Some counties and agencies pair their Rent Well courses with a Landlord Incentive Fund. A Landlord Incentive Fund is funding that provides landlords with the assurance that if a Rent Well graduate leaves their rental unit within the first year and owes unpaid rent, damages, or legal fees beyond what the security deposit covers, the program will pay the landlord to cover those additional costs up to a certain amount.
In cases where a guarantee can be paired with the course, in order to access this type of funding a landlord must register the guarantee within 30-days of moving the graduate into the unit. This process is very simple and includes providing a brief application and copies of the signed lease and move-in inspection/condition report.
Since the program began in 2009, less than 1% of landlords have needed to access the funds.
What Fund is Available in My Area?
Landlord Incentive Fund amounts and coverage area are based on localized resources tied to where the individual graduated the Rent Well course. Some funds are covered by the agencies that provide the Rent Well classes. In other cases, county funds are dedicated to this additional support. Additionally, within the state of Oregon, the Housing and Community Services Department has a dedicated statewide fund that eligible Rent Well graduates can utilize.
Below, is a brief breakdown of the areas and counties that have Rent Well programs and the Landlord Incentive Funds. However, you are more than welcome to reach out the Rent Well Program directly to help navigate this system for you.
Rent Well is taught in 17+ counties across Oregon. All courses are paired with Oregon Housing Community Service’s (OHCS) Rent Guarantee Program. The Rent Guarantee Program allows a landlord to access up to $5000 per eligible tenancy if needed. Eligible tenants are:
- Rent Well graduates who have found housing within 18 months of completing the course,
- Were low-income at the time of taking the class,
- Have at least one barrier to housing, and
- Have never had a prior landlord access this type of funding before.
These funds can be used if a tenant leaves the rental unit within the first year and owes for damages beyond normal wear and tear, damages due to pets or assistance animals, disposal fees, eviction costs, and unpaid rent.
The Rent Guarantee Program can be utilized anywhere in the state of Oregon. However, OHCS works with several regional agencies that register and administer this funding. Because of those partnerships, OHCS allows regional providers to set their coverage areas.
The majority of the agencies providing Rent Well classes allow their graduates to register their guarantee anywhere in the state. The agencies that do have geographical restrictions are: …
- Clackamas County Social Services Department – Limited to Clackamas County. Also, does provide a smaller landlord guarantee fund for eligible graduates whose income level is between 60-80% AMI.
- Community Action of Washington County – Limited to Washington County
- Community Connections of NE Oregon – Limited to Baker, Grant, Union, and Wallowa Counties
- Community Services Consortium – Limited to Linn, Benton, and Lincoln Counties
- United Community Action Network – Limited to Douglas and Josephine County
- Yamhill Community Action Partnership – Limited to Yamhill County
Washington State does not currently have a statewide guarantee specifically connected with tenant education courses. However, there are a few smaller, regional incentive funds available.
Clark County does have a Landlord Guarantee Fund that is paired with their classes. This fund is overseen by SHARE and is for an amount up to $1000 beyond the eligible tenant’s security deposit. Eligible tenants are individuals who have graduated the Rent Well course within 18 months, they were at 60% area median income or below at the time of taking the class, they stated they had at least one barrier to housing, and they had never accessed the fund before.
These funds can be used if a tenant leaves the rental unit within the first year and owes for damages beyond normal wear and tear, court or attorney costs related to an eviction, and unpaid rent.
Because these funds come directly from Clark County the funds need to remain within Clark County, so the graduate can only move within the county limits to remain eligible for this guarantee.
The other localized guarantee within Washington State is through the Veteran Integration Program at Housing Opportunities of SW Washington, in Cowlitz County. Their landlord guarantee fund is for graduates from their classes and is up to $650. Their regional coverage area is limited to Cowlitz County.
Registering a Guarantee, requesting a Payout, and becoming a Rent Well Preferred Property
We make it easy for you to confirm a potential tenant’s eligibility, register a guarantee, request a payout if needed, and advertise your units to Rent Well graduates. You can do all that and more through our secure online portal. Get started here