What Owners Need to Know About the Landlord Rental Assistance Program

Owners who couldn’t get relief in the original Emergency Rental Assistance Program can now apply for thousands of dollars in aid through a new state program launched on Oct. 7. The Landlord Rental Assistance Program (LRAP) gives eligible recipients payments of up to a year’s worth of past-due rent. The program was created from legislation enacted on Sept. 2 that included an extension of the eviction and foreclosure moratorium through Jan. 15, 2022.

Owners who couldn’t get relief in the original Emergency Rental Assistance Program can now apply for thousands of dollars in aid through a new state program launched on Oct. 7. The Landlord Rental Assistance Program (LRAP) gives eligible recipients payments of up to a year’s worth of past-due rent. The program was created from legislation enacted on Sept. 2 that included an extension of the eviction and foreclosure moratorium through Jan. 15, 2022.

Legislators sought to reimburse property owners who are unable to receive compensation through the federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). Under federal rules, landlords and tenants both have to submit applications to get money from ERAP, which was established by the state earlier this year to cover back rent on behalf of low-income tenants affected by the COVID-19 pandemic but able to stay in their apartments through various eviction protections.

According to Governor Kathy Hochul, $125 million in state funding will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis through the LRAP. Preference is being given to owners of buildings with 20 or fewer units who leased the buildings at or below 150 percent of the fair market rent for their location.

“I am proud that our state’s rental assistance program has already provided much needed relief to tens of thousands of New Yorkers, but there are still many small landlords ineligible for that relief because of federal rules who also need our help,” Hochul said in a statement. “This funding is a critical tool to close that gap and help more New Yorkers recover from the pandemic.”

Like the ERAP, the state Office of Temporary Disability Assistance (OTDA) will administer this new program. We'll take a closer look at eligibility requirements and what documents owners will need to provide when applying for LRAP.

Eligibility Requirements

If you’re an eligible owner, you can visit www.otda.ny.gov/lrap to apply for relief. You can apply online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Owners who are approved for LRAP may receive up to 12 months of rental arrears payments for rents accrued on or after March 1, 2020. But LRAP won’t pay for future rental assistance or utility arrears.

There are no citizenship or immigration status requirements to qualify for the program. And a landlord who owns any size building is eligible for LRAP. However, the program gives priority for a limited amount of time to owners of buildings with 20 or fewer units. For the first 45 days of the program until Nov. 21, priority is given to landlords who own a building with 20 or fewer units. After 45 days, applications for all eligible landlords will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis as long as funds are available.

It's important to note that non-priority landlords can apply for LRAP during the first 45 days. According to the OTDA, any landlord with a tenant who has left the unit or who is unwilling to cooperate with an ERAP application is eligible to apply at any time during the program, including within the first 45 days.

Owners who rent out units located in New York State are eligible for LRAP if they meet the following criteria:

  • The landlord has a tenant who has left an apartment in New York State with unpaid rental arrears, or the landlord has a tenant with rental arrears who is residing in an apartment in New York State who refuses to apply for ERAP and the landlord has reached out to the tenant to encourage participation in ERAP at least three times, including twice in writing.
  • Unit rental amount is at or below 150 percent of the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for their location. These limits are based on county and number of bedrooms of the rental unit. If the monthly rental amount exceeds 150 percent of the FMR, the landlord will be ineligible for assistance. You can find the FMR limits below, or at https://otda.ny.gov/programs/landlord-rental-assistance/LRAP-150-Fair-Market-Rent.pdf.
  • The landlord has documented rental arrears owed for the tenant at their residence for rent costs accrued on or after March 1, 2020.

Documents Needed to Apply

According to the OTDA, it’s expected that cases will be processed in four to six weeks from the date of submission of a completed application. This time frame may vary based upon the completeness of the application and all the correct documentation being submitted. Payments will be made directly to the landlord. Landlords will be notified in writing of the amounts paid on their behalf.

When applying, owners will need to provide:

  • W-9 tax form, which must be entered by typing this information in the owner account on the LRAP portal;
  • Proof of ownership by uploading this information into the owner account on the LRAP portal;
  • Executed lease with tenant, or if there is no written lease, a cancelled check, evidence of funds transfer, or other documentation of the last full monthly rent payment. Upload pages of lease to at least include unit address, tenants on lease, monthly rental obligation, and signature page.
  • Documentation of unpaid rent due from tenant by uploading a monthly rent confirmation form or ledger identifying the rental amount due by month. You should not include non-rent payments such as late fees or parking fees;
  • Banking information by typing in direct deposit information in the owner account on the LRAP portal;
  • If applicable, an owner affidavit or signed agreement designating the property management company/agent as authorized recipient of LRAP funds;

The property owner or an authorized property management company will be required to sign the application form and associated certifications agreeing that the information provided, including the amount of rental arrears owed, is accurate and doesn’t duplicate a payment received from another program. Dates on which the landlord contacted the tenant to seek participation in ERAP must also be provided, if the application is for a tenant who still resides in the unit.

The property owner or authorized property management company must also agree to the following terms as a condition of accepting rental arrears payments:

  • The LRAP payment satisfies the tenant’s full rental obligations for the time period covered by the payment;
  • The owner has contacted a current tenant household at least three times, twice in writing, to encourage participating in ERAP;
  • The owner will waive any late fees due on any rental arrears covered by the LRAP payment;
  • If the household is currently residing in the unit, the owner won’t increase the monthly rental amount above the monthly amount due at the time of application for LRAP assistance for months for which rental assistance is received and for one year from receipt of the LRAP payment;
  • If the household is currently residing in the unit, the owner won’t evict the household on behalf of whom the LRAP payment is made for reason of expired lease or holdover tenancy for one year from the receipt of the LRAP payment. An exception to this requirement will be made if the dwelling unit contains four or fewer units and the property owner or owner’s immediate family members intend to immediately occupy the unit for use as a primary residence.

150 Percent of Fair Market Rent by NYC Counties

For the Landlord Rental Assistance Program, unit rental amounts must be at or below 150 percent of the Fair Market rent (FMR). These limits differ by county and number of bedrooms. However, the limits are the same for all counties within New York City. If your monthly rental amount exceeds the FMR, you would be ineligible for assistance.

                                                                                                                Bedrooms

                                                0                              1                              2                          3                        4             

NYC Counties                    

(Bronx, Kings, New York,

 Queens, Richmond)                       $2,640                   $2,702                   $3,080                   $3,897                   $4,176  

 

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