Renter: Frequently Asked Questions

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  • 1. When can I apply for rental assistance?

    The Marin County Rental Assistance program is currently closed to new applications. Tenants and Landlords with pending applications are welcome to access the County's new rental portal on the Marin County Emergency Rental Assistance webpage.

    If you need assistance or cannot access the online application, you can contact staff at (415) 473-2223 (CA Relay 711) or Marin County Rental Assistance to help update your application with required documentation. If you are unable to reach a staff member, please leave a message so one of our staff can follow-up with you.

  • 2. Who is eligible?
    To be eligible for this program, you must:
    • Be a current Marin County renter and/or owe back rent at a Marin County residence;
    • Fall under the low-income limit below;
    • Submit the required documents (see the answer to question 10 for more information).

    *This income should be based on your most recent monthly income.

  • 3. How will applications be processed?

    Complete applications will be prioritized based on the following factors:

    • At risk of eviction
      • Unlawful detainer filed with the Courts
      • A written notice from landlord
    • AMI (Area Median Income)
      • 30% and less
      • 50% and less
      • 80% and less
    • Rent
      • Back rent owed after April 2020
      • Hasn’t received assistance before
    • Date of application

    See the table below for income thresholds

  • 4. What months of assistance will this program cover?

    This program works in alignment with AB 832, the new State eviction moratorium and rental assistance law that was passed on July 1, 2021. Additional information about this law can be found on the County’s COVID Renter Protections webpage.

    Assistance will now cover 100% of a tenants’ unpaid back rent beginning April 1, 2020 through March 2022.

  • 5. What if I already received assistance for 80%, and my landlord wants the remaining 20%?

    Applications that already received 80% of back rent through this program will automatically be topped off with the additional 20%. 

  • 6. If I owe money at a Marin residence but have since moved out of Marin, am I still eligible for assistance with back rent?


  • 7. Do I need to be a U.S. citizen or other legal status to qualify?

    No, this program does not ask for any citizenship information. Any Marin County renter whose annual income meets the income requirement is eligible for the program.

  • 8. Will this affect public charge?

    No. Receiving assistance from this program will not impact your visa/citizenship status. Most recently, on Thursday March 11, 2021, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced they would no longer defend the Public Charge Rule.

  • 9. How much money is available?

    In total, about $30 million is available for rental assistance in Marin County. It may be possible the County will receive additional state and/or federal funding in future rounds.

  • 10. What documents do I need to submit?

    For this program, you will need to upload a copy of the following documents:

    1. Copy of your photo ID. You can satisfy this requirement using one (1) of the following:
      • Current Driver’s License with photograph (from the U.S. or any of its territories);
      • Non-Driver’s Identification Card with photograph (from the U.S. or any of its territories);
      • Passport;
      • Identification from Country of Origin with photograph (non-U.S.);
      • U.S. Permanent Resident Card;
      • U.S. Certificate of Naturalization (good for 10 years after date of issue);
      • Learner Permit with photograph (from the U.S. or any of its territories);
      • Work Identification with photograph.
    2. Income Documentation. You can satisfy this requirement using the following:
      • Pay stub(s) (minimum 30 days);
      • Unemployment award letter;
      • W-2;
      • Bank statement (reflecting salary or reduction in salary);
      • Letter from employer (reflecting income level, decrease in income level or layoff);
      • Form 1040 as filed with IRS;
      • Self-declaration statement (can be used if self-employed or if other documents cannot be produced).
    3. Proof of Tenancy. You can satisfy this requirement using the following:
      • First page of current lease;
      • Utility bill showing address;
      • Government-issued award letter
      • Current identification.

    If you are not able to scan or upload your documents, you can bring them to a partnering agency to upload and update your application.

    If you need additional help sending in documents please contact us at Marin County Rental Assistance or (415) 473-2223 (CA Relay 711).

  • 11. My application is submitted; when will I get a response?
    For an application to be considered complete, both the landlord and tenant will need to submit their respective application. If a landlord is unwilling or unable to complete their application, it may be possible for the tenant to receive direct assistance. Complete applications will be prioritized based on the following factors:
    • At risk of eviction
      • Papers filed with the Courts
      • Notice from landlord in writing
    • AMI (Area Median Income)
      • 30% and less
      • 50% and less
      • 80% and less
    • Rent
      • Back rent owed after April 2020
      • Hasn’t received assistance before
      • Borrowed money – future rent
      • Increased expenses due to COVID – future rent
    • Date of application

    Eligible applicants with complete applications (both tenant and landlord have submitted) can expect to receive assistance within 2 months of submitting.

