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Housing Must Knows

Can't pay your rent?

What is the Rent Relief Program and how can it help?

The Rent Relief Program pays eligible tenants and landlords 100% of a tenant’s past-due rent and utilities going as far back as April 1, 2020.

Having your overdue rent paid by the Rent Relief Program can protect you from eviction and debt collection lawsuits.

The program is free and does not currently have a deadline, but because funding may be limited, renters are encouraged to apply as soon as possible if they know they may struggle to cover past or prospective rent and utilities.

Beginning October 1, 2021, your landlord must apply for rental assistance before they can try to evict you through the courts for failing to pay your rent.

 

Although your landlord may give you a notice to “pay or quit” (which is a notice from your landlord that gives you a certain amount of time to pay the outstanding rent you owe or vacate your home) at any time, they will not be able to legally evict you without first applying to the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program.

If you receive a notice to “pay or quit,” it is strongly recommended that you immediately get legal assistance to determine and protect your rights. If your notice to “pay or quit” includes a “Declaration of COVID-19 related financial distress”—and you have been financially impacted by the pandemic—you should sign and return the declaration to your landlord within 15 business days to bolster your protections.

 

It is also recommended that you notify your landlord once you have applied for rental assistance, as this step can help you in both eviction and rental debt collection lawsuits.

Other helpful Resources

Project Sentinel

Project Sentinel is a non-profit organization. Our primary function is to assist individuals with housing problems such as discrimination, mortgage foreclosure & delinquency, rental issues including repairs, deposits, privacy, dispute resolution, home buyer education, post purchase education and reverse mortgages.