Polk County landlords get financial help for tenants past-due due to COVID-19

Help is on the way for landlords whose tenants have not paid rent because of COVID-19. Polk County just got $9 million in federal money to throw them a lifeline.

Many tenants have fallen behind on their rent because they have lost their jobs or had their hours cut due to the pandemic.

In Polk County alone, an estimated 20,000 renters are in arrears. As a result, life has been a struggle for many landlords as well.

"It puts them in debt, and it puts me in debt, because if they don’t have any monies from the rents, I don’t receive any management fees," D.J. Delgado told FOX 13.

Delgado, the owner of Bosun Properties in North Lakeland, manages close to 170 rental units.

"It has been tough," she told FOX 13. "I have one landlord who pretty much had to sell two of his properties to be able to survive."

Starting Wednesday, Polk County is going to begin accepting applications from landlords who are owed back rent.

They may be able to get up to $7,000 in back rent for each tenant.

However, the tenant has to provide paperwork documenting that they are in financial hot water because of COVID-19.

Applications are going to open Wednesday, February 17, and close on Monday, March 1.

"So it is only going to be 11 days that it will be open," warned Tamara West, Polk County’s Housing and Neighborhood Development manager.

Applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Details are expected to be on the county’s website, https://polk-county.net/, starting Tuesday afternoon.