Small Property Owner Assistance Program 

The Small Residential Property Owner Program application period is open from Thursday, October 15 through Sunday, November 29.

Application Questions? Contact: PropertyOwnerGrants@smcgov.org

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

PROGRAM OVERVIEW QUESTIONS

What is the Small Property Owners Assistance Program?


The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors has dedicated $2 million to establish a grant program for small-scale residential rental property owners in the County who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.




What are the grant amounts?


The amount of each grant is based on demonstrated lost rental income during the period of April 1, 2020 through August 31, 2020 for a qualifying unit and, therefore, actual grant amounts will vary. However, the maximum grant amount for each qualifying unit is $6,000.




Do the grants need to be repaid?


No. The Small Property Owners Assistance grants do not need to be repaid. However, property owners who do not comply with grant conditions/requirements (explained below) may be subject legal action, including repayment of any grant proceeds received.




Who is eligible for grants?


To qualify for grants, property owners must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Live in San Mateo County, including within any incorporated city or unincorporated area of the County; and
  • Lease/rent residential rental properties in San Mateo County, including within any incorporated city or unincorporated area of the County




What rental units are eligible for grant relief?


To be eligible for relief, rental units must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be located in San Mateo County, including within any incorporated city or unincorporated area of the County; and
  • Was occupied, during the period of April 1 through August 31, 2020, by tenant(s) who had occupied the unit for at least 30 days (short-term and vacation rental properties are not eligible for relief); and
  • The tenant(s) of the unit have paid less than the full rent due during the period of April 1 through August 31, 2020 as a result of COVID-19, resulting in a loss of rental income to the property owner(s); and
  • Must not have code violations or unaddressed public liens




Can a property owner apply for grants for multiple units?


Yes. A property owner can apply for up to 10 eligible units.




What are the rent waiver conditions of the grant?


Grant recipients will be required to discharge back rent owed by tenants of qualifying units equal to the amount of demonstrated rental losses between April 1 and August 31, 2020, up to a maximum discharge amount of $7,500 per qualifying unit. The grant amount is equal to 80 percent of the back-rent discharge amount (up to the maximum of $7,500), up to a maximum grant of $6,000 per qualifying unit ($7,500 – 20% = $6,000). Please see the examples below:

  • Example #1: $5,000 in rental losses, $5,000 back-rent discharge, $4,000 awarded grant, $0 back-rent owed by renter
  • Example #2: $7,500 in rental losses, $7,500 back-rent discharge, $6,000 awarded grant, $0 back-rent owed by renter
  • Example #3: $10,000 in rental losses, $7,500 back-rent discharge, $6,000 awarded grant, $2,500 back-rent continues to be owed by renter




How will grants be paid to qualifying property owners?


Grants will be paid by check issued by San Mateo Credit Union Community Fund and sent to the address listed on the W-9 submitted with the application.





APPLICATION PROCESS QUESTIONS

What if there are multiple owners of a unit?


If an eligible unit is owned by multiple owners, the applicant must have authority to act on behalf of all owners and/or provide written assurance/documentation (e.g. letter or email) from all owners affirming that they will comply with all grant terms, including the required discharge of accrued rent. The applicant must meet all other qualifying criteria to apply.




What if the unit is owned by a legal entity?


If an eligible unit is owned by a legal entity (e.g. corporation or limited liability company), the applicant must have the legal authority to act on behalf of the legal entity and/or provide written assurance/documentation (e.g. letter or email) from someone authorized to act on behalf of the entity affirming that it will comply with all grant terms, including the required discharge of accrued rent. The applicant must meet all other qualifying criteria to apply.




What if the unit is owned by a trust?


If the unit is owned by a trust, the trustee must apply on behalf of the trust. The beneficiary of the trust on whose behalf the trustee is applying must meet all other qualifying criteria in order to be eligible. The trustee must be prepared to provide all required applicant documentation for the qualifying beneficiary of the trust.




Who do I contact with questions?


The California Apartments Association (contact: Rhovy Lyn Antonio) and the San Mateo County Association of Realtors (contact: Gina Zari) will be conducting outreach and education on the program, and will be available to answer questions and provide assistance. Once the application period begins, if you have questions on the application itself, please contact: PropertyOwnerGrants@smcgov.org.




Can I apply in-person?


Due to the legal requirements for social distancing, applications will only be accepted online at https://www.smcstrong.org/. If you need assistance in preparing the application, you can contact California Apartment Association, (contact: Rhovy Lyn Antonio) or San Mateo County Association of Realtors, (contact: Gina Zari) for help.




Will I need to pay an application fee?


No. There is no fee to apply. There are also no processing fees if you receive a grant.




Will the application be available in languages other than English?


Yes, the application will be available in English, Spanish, and Chinese.




How many grants will be given in total?


At the maximum grant amount of $6,000, the $2 million allocated to the Small Property Owners Assistance Program would fund a maximum of 333 grants for individual units. However, as explained above, the actual grant amount(s) will depend on demonstrated lost rental income (up to the maximum grant amount of $6,000).




Can I appeal the decision if I am deemed ineligible or do not receive a grant?


No.





PROPERTY OWNERSHIP QUESTIONS

What if there are multiple owners of a unit?


If an eligible unit is owned by multiple owners, the applicant must have authority to act on behalf of all owners and/or provide written assurance/documentation (e.g. letter or email) from all owners affirming that they will comply with all grant terms, including the required discharge of accrued rent. The applicant must meet all other qualifying criteria to apply.




What if the unit is owned by a legal entity?


If an eligible unit is owned by a legal entity (e.g. corporation or limited liability company), the applicant must have the legal authority to act on behalf of the legal entity and/or provide written assurance/documentation (e.g. letter or email) from someone authorized to act on behalf of the entity affirming that it will comply with all grant terms, including the required discharge of accrued rent. The applicant must meet all other qualifying criteria to apply.




What if the unit is owned by a trust?


If the unit is owned by a trust, the trustee must apply on behalf of the trust. The beneficiary of the trust on whose behalf the trustee is applying must meet all other qualifying criteria in order to be eligible. The trustee must be prepared to provide all required applicant documentation for the qualifying beneficiary of the trust.




Who do I contact with questions?


The California Apartments Association (contact: Rhovy Lyn Antonio) and the San Mateo County Association of Realtors (contact: Gina Zari) will be conducting outreach and education on the program, and will be available to answer questions and provide assistance. Once the application period begins, if you have questions on the application itself, please contact: PropertyOwnerGrants@smcgov.org.




Can I apply in-person?


Due to the legal requirements for social distancing, applications will only be accepted online at https://www.smcstrong.org/. If you need assistance in preparing the application, you can contact California Apartment Association, (contact: Rhovy Lyn Antonio) or San Mateo County Association of Realtors, (contact: Gina Zari) for help.




Will I need to pay an application fee?


No. There is no fee to apply. There are also no processing fees if you receive a grant.




Will the application be available in languages other than English?


Yes, the application will be available in English, Spanish, and Chinese.




How many grants will be given in total?


At the maximum grant amount of $6,000, the $2 million allocated to the Small Property Owners Assistance Program would fund a maximum of 333 grants for individual units. However, as explained above, the actual grant amount(s) will depend on demonstrated lost rental income (up to the maximum grant amount of $6,000).




Can I appeal the decision if I am deemed ineligible or do not receive a grant?


No.





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