Tenant Information

The application portal is available now for landlords or tenants to apply.

Either Landlord or Tenant may initiate an application. Further, the landlord must agree to accept payment from Rutherford County Relief Fund for past due rent, fees or future rent obligations. It is highly recommended that both the landlord and tenant participate in the process. Should the landlord elect to not participate, the tenant will receive the funds to pay for rental /utility obligations.

The application can be completed online via the portal  or by calling the Rutherford County Rent Relief Helpline at 615-334-4777 and speaking with a program representative or by contacting one of the local Community Partners that can assist with the application process and document uploads.  Please review the How To Apply document that provides step by step and screen shots of the application.

Please check your Spam/Junk Mail for emails from Neighborly Portal, your application may be pending additional information.

    As part of the Program application, all tenants and household members will be required to submit the following documentation required to perform the eligibility review:

    • Valid government issued identification for the Applicant
    • Copy signed lease OR a written agreement with two rent receipts was uploaded for address listed on application. If assistance is requested for months that fall under multiple lease agreements for the same property, include all applicable lease documents.
    • Notices of late rent payment or notice to evict, if applicable
    • Copies of past due utility bills, if utility assistance is being requested
    • Documentation of financial hardship due to COVID-19:  Documentation could include items such as letter from employer noting reduction in hours, description of loss of self-employment income, or other relevant documents demonstrating loss of income or significant costs incurred due to COVID-19.
    • If anyone in your household applied for, or received any rental and/or utility assistance from any source (local, state, federal, private), provide all applicable award letters and checks for housing assistance.
    • Income Documentation for all household members above the age of 18 (or head and/or co-head of household if all members are under 18) must be provided from one of the two options below:
    1. If you have completed your household’s federal income taxes for 2020, you will need to provide one of the following:
    • Filed 2020 IRS Form 1040
    • Filed 2020 IRS Form 1040-SR
    1. If you have not yet completed your federal income taxes for 2020 OR you are not required to file a federal income tax return for 2020, you will need to provide all of the applicable income documentation under one of these two categories:

    Acceptable annual income documentation:

    • 2020 IRS Form W2
    • Current Social Security Benefits letter or 2020 Form SSA-1099 (including benefits paid to minors)
    • 2020 Form 1099-R
    • 2020 IRS Form 1099-MISC for contractor income

    Other acceptable income documentation:

    • Check stubs from your employer for the previous 60 days prior to application
    • Current unemployment benefits letter including gross benefit amount
    • Current letter from your employer verifying gross wages (pay rate, hours/week, pay date)
    • Current Pension/Retirement Benefit letter (if applicable)
    • Current Annuity Payment letter
    • Current Interest Statement 1099- INT
    • Current Dividend Statement 1099- DIV
    • Certification of Income Form (for Self- Employed or Cash Income)
    • Zero Income Form

    Required documentation must be submitted to determine eligibility for the assistance. Some of the required documentation types can be satisfied through multiple options. For specific questions, you may call and speak to a representative who can guide you through this process or contact one of the community partner agencies for questions about documentation.

    Tenants who are unable to access the online application should contact the Help Line for assistance or contact one the local agencies that have trained personnel for application assistance.  With appointments, they will allow access to a computer and/or scanner to upload your documents.

    • If you receive assistance through the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV/Section 8) or other subsidized/income based housing, you may qualify, however overlapping costs already covered by other federal sources are not eligible.
      • In addition, HCV/Section 8) program participants do NOT have to report assistance from the COVID-19 Rent Relief program as income. If households receive federal assistance other than the HCV/Section 8 program, the administrators of those programs will determine if this assistance should be reported as income.
    • If you receive assistance from other sources, the COVID-19 Rent Relief program will not cover expenses that have already been paid or will be paid. This program is designed to provide relief for specific costs needed to prevent or avoid eviction or loss of utilities.
    • NOTE: Check your Spam or Junk Folder regularly for Emails from Neighborly
    • Once the application is complete, an applicant may monitor the status of their application through the portal dashboard or by calling 615-334-4777 and speaking with a Helpdesk representative.
    • An applicant will be notified by a program liaison if required documentation is missing from an application.
    • To view status of application:
      1. Once you have logged into the portal, select the word “View” under the “Grants” section. “View” displays in blue font. Be sure you are selecting the Tenant: Rental & Utility Assistance Case ID. (see image below)

      1. Once you have accessed the application, you will see a grey header bar. At the bottom, right corner of this header bar, you will see the status of your application. (See image below.)

