Eviction Prevention FAQs
- Must a household have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic, or can anyone who owes back rent receive assistance?
Applicants must demonstrate that the COVID-19 pandemic reduced their income by providing a certification and, if possible, documentation like communications from landlords about layoffs or reduced hours, statements from gig work platforms or self-employed business ledgers that show reduced income, or other documentation.
- Are there limits to the level of rent that the CARES Act Back Rent Recovery program will cover?
Yes. The program will limit back rent covered per month to the lesser of the actual delinquent rent or the Fair Market Rent level published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the Baltimore metropolitan area. The Fair Market Rent caps, which vary by bedroom size, are listed below.
Requests for back rent assistance exceeding Fair Market Rents for the appropriate bedroom size will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the BCCAP Director. If additional back rent payments are not approved and the landlord decides to accept payment at the Fair Market Rent level as payment in full for the covered months, a grant agreement will be required.
- Will the City cover rent in advance as well as rent in arrears?
Not for tenants who are remaining in the same housing unit. The City will provide some level of advance rent for relocation cases.
- Will the City require landlords accepting rental assistance not to file for eviction for a period of time after receiving assistance?
Not under the CARES Act Back Rent Recovery Program. Landlords will be required to withdraw eviction filings and not to pursue any eviction judgments received for failure to pay rent during the months covered by the program. The City’s forthcoming Eviction Prevention program will require landlords to forego eviction filings for a future period equal to the period of time covered by the rental assistance.
- Will the City’s assistance for rental arrears cover utility arrears, repair fees, late fees, interest or penalties billed by the landlord?
No. The CARES Act Back Rent Recovery will only cover rent. However, households will be assessed for eligibility for other programs that may provide assistance with utilities or other expenses by BCCAP case managers.
- Will the City provide rental assistance before the court has made a judgment in favor of the landlord?
Yes. Under the CARES Act Back Rent Recovery program landlords must provide a rent ledger showing delinquent rent payments, but no court disposition or eviction notice is required to receive assistance.
- Will the City provide services for tenants facing Tenant Holding Over or Breach of Lease actions?
Yes. The City will provide legal services for tenants facing Tenant Holding Over or Breach of Lease actions.
The City will also consider assistance with back rent if a landlord making a Tenant Holding Over or Breach of Lease complaint drops such an action and agrees to allow the tenant to stay in place.
- Will the City put rental assistance funds into escrow in cases where there is a habitability or lead based paint issue?
No. Properties found to require a rent escrow due to habitability issues are unlikely to provide safe housing conditions. The City will offer relocation assistance to tenants in situations with habitability issues.
- Will the City provide rental assistance for units that do not have a current and valid and current rental license with the City of Baltimore?
Case by case: The City will generally require rental units to be licensed, and will provide relocation assistance to households living in unlicensed units where appropriate. If relocation assistance is unlikely to result in stable housing, at the City’s sole discretion, the City will consider providing assistance with back rent in order to prevent homelessness. In such cases landlords will be required to obtain a license before back rent payments are made.
- Will the City cover the tenant portion of rent for households living in public housing, participating in the Housing Choice Voucher program or receiving other housing subsidies that vary with the income of the household?
Yes. The City will first ensure that households facing eviction from subsidized housing have legal representation to ensure that the accounting of their rental obligations are accurate. Also, where subsidies can be adjusted to account for income loss, the City will verify that such adjustments have been made before finalizing the amount of assistance to be provided. If rental assistance is needed after those actions have been taken, and City assistance will not duplicate other benefits accessed by a household, the City will provide assistance with back rent.
- Will the City cover rent for households living in units subsidized using low income housing tax credits or other programs that set rents at a fixed level?
Yes. The City will maintain communications with state and federal agencies about programs and subsidies that may be available to landlords to avoid eviction, in order to make sure that households receive the greatest amount of support available. If rental assistance is still needed and City funds will not duplicate other benefits accessed by a household, the City will provide assistance with back rent.
- Will the City allow repeat applications by the same household or landlord under CARES Act Back Rent Recovery program?
Yes, if funds are available. Tenants who submit applications, or landlords who submit applications on behalf of tenants, showing delinquencies between March 1 and September 30 2020 may receive back rent assistance for those delinquencies AND submit additional rent ledgers for delinquencies occurring in October and November, 2020. All assistance under the CARES Act Back Rent Recovery program will depend on funding availability, so applicants are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible, then later provide additional information to extend.
- Can households assisted through Temporary Rent Support also receive assistance through Eviction Prevention?
Yes. Households approved under Temporary Rent Support for assistance with delinquencies incurred in April, May and/or June 2020 can be assisted for rental delinquencies incurred after June 30 under the CARES Act Back Rent Recovery program. The City will fast-track approval of these applications, since tenants and landlords have already provided most of the needed documentation.