Q+A for Landlords: Georgia Rental Assistance Program Part Two

In an effort to connect with the community, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) invited landlords statewide to attend a live webinar session on May 4. DCA took landlords through the application process for the Georgia Rental Assistance program and held a live question-and-answer session. To access the webinar recording, please click here.
 
Below is Part 2 of the questions from landlords that were asked during the webinar that can be used as a resource for you. In case you missed it, Part 1 is available here.
 
Documents and Landlord Requirements:
 
What is the Authorization Agreement for landlords that needs to be uploaded?
The Authorization Agreement is the place to upload a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) if the application is being filled out by a management entity on behalf of the landlord.
 
Are we required to get the direct deposit form from the state, or is this something that needs to be provided by us directly?
The direct deposit form/ACH form submitted needs to be the program's ACH form which can be found on the application for download.
 
Our renters are wondering how many months of income documents are required to be submitted.
The renters will need to submit either 60 days or their 2020 W-9 or 1099 and 1040 (if applicable).
 
On the landlord application, when it asks for proof of identity, does the W-9 suffice?
Proof of identity needs to be a picture ID.
 
Who does the picture ID need to be of if we are a property management company?
The ID should be from the person completing the application.
 
Payment:
 
What if the renter refuses to provide information or disagrees with the amounts owed?
The renter will be required to complete an application to determine eligibility.
 
How long will it be before we will receive funds?
Funds are issued once the application is confirmed as approved based on the landlord and renter application. Applications are reviewed and processed in the order in which the application is received.
 
After assistance is received, will landlords be able to raise rents at the end of a lease?
Landlords can raise rents at the end of the lease. If the rent rises over the time period in which assistance is applied for, we will need that to be indicated within the application.
 
What is the processing timeframe for applications?
We are experiencing a large volume of applications, but we are working diligently to process applications as they come in with consideration to the prioritization criteria.
 
If renters have made partial payments, are the remaining amounts due for those months eligible for rental assistance?
Yes, GRA covers the months in which partial payments are made.
 
If we work for the management company and are not the ownership group, does the ownership group need to complete the application instead of us?
A management company may complete the application on behalf of the landlord, but we will need all documentation to come from the landlord (W-9, ACH, Proof of Ownership).
 
If renters pay the landlord a fee per the lease for lawn care services, can that be covered by the rental assistance?
Fees that are included in the rent are usually included in the rental arrears payments but are assessed on a case-by-case basis.
 
When we receive money via direct deposit, will there be a way to determine for which renter the funds are designated?
When you receive a payment, it will indicate the renter that payment is for in the invoice description.
 
Eviction and Eligibility:
 
Do I have to allow a renter to stay beyond lease termination date if I accept this money? Can I get money if a renter has already left?
The rental assistance is provided for the timeframe that assistance is requested. If the lease will be terminated, assistance will not be provided. Assistance is not eligible if the renter is no longer in the unit.
 
Can you still evict the renter after rental assistance for things other than non-payment?
Yes, the renter can still be evicted for things outside of non-payment. However, once the renter is no longer residing in the unit, we cannot provide assistance.
 
Portal/Submitted Application Questions:
 
How do we go back to the Landlord Portal?
To access your Landlord Portal, visit georgiarentalassistance.ga.gov, click the “Log in” button, and input your email address and password to access your profile.
 
Will we receive notification when a renter enrolls?
When you add a renter to your application and provide your renter's email address, they will be notified to complete their application. Landlords will not receive notification when your renter enrolls, however, you are able to see when a renter is connected to your landlord application within your application.
 
Will we receive a notification when a payment is made on behalf of a renter?
The payment status is visible in the portal and the direct deposit or check will include the renter that the payment is for in the description.
 
How do we know if a resident's application is being processed? How can we know the status of an application?
You can check the status of your application at any time at our website, georgiarentalassistance.ga.gov.
 
Once we enroll as owners/management agents and provide the requested documentation, what are the next steps?
Once your landlord application has been submitted and the renter applications have been submitted, we can proceed with processing and underwriting the application, after which we can proceed with scheduling payment.
 
If there is something we missed or didn’t do correctly, will we be notified?
Yes, you will be notified within 10 days of submitting your application by a GRA staff member.
 
Has DCA looked to create a landlord enrollment platform that would allow for two-way information sync between owners and renters? This would also provide you with secure bank account information to allow for direct deposit and expedited payments etc. Landlords today are currently unable to monitor the status and volume of applications in-process for their properties and are unable to assist our renters through the process without this transparency.
The portal allows landlords to see the renters that are connected to them and the payment status of those accounts; additionally, the portal is the landlord enrollment platform.