It’s been reported that there is no right or "wrong door" to seek rental assistance relief, but that statement is not necessarily true.
There is a great deal of confusion over the interrelationship between the state and local programs and even how the initiatives of individual cities fit into the protocols established by the counties in which they are located.
A case in point is Alameda County. With the exception of Oakland and Fremont, Alameda County landlords and tenants can only access the county’s portal and are barred from applying through the state’s website. Oakland has its own rental assistance program but provides applicants the ability to seek help through both the local and state websites, while in Fremont, only tenants can apply for assistance, leaving landlords in the lurch.
San Francisco’s program, meanwhile, is yet to be finalized but is expected to prioritize the most destitute of tenants. Landlords in the City are encouraged to go ahead now and apply through the state’s website if they haven’t already done so.
In this guide, we make sense of the patchwork of rules for obtaining sorely needed funds.
After enterprising attorneys have orchestrated a series of “shakedowns” when housing providers refuse to accept housing vouchers, our latest video gives an overview of Section 8 and how to avoid falling victim to heavy-handed threats of a discrimination lawsuit unless the landlord settles out of court for thousands of dollars. These concerted efforts to catch mistakes in the act and sue landlords could not come at a worse time for struggling property owners.
Finally, government edicts have been made on the fly during the pandemic without the benefit of being aired out in the courts and so there are many grey areas in the law. One provocative question is whether employers can require their workers to be vaccinated. We join the debate with lessons to be learned from the rental housing industry, as there are some parallels. Discussed in our latest blog.
Bornstein Law thanks you for your continued engagement and remains hopeful that we will soon return to a state of normalcy in managing landlord-tenant relationships. Until then, we are here to improvise and assist when curveballs are thrown your way.