    • Status:
      •  “Application Submitted” Congratulations you have taken the initial step in the ERAP process.
      • “Application Under Review” The application is in the first review step of the process and is being reviewed for eligibility (within 2-7 business days after submission)
      • “Pending Applicant Information” Please see the instructions provided here 

    Please understand that the status may change as the application progresses through the eligibility determination process. Please address and upload any missing documents as quickly as possible.

      • “Pending Landlord Information”- Your landlord has supporting documentation that needs to be uploaded into their application (timeframe depends on Landlord)
      • “Application Under Final Review” once all documentation has been uploaded, the application has moved to the next step of the review process  (8-15 days after submission of requested documents) and has sufficient documentation for 3rd step in process
      • “Final Review in Progress” (16-20 days after submission of requested documents)
      • “Approved Pending Landlord” Landlord has not completed an application (timeframe depends on landlord)
      • “Approved Pending Payment” (7-10 days after Final Review) Tenant must respond to the Approval Email in order for prospective payment to be released.
      • Paid (14-21 days after Approved pend payment Status) Timeframe is dependent on timely response to Approval Email

    Please read the email you received carefully. It contains information pertinent to your case following an initial review. Please refer to the descriptions in Next Steps: Providing Additional Application Information for documentation requirements.

    • Past due rent incurred from March 13, 2020 to present.  (Up to total 18 months maximum assistance)
    • Up to 3 months future rent may be eligible to keep tenant stably housed.  If a tenant is applying for future rent they will be required to recertify every 3 months. See total months maximum limits of assistance.
    • Up to a total 18 months in maximum assistance either past due or combination of past due and prospective (future rent).

    Review instructions here 

    • Yes. Past due electricity, gas, water, sewer, and trash collection expenses are eligible under this program.  Internet Services and Cable television are not eligible.  Further, tenants who are current on rent payments but have past due utility expenses may apply for only utility assistance to cover up to 18 months in past due expenses incurred back to March 13, 2020.
    • NOTE: Up to a total 18 months in maximum assistance (rent and/or utilities)
    • A tenant household is eligible for up to a total of 18 months cumulative assistance.  This can be a combination of past due rent and up to 3 months future rent at any one time.  If a tenant has not reached the 18 month maximum assistance, they can recertify for up to 3 months at a time for future rental assistance.
    • The program is designed for payment to go directly to the landlord.  If the landlord does not participate in the program or apply for assistance, the payment in limited circumstances can go to the tenant for payment of rent and/or past due utilities.
    • The application submission process to payment can take up to 45-60 days.  However, this may vary depending on the time needed to receive and verify all required documentation.

    No, the funds provided are not considered income to the tenant and will not be taxed.  The payment will not affect income for purposes of determining eligibility for other Federal Government assistance or benefits.

    Each eviction case is unique and special circumstances can be eligible.  Please contact one of the partnering agencies for assistance in your case.

    Yes, if you qualify based on the eligibility requirements, you can apply for future rent payments of up to 3 months.  Every three months, you may be able to recertify and receive additional assistance up to the maximum 18 months or until funding is exhausted, whichever date is earlier.

    • Dial 615-334-4777.  Helpline hours are from 8:00am-4:30 central standard time Monday-Friday and on Saturday, 9AM-Noon.
    • Contact one of the eight agencies listed here
    • Because funding for this program is limited, Rutherford County encourages all interested applicants to apply as soon as possible.
    •  Rutherford County began serving applicants under the COVID-19 Rent Relief program on March 8, 2021 and will continue until all funds have been reserved or expended or until the term allowed for the program funds to be distributed has expired.

    Ineligible applicants will be provided an opportunity to appeal the decision. Such applicants should follow the process outlined in the application denial letter.

    The following Terms and Conditions will be required by the Tenant to certify and accept at the end of the Application process.

