A Utility Assistance Program for Tenants

Posted by Stephen Marshall on

The Community Action Council has obtained funding to help qualifying tenants pay their utilities. If utilities are included in the rent, the funds would be paid directly to the landlord. Check out the video to find out the details, plus how to handle tenants who are violating their leases but don't qualify for an emergency eviction.

Utility Assistance for Tenants

The Community Action Council has a program that might allow your tenants to get money to pay their utilities. They operate a federally-funded utility assistance program called LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program), which  is currently extended through at least April 30, 2020. They will provide funding to income eligible households facing eviction that pay utilities as part of their rent. For qualifying households with utilities included in their rent, the utility benefit is paid directly to the landlord.

The program is set to expire on April 30, 2020, so tenants need to act quickly to take advantage. For more information, you may reach Sharon Price at sharon.price@commaction.org or 859.233.4600, extension 1213. 

    Noncompliance Evictions 

    I mentioned in a previous video that the Governor has created a way for landlords to apply for an exemption to his no-eviction policy if you have a tenant who is (1) engaging in dangerous criminal activity or (2) a serious threat to public health.

      As of today, the Kentucky Supreme Court has not decided how to handle those cases. I’ll give further updates once I get them. I’m told the Justices were supposed to meet this week to discuss the matter.

      But what about tenants who are violating the lease, but would not qualify for an Emergency Eviction? My advice is to give a notice that:
        1. Specifies what the tenant is doing to violate the lease, making sure to give the who, what, when, where, and how;
        2. Informs the tenant about what the Governor has said about complying with leases; and
        3. Tells the tenant that a failure to correct the violation will be grounds for his eviction when the state of emergency is lifted.

        I would not put any 14-day or 30-day language in the notice at this time.

        Non-paying tenants

        As I mentioned previously, I would not give Notices to Pay or Vacate until June. I think those are disfavored by the Governor’s office AND you’re still going to need to give one in June in order to potentially file your non-payment evictions in July. Instead, give non-paying tenants the Notice that I created that outlines the facts of the Governor’s Executive Order.

        You can get that Notice for $100.00. Just shoot an e-mail to smarshall@tripleslaw.com with your billing address. 

        Upcoming Webinars

        I'm partnering with the Louisville Apartment Association and the Greater Lexington Apartment Association to put on three Fair Housing Webinars. The first one was earlier today, and the feedback has been excellent. The upcoming schedule is:

        May 5 - Assistance Animals

        May 19 - Kentucky's Domestic Violence Law

        Click here for more information or to register. Hope you can make it. At $25.00 per webinar, these are a tremendous value. 

        Generally, it looks like things are starting to open up. Keep an eye on how things develop in Tennessee and Georgia. If things go well there, I think Kentucky will open up soon after. 

        Take care and, if you need help with this stuff or want a COVID-19 Notice for your non-paying tenants, contact your friendly neighborhood attorney. 

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