Worcester’s New Landlord-Tenant Guarantee Program is Finally Here!

In May the City of Worcester launched a Landlord-Tenant Guarantee (formerly known as Insurance Against Homelessness) modeled after similar programs successfully implemented in Washington, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and other states.

Your apartment will be safer than this congregate shelter, which is typical of how Massachusetts has tended to attempt to deal with homelessness. The Landlord-Tenant Guarantee is a “Housing First” model. CC-BY KOMU News Missouri.

Worcester landlords take note: If you typically avoid renting to riskier tenants, despite having vacancies, MassLandlords now has a solution!  (A similar program is also available in Boston. If you don’t live in Worcester or Boston, we hope this program will spread to your city soon!)

Worcester landlords who rent to a previously homeless individual can receive a guarantee for up to 24 months. The guarantee will pay up to $10,000 for any unexpected costs due to nonpayment, property damage or legal fees.  You heard it!   You choose to rent to a tenant with housing barriers.  If that tenant ultimately doesn’t maintain the tenancy, you’re made whole (up to 10K).

MassLandlords has finally signed the deal! On May 2, MassLandlords signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the City of Worcester, Central Mass. Housing Alliance (CMHA) and the Health Foundation Fund, Inc.

Prospective tenants will be identified by CMHA through its coordinated entry system. You’ll have the final say in who you lease to.   While landlords will be asked to lower their screening criteria in order to house a tenant at risk, you’ll have a dedicated staff person at MassLandlords ready to respond if any tenancy issues occur (complementary helpline access).   Your tenant will have his or her own case manager assigned as well.  All we ask if that you call us early on before any problems escalate.   Tenants will be asked the same.

Research done across the country by MassLandlords has turned up a growing number of similar programs that have led to successful placements.   The vast majority of these placements, typically over 85%, have not required any payouts due to nonpayment, property damage or legal fees for two years or more.   We and our partners are making this $10,000 guarantee available to reduce your risk and make it easiest to house a previously homeless tenant.

Typical units that will work best will be one-bedrooms.  Rent maximums will apply.  Landlords are asked to waive credit, non-violent CORI, and housing history on rental application.   All of your other regular screening criteria will still apply.

This is a chance to get your units rented, while doing the right thing – and with reduced risk. MassLandlords will have your back if issues come up.

Want to know more?

Please contact MassLandlords via email below or phone at 774-314-1896.

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