    By submitting this Application for Rutherford County’s (the “County”) COVID-19 Rental Relief Program (the “Program”), I, the Tenant applying hereunder, hereby certify that:

     

    1. Binding Contract. I am hereby entering into a binding contract with the individual listed as Tenant in this Application and the County, but only to the extent that the County determines, in its sole discretion, that Tenant is eligible for the Program (“Agreement”). This Agreement is not binding on the County until the County approves the financial assistance.
    2. Tenant and Unit Information.
      1. I am the Tenant named in this Application and I am one of the persons that is currently occupying the Unit for whom assistance is being requested and I have occupied and will occupy the Unit for all periods for which assistance is being requested.
      2. Landlord and I entered into a residential lease for the housing unit specified within this Application (the “Unit”).
      3. The Unit is an address within Rutherford County Tennessee.
      4. The information provided in this Application regarding the terms of the lease with Landlord, the rent amount, and any utility amounts are true and accurate. I will provide a copy of my lease or rent agreement to the County or, if there is no current written lease, I will provide a rent receipt for the two (2) most recent complete months that I paid.
    3. Assistance Payments. I certify that I am in need of assistance to pay the arrears of rental assistance that have accumulated and are owed under the lease, to pay current or future rental payment(s), and/or to pay the arrearages that have accumulated for utility payments that are owed to Landlord or a Utility Provider.
      1. I understand any rental assistance will be paid directly to my Landlord and any utility assistance will be paid directly to my Utility Provider.
      2. Payments made under the Program for late rent and fees may only cover rent that became due after March 13, 2020 and may not cover any fees incurred prior to that date. I am not requesting assistance for any amount that became due prior to March 13, 2020.
      3. I acknowledge that in no case am I entitled to a payment for a month that I did not or do not reside at the Unit. I shall return any such payment to the County immediately
      4. I shall not apply for or receive any private or federal assistance that is duplicative of the assistance provided under the Program.
      5. I shall repay any duplicate payment or overage to the County immediately.
      6. Payments will be applied to my account(s) by Landlord and Utility Provider(s) as directed by the County.
    4. Application of Payments. If I am eligible for assistance under the Program, the County shall provide Landlord a breakdown of the amount(s) of assistance being provided in a form similar to the one below. Such amount(s) of assistance, to be subsequently provided, are hereby incorporated into this Agreement by this reference.
      1. Late Rent and Fees Owed to Landlord.

    The Amount of Rent owed by Tenant each month under the lease.

    The Total Amount of Late Rent Owed being provided to Landlord on the Tenant’s behalf.

    The Total Amount of Fees Owed being provided to Landlord on the Tenant’s behalf for late fees, interest, penalties, and legal and court fees.

      1. Current and/or Future Rent Payments.

    The number of months of current and/or future rent payments (which may not exceed three months), the amount of each payment, and the total amount Landlord will receive on Tenant’s behalf.

      1. Utility Arrearage Payments.

    The Total Amount of Utility Arrearage Owed being provided to Landlord to cover landlord-provided utilities.

    The Total Amount of Utility Arrearage Owed being provided to other Utility Providers on Tenant’s behalf.

      1. Date Tenant Shall Resume Making Payments.

    The County shall provide both parties the date Tenant must resume making rental and utility payments.

    If Tenant is unable to make this payment, Tenant may reapply for the Program, but assistance is subject to certain Limits on Assistance

    1. Limits on Assistance. Combining payments made under the Program, I may not receive more than fifteen (15) months of cumulative assistance. However, if, at the time of application, I am 15 months or more behind in rent or utility payments, then I may receive up to eighteen (18) months of cumulative assistance. Utility assistance may only be applied toward arrearage, not future payments.
    2. Recapture of Funds. If payment is received in excess of what is owed, the Landlord/Utility shall immediately return the excess funds to the County. If payment made directly to Tenant, the Tenant will immediately return the excess funds to the County.  I shall mail all refund payments to the County at the below address in the form of a check, cashier’s check, or money order made payable to the Rutherford County Tennessee. Payment must reference Tenant’s name and Case number.

                  Rutherford County Finance Department

                  ATTN:  Rutherford County COVID-19 Rent Relief Program

                  1 Public SQ. STE 201, Historic Courthouse

                  Murfreesboro, TN  37130

    1. Tenant Obligations.
      1. If the written lease or oral agreement is expired or will expire during the period that assistance under the Program will cover, I agree to the extension of the terms of the prior lease at least through the end of the final month for which an assistance payment is made under the Program.
      2. I certify that there has been no material violation of the lease by me or any other household member, other than late rent, if applicable.
      3. I shall maintain and assure all other household members maintain all other Tenant obligations under the lease not covered by this Agreement.
      4. I shall inform the County within three (3) days if I receive a notice to vacate the Unit, any utilities are disconnected, or if my household no longer occupies the Unit.
      5. I shall remain responsible for all other charges and bills that are not covered under the Program.
      6. I acknowledge that nothing in this certification waives Landlord’s right to file an eviction based on a nonmonetary default of the lease by me or any other household member.
      7. I understand that Landlord may not pursue a judgment for possession or damages for any future nonpayment of rent or nonrenewal of the lease for sixty (60) days after the final month for which an assistance payment is made under this Agreement.
      8. I understand that if I am deemed ineligible for the Program, I have fourteen (14) days from such notice of ineligibility to appeal the decision by following the instructions on the denial letter.
      9. I shall resume making rental and utility payments as of the next due date following the last payment that is covered under this Agreement. If I am unable to make this payment, I may reapply for the Program, but assistance is subject to the Limits on Assistance above.
      10. I acknowledge that all information collected, assembled, or maintained by the Rutherford County COVID-19 Rental Relief program pertaining to this certification, except personally identifying information and records made confidential by law or court order, are subject to the Tennessee Public Information Act and must provide citizens, public agencies, and other interested parties with reasonable access to all records pertaining to this Contract subject to and in accordance with the Tennessee Public Information Act.
      11. I/We understand that if the Landlord and/or Utility Provider does not elect to participate, assistance payment may be made directly to me/us as the legally responsible party(ies) for the unpaid bill or future payment, and the payment must only be used for eligible costs as identified in this application. Use of payment received for any purpose other than the rent or utility assistance requested is subject to criminal penalty.
      12. I/We will not seek to obtain rental or utility assistance in the future for the same months of rental arrears, rent, utility arrears, or utilities covered by this assistance, and if I/we do receive such assistance I will report it to Landlord and/or Utility Provider using the contact information in my/our lease or utility bill statement, and to the Rutherford County Rental Relief Program. If I receive an assistance payment directly, I/we will repay any duplicate assistance that I/we receive to the Rutherford County Finance Department within 10 calendar days.
    2. Judicial Enforcement. I, Landlord, or the County may judicially enforce this Agreement.
    3. Headings. The headings herein are inserted only for convenience of reference and in no way define, limit, or describe the scope or intent of this Agreement, or of any particular provision thereof, or the proper construction thereof.
    4. Severability. The invalidity of any clause, part or provision of this Agreement will not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this Agreement.
    5. Governing Law. This Agreement is governed by the laws of the State of Tennessee and, where applicable, laws of the United States of America. The venue shall be Rutherford County, Tennessee.

                  By submitting this Application, I certify that all information I provided to the County is true, accurate, and complete, and if requested, I shall provide further documentation to support any representations.

                  I further acknowledge that falsification of documents or any material falsehoods or omissions in the Application, including knowingly seeking duplicative benefits, is subject to state and federal criminal penalties. I understand that I am particularly put on notice that Title 18, Section 1001 of the United States Code states that a person is guilty of a felony for knowingly and willfully making false or fraudulent statement to any U.S. Department or Agency. Further, Title 13, Chapter 23, Section 133 of the Tennessee Code Annotated states that it is unlawful for any person to knowingly make, utter, or publish a false statement of substance for the purpose of influencing the agent to allow participation in any of its programs and such violation is a Class E felony.

    Authorized Signature

    Once an application is submitted, it can only be "Re-opened" by an Administrator. You are not finished until you receive the message “Application Submitted”.  Also note: please check your Spam email folder if you have not received any emails from Neighborly.