  • 12. I already applied and still haven't received a response. Does this mean my application was not eligible?

    No. We contact everyone on our list and would have let you know if your application was not eligible. If you already completed intake with our staff, submitted your documents and you are waiting for a response, this means your application is in progress.

  • 13. I already received rental assistance from your program in the past. Can I apply again?

    No, the rental assistance program is closed to new applications.

  • 14. I need assistance for current/future months, not back rent. Can you help with that?

    Currently, unpaid back rent is being prioritized, according to the priority levels described in questions 3 and 12.

  • 15. Can I be evicted for not paying rent right now?

    State law extends eviction protections until June 30,2022 for qualifying applications received by March 31. But eviction protections do not extend for non-payment of rent after March 31. That means tenants must pay rent and utility bills beginning April 1. You can find more information, and a blank declaration form, on the County’s COVID Renter Protections webpage. For any legal questions, please contact Legal Aid of Marin at (415) 492-0230 (extension 102). You can use this worksheet to determine if you have met the 25% payment.

  • 16. My landlord won't apply for the program. What do I do?

    Under updated state law, a tenant can still receive rental assistance if their landlord does not apply.

  • 17. My landlord wants more information. What can I share with them?

    You may direct your landlord to the Marin County Rental Assistance webpage for more information. For specific questions, they may contact the Rental Assistance Team by email or at (415) 473-2223.

  • 18. My landlord wants proof that I signed up for the program. What can I show them?

    After submitting your completed application, you will receive an automatic email response confirming your application has been submitted successfully. You can forward this letter to your landlord as proof of application, although this is not really necessary. This letter does not prove that your application has been approved but will confirm that you have submitted your application successfully.

  • 19. My landlord has charged me late fees. Can rental assistance be applied to that?

    AB 832, the new State eviction moratorium and rental assistance law, prohibits landlords from charging a late fee if the tenant has provided a signed declaration form stating their inability to pay rent due to COVID-19. If you have been charged late fees after providing this declaration form, you may benefit from the assistance of legal counsel. You may wish to contact Legal Aid of Marin at (415) 492-0230 (extension 102) for more information.

  • 20. I'm currently unhoused. Can your program help me?
    This funding may be used for housing costs to support housing stability (such as funding to cover a security deposit), but it will depend on funding availability after unpaid back rent payments have been made. If you are unhoused and are looking for urgent housing resources, please contact the following organizations:
  • 21. I have a Section 8 voucher but am struggling to pay my portion of rent. Can your program help me?

    Households that receive housing assistance from vouchers, whether those are Housing choice vouchers, project-based vouchers, or other Section 8 vouchers, and who have experienced a loss of income should recertify their income with the Marin Housing Authority to ensure housing costs continue to be covered: (415) 491-2525, or email Rental Assistance Team. Voucher holders and residents of public housing who meet one or both of this criteria may apply:
    a. One or more individuals within the household has qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in household income, or
    b. Incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due, directly or indirectly, to the COVID-19 outbreak.

    Please note, tenants who experienced a loss of income due to COVID will be required to demonstrate that they have received an interim recertification. If they experienced increased expenses related to COVID they will be asked to verify. Households are ineligible for assistance if they receive Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (TBRA), Rapid Re-Housing (RRH) assistance, or other income-based rental assistance where a certification of no income will allow the assistance to cover the full cost of the household’s rent.

    Households in subsidized housing that does not include housing voucher support, such as Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) subsidized housing and other state and federally subsidized housing, are eligible for assistance for the tenant portions of rental arrears. Lessors of subsidized housing may only apply for rental assistance to cover the tenant portion of rental arrears.

  • 22. If I borrowed money to pay back rent, am I eligible for assistance?

    No, the Marin County Rental Assistance program is paying rental arrears from April 2020 through March 2022 only.

For more information about the eviction moratorium, visit the County’s COVID-19 Renter Protections webpage.