but does not include fees, utilities, maintenance, or other costs.
To apply for the fund, landlords must gather certain materials to include in their application. Firstly, your tenants should put together a Declaration of Financial Hardship for Eviction Protection. This prevents them from being evicted but also provides the landlord with documentation to apply for financial aid. From there, you will require the following documents:
- Your W-9 form to verify you own the property and the number of rental units you own.
- The names and contact information for your tenants who owe you rent.
- The percent of your rent you’re still owed since April 1, 2020.
- Rent rolls for amounts collected and owed in that time.
Some landlords may be more likely than others to qualify for aid through the Landlord Compensation Fund. If there are more applications than funds available, the Oregon Housing and Community Services Department (OHCS) will grade each application on a points system. Applicants who own less than four rental units and have received only 50 percent or less of rents due in the past year are most likely to qualify for aid. This scoring system aims to prioritize assistance to smaller landlords with less margin for error whose tenants have been hit especially hard by the pandemic. However, all Oregon landlords can apply.
The Program’s Early Flaws
Many landlords were relieved to hear that financial aid was finally being directed to them and not just their renters. However, round one of the Landlord Compensation Fund faced some serious issues. Glitches and technical difficulties plagued the early days of the program as landlords rushed to submit. Luckily, OHCS has responded to these issues by releasing improvements to the Landlord Compensation Fund portal. These updates tried to make the platform easier to use so landlords don’t face even more problems securing aid.
However, the OHCS warns that the high volume of applicants means that many people may still experience glitches while trying to submit their applications. As we enter round two of the Landlord Compensation Fund, Portland landlords will look on warily to see whether the changes have resolved the program’s initial flaws.
Helping Landlords Helps the Community
Many landlords have shown deep compassion during the COVID-19 pandemic, working with struggling tenants to ensure people keep their homes amid a global crisis. Some landlords have given up on the idea of ever receiving the rents owed over the past year. While the 20 percent loss of income might be difficult for some to swallow, the remaining 80 percent of aid will make a world of difference for others.
During round one of the Landlord Compensation Fund, $40 million went to Oregon landlords. All in all, the program has distributed aid to 1,900 landlords and 12,000 tenant households so far. OHCS has begun sending out notices to approved landlords in the past few weeks. If you applied for round one and haven’t heard back yet, keep a close eye on your mailbox. Tenants will also receive a notification of their forgiven rent. The data shows that more aid has gone out to Portland landlords than any other metro area in the state.
Applications for round two of the Landlord Compensation Fund close at 5 p.m. on May 17. If you’re a Portland landlord seeking financial aid in these uncertain times, get your application in as soon as possible. While the program will continue until either the end of June or until the funds run out, there’s no reason to wait to apply. A property owner must begin the application, but you can let a property manager handle the rest of the filing process from there.
Your Property Manager is Here To Help
With the chaos and uncertainty of the pandemic, it’s been more demanding than ever to keep the detailed records you need to apply for financial aid. Working with a property manager has made the process much easier for our clients, with our meticulous records quickly filling in all the blanks in the Landlord Compensation Fund application.
At Rent Portland Homes by Darla Andrew, we know that the owners we work with want easy and convenient access to all the data on their property. We give you the power to check on your investment or obtain the documentation you need when you need it. We’re leading the way in helping Portland landlords weather these difficult times, whether through finding new financial aid opportunities or maximizing the income on your portfolio. There’s a lot we can do to help guide and support Portland landlords. If you’d like to hear more about what we have to offer, call or text us at (503) 515-3170 or fill out our contact page any time.