Rent Assistance and How to Apply

STATE OF CALIFORNIA RENTAL ASSISTANCE – The California COVID-19 Rent Relief Program is currently accepting applications. Depending on where your rental property is located, the application process will be administered through either your city, county, or the state. For additional information on when, where, and how to apply, go to right away.


SB 91 Forms and When to Use Them

Click on the section title to access the forms

SB 91 was signed by Gov. Newsom, officially extending the eviction moratorium to June 30, 2021, with future extensions possible. Here is what you need to know and the new forms that you will need to serve.


Housing providers must serve this One-Time “Notice from the State of California” to all tenants who have missed one or more rental payments since 9/1/2020.


Housing providers should serve the NEW 15-Day Notice for unpaid rent, along with a new, informational “Notice from the State of California” and the Updated Declaration of COVID-19 RELATED FINANCIAL DISTRESS FORM (located below) each month.


Tenants need to continue paying a minimum of 25% of their rent, but the deadline for that payment is now June 30, 2021. Therefore, a tenant does not have to pay ANY rent until June 30, 2021, as long as they sign and return the Updated Declaration of Financial Distress form each month. Click on the title above to download the form.

Housing providers are not permitted to deny applicants whom they SUSPECT have unpaid rent during the Pandemic. Please use the newest AOA Application to Rent – dated 1/2021. Click HERE to access the updated application.

Housing providers are not allowed to use security deposits or any rent payments to cover past due rent without written permission from the tenant.

For rent due from March 1, 2020, to August 31, 2020 (the protected period) that was converted from past due rent to debt – the date that housing providers may begin the Small Claims court process has been pushed from March 1, 2021, to August 2, 2021. Also, late fees cannot be added.

The California Rental Assistance Fund has been created to provide assistance to housing providers and tenants. This program will prioritize assistance to households who are below 50% of the Median Family Income (MFI). Next are households in communities that have been highly impacted by COVID-19. The third tier will be households who are below 80% of the MFI. You can find your county’s MFI HERE.

The application process will open up in March, so more information will be provided as details are announced.


If your property is in a city where there is a local eviction moratorium that pre-dates the California state moratorium, you may be asking what should you serve and what should you NOT serve. The best answer is to check the laws of the city where your property is located. In general terms, it is important to serve the SB 91 One-Time Notice, a Declaration of Financial Distress for each month that is owed, and a Notice of Balance Due. Working with attorneys, we have assembled this packet of forms for your use.

Mailing a clear record of what is due is important for two reasons:

  1. To show that the tenant received clear documentation of their specific debt.
  2. Improve the likelihood of collecting this debt through government subsidies or other sources.



Per Civil Code 1179.05.5(d), if your tenant’s household income is at least 130% of the median income in the county where the property is located, you must serve them this notice to inform them of their obligation to provide documentation supporting their claim of COVID-19 financial distress. Find your county’s Median Family Income (AMI) HERE

California Department of Real Estate Forms 

While AOA has worked tirelessly to provide you with the forms required, we want to make sure you have the link to the California Department of Real Estate list of forms. Their forms are basic – AOA’s forms are more extensive. However, they do provide copies in the following languages: English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. If your tenant’s lease was negotiated in a different language other than English, a version in that language must be provided.

California Court Information

If you need information on court closures, delays, and fees, Click HERE for a list by county.


2/4/21 ORANGE COUNTY has launched an Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program as of 2/1/2021.  Click HERE for more details about the county program as well as for the cities of Anaheim, Santa Ana, and Irvine which have separate rental assistance programs.

2/4/21 CITY OF SAN BERNARDINO EVICTION PROTECTION PROGRAM is accepting applications through 6/30/2022 or until funds are exhausted. All renters in the City of San Bernardino who meet the eligibility requirements may receive onetime rental assistance up to $3,500 from this program. Eligible households can receive assistance to cover past due rents. Funds are paid directly to the landlord.

1/19/2021 CITY OF SANTA MONICA EXPANDS EVICTION MORATORIUM Santa Monica’s eviction moratorium for non-payment of residential rent is extended to March 31, 2021, and may be extended further. For residential tenants, rent due April through September 2020 and February through March 2021 can be deferred under the City’s eviction moratorium. Rent that becomes due October through January is covered by AB 3088. Rent due March 14, 2020, through September 2020 must be paid by October 1, 2021. Rent due February through March 2021 must be paid by April 1, 2022. Protections for reasons other than nonpayment, such as nuisance, unauthorized occupants, or denial of entry to a landlord, remain in effect. They expire on March 31, 2021, unless extended.  Santa Monica does offer free mediation services to tenants and landlords. You can request these services HERE.

HUD Suggested CDC Fact Sheet to Distribute | What you should know about COVID-19 to protect yourself and others

5/22/20 PASADENA REQUIRED NOTICE TO TENANTS | This written notice must be provided within 30 days of the ordinance to each rental unit or the landlord may conspicuously post and prominently display this written notice in the common areas of the property during the local emergency. Don’t delay – take action today!

*5/8/20 LOS ANGELES UPDATED FORM | COVID-19 Renter Protections Fact Sheet | The COVID-19 Renter Protections Fact Sheet (Protections Notice) is required to be given to each residential tenant by the landlord per Ordinance 186606. The Protections Notice must be given to tenants by May 27, 2020. Additionally, effective May 12, 2020, a landlord must also include the Protections Notice when serving a tenant a notice to pay rent or quit, a notice to terminate a residential tenancy, a notice to perform covenant or quit, or any eviction notice served during the local emergency period and for 12 months after the expiration of the local emergency period. The Protections Notice must be in the language predominately used by the tenant. [RENTAL PROTECTIONS PAGE] [TEMPORARY PROTECTION OF TENANTS DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC (pdf)]

5/1/20 NOTICE OF MISSED RENTAL PAYMENT |  You may print this document directly or “copy & paste” onto your own letterhead to make edits.  Notice with a breakdown of unpaid amounts.  Makes it clear, per the current eviction ban, that it is not a notice to quit.  However, it reminds the tenants the rents are not forgiven.  Has suggestion to email the governor to ask for Rental Vouchers.

4/9/20 UPDATED Letter to Tenants About Unpaid Rent |  Send to your tenants to open up the line of communication regarding upcoming rent payments.  You may print this document directly or “copy & paste” onto your own letterhead to make edits.  If your property is in the city of Los Angeles, please see below for additional Los Angeles specific form.

*4/9/20 REQUIRED SANTA MONICA FORM | Beginning April 24, 2020, landlords must provide tenants with notice of the eviction moratorium as follows:

  • Landlords must either post notice at their property or mail (or email) notice to tenants;
  • Landlords must include notice of the moratorium when serving tenants with any notice to pay rent or quit, or other notices given to tenants as part of an eviction process;
  • Landlords must provide tenants with notice of the moratorium in the event that they file an unlawful detainer action in court;
    The required notice language is provided in the moratorium.

3/30/20 Payment Plan for Past Due Rent |  Use this agreement to solidify your payment plans with your tenants.  REMINDER:  State/local moratorium supersedes any payment agreements. Payment agreements are entered in “good faith” between landlord and tenant, but may not be enforceable until after such time indicated by state/local moratorium.



* also listed on AOA Landlord’s Resource: Coronavirus (COVID-19) AOA page