General Relief Housing Subsidy (Direct Rent) - help!

2 Replies

I bought a triplex in June and one of my tenants just got me paperwork titled: General Relief Housing Subsidy and Case Management Project Direct Rent. After reading through the legal jargon, apparently she somehow qualifies for disability and Los Angeles County will pay a portion of her rent directly to me as her landlord. I'm not going to lie, this makes me nervous. She has been less than an ideal tenant, and I have my reasons not to trust her. She also doesn't speak any English so communication has been very difficult. Has anyone out there had any experience with this type of situation/rent payment? Good, bad or neutral? I'd love to hear some feedback. I'm in California. Thank you so much.

@Alyssa Lebetsamer  I'm not in California and I'm not familiar with that particular program. However we've rented to plenty of people who receive rent subsidies. The key is in contacting the agency and the case manager, getting on board with their program, and verifying the information the tenant presented to you. These programs benefit landlords in that rent is paid on time (often by direct deposit on or before rent is due) and there is good incentive for the tenant to abide by the terms of the rental agreement so their rent subsidy benefit can continue.

About the trust issue. Be respectful and fair in your interactions. Establish and maintain a good landlord-tenant relationship by using a rental agreement that the tenant understands and agrees to. Be prepared to enforce the terms of the rental agreement if at any point the tenant strays. Let the tenant know you value open and honest communication. Set clear expectations and clear boundaries.

About communication. Establish a communication plan with the tenant. What works best for you and for the tenant? In person conversations, telephone, letters, email, text?  The method used is likely to vary depending on the situation at hand.  If the tenant doesn't speak, read and understand English, and you don't know their language, then explore resources that may be available to you in your local community or elsewhere. Often there are community cultural centers that will assist limited-English or non-English speakers with reading and understanding rental agreements and in communicating with their landlords.

Hope this helps! Good luck!

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