THE GOVERNMENT RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
1. TARGET GROUP
Those individuals who rent and who as a result of the state of public emergency is unemployed or is on a reduced income.
- The Landlord shall grant to his tenant a deferral of 40% of the rental payment for three months, beginning 1st April, 2020. Individuals will have 12 months from the date of the deferral to repay the deferred amount, or such longer period as may be agreed by the tenant and the landlord.
- No landlord shall before the expiration of the three-month period:
- evict any tenant who has applied for and obtained a written agreement for deferral; or
- evict any tenant where the landlord has failed to agree to grant the deferral; or
- disconnect any supply of electricity or water connected to the premises being leased by the tenant;
provided that this will not prohibit a landlord from evicting a tenant for any reason permitted under the lease other than for the non-payment of rent.
1. Notwithstanding the above, a tenant who is eligible for a deferral may opt to pay:
- more than 60% of the monthly rent or the full monthly rent
- the deferred balance before the expiration of the 12 month or such longer period referred to above.
2. Where the landlord has failed to agree to grant the deferral, he may recover any unpaid rent after the expiration of the state of public emergency.
Individuals shall make a request to the landlord for a deferral under the program, and must meet the following criteria:
- They must be renting residential property inside The Bahamas;
- They must be paying a monthly rent of $2,000 per month or less;
- There must have been no arrears of rent due under the lease prior to the 31st March, 2020;
- They must be a Bahamian citizen or legal resident; and
- They must be able to demonstrate that they are unemployed or that their income stream has been reduced as a result of the state of public emergency.
If the individual meets the requirements, the landlord shall provide the tenant with a written agreement evidencing the terms of the deferral, which agreement shall not alter any other terms of the existing lease between the parties. If the tenant fails to sign the agreement, the tenant shall not be entitled to the deferral.
4. COMMENCEMENT AND EXPIRY DATES
This assistance commenced on the 1st April, 2020 and will expire three months thereafter.
5. HOW TO APPLY
Individuals must apply to landlord, and supply supporting documentation.