Updated 8/11/23

Below is a breakdown of how the process works for the South Lake Tahoe Lease to Locals Incentive Program when securing your own tenants. Please read this closely. It is important you take each of these steps to qualify for the grant program.

We offer an optional listing and screening service for a one-time tenant placement fee equal to 50% of one month’s rent. Reach out to your Placemate contact if you’d like to get started with that option.

South Lake Tahoe Lease to Locals Details

  1. Review the property owner requirements to ensure you meet all of the program guideline terms:
    1. The property must be located within the City of South Lake Tahoe limits.
    2. The property must not have been a full time rental within the last 12 months. This is defined as having had tenants pay rent to live in the property as their full time, primary residence, even if the lease term was month-to-month.
    3. The maximum rent that can be charged is $3,500/month and the property cannot be rented to immediate family members.
    4. The property must be a single-family home, townhome, privately-owned condo, or vacant room in an owner-occupied property.
      1. Multi-family properties (including apartments and duplexes), hotels, and motels are not eