FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR COVID-19
EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (CVERAP) PHASE II
1. CAN I APPLY ON BEHALF OF MY TENANT?
Yes. If a property manager or owner of a residential dwelling applies for assistance during the pre-application collection period, the following is required:
· The landlord must obtain the signature of the tenant on pre-application, which may be documented electronically; and
· Documentation of such pre-application shall be provided to the tenant by the landlord.
2. HOW MUCH RENTAL ASSISTANCE CAN WE EXPECT TO RECEIVE?
The DCA will pay the household arrearages, for a maximum of 12 months, to the extent that funds are available and do not exceed 125% of the area Fair Market Rent. A determination will be made if further assistance is needed to ensure housing stability for an additional three months of assistance. The applicant’s arrears (retrospective to March 13, 2020) will be paid first, with the remainder available for future rent (through December 2021).
Rental assistance will be capped at 125% of the area Fair Market Rent. For households that are unable to provide adequate verification of rental obligations and rely on self-certification, the NJDCA will pay 100% of the FMR for the area in which the applicant resides.
3. I AM A LANDLORD, DO I HAVE TO ACCEPT THE RENTAL ASSISTANCE?
Yes, the landlord must accept the rental assistance. It is a violation of NJ Law Against Discrimination for a landlord not to accept payments as stated below:
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD), enforced by the Division on Civil Rights, prohibits discrimination and harassment in housing based on the source of lawful income a tenant uses to pay rent, including the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program (CVERAP). That means that a landlord cannot refuse to accept CVERAP, refuse to fill out or send in the paperwork that is required for CVERAP, or threaten or attempt to evict someone because they seek to pay rent with CVERAP. Violating the LAD may subject a landlord to civil penalties of up to $10,000 per violation in addition to money damages to the tenant. Visit https://www.nj.gov/oag/dcr/downloads/fact_SOI.pdf to find out more about the LAD’s protections for people receiving rental assistance.
Landlords will also be required to sign an agreement upon completion of their owner verification documentation (W9, Direct Deposit, etc.) in which they must agree that they will not evict the tenant for any period of time in which the tenant receives assistance. They must also agree to withdraw any eviction complaint for that period.
4. I AM A LANDLORD; HOW WILL I KNOW IF ONE OF THEIR TENANTS WILL RECEIVE ASSISTANCE THROUGH CVERAP?
You will receive a letter from Nan McKay & Associates on behalf of the NJDCA stating your tenant was approved for assistance, along with the estimated amount of the rental assistance.
5. I AM RECEIVING CORRESPONDENCE FROM NAN MCKAY & ASSOCIATES, WHO ARE THEY?
The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs has engaged Nan McKay & Associates to manage
Phase II of the Covid-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program.
6. I AM A LANDLORD, WHAT DOCUMENTATION WILL YOU NEED FROM ME?
You will need to provide a recent tax bill to verify that you are the legal owner of the subject property. You will receive a Landlord/Owner packet that includes the following documents:
· Landlord Certification Form
· Direct Deposit Authorization form
· W9 IRS form
· If you are a property management company, you will need to provide agreement.
7. WHAT DOCUMENTS WOULD I NEED TO PROVIDE TO PROVE THAT THE TENANT IS MY TENANT?
· Signed lease, tenant agreement or landlord certification.
· Documentation of residence, including utility bills, attestation by a property owner who can be identified as the verified owner or management agent of the unit.
· Other reasonable documentation
8. I AM A LANDLORD, HOW DO I RECEIVE THE CVERAP PAYMENTS?
You will receive your payments by direct deposit or by check. Direct deposit is the quickest and more viable option.
9. IS DCA GOING TO INSPECT THE APT./UNIT/HOUSE BEFORE I RECEIVE PAYMENT?
10. IF A TENANT MOVES BEFORE THE APPROVED RENTAL ASSISTANCE, DO I HAVE TO PAY BACK THE CVERAP PAYMENTS?
Yes, if you received a check after the tenant has moved out, the payment must be returned.
11. IF I HAVE TO RETURN THE CVERAP PAYMENT, WHERE WOULD I SEND THE CHECK TO?
NJ Department of Community Affairs
P O Box 051
Trenton, NJ 08625
Attn DCA - Payment Unit - COVID
12. ARE UTILITY ARREARGES ELIGIBLE EXPENES UNDER THE CVERAP?
No. Utility arrearage and home energy costs are not eligible for assistance under the Phase II of the NJ CVERAP.
For a quick video guide on how landlords can apply for CVERAP Assistance, please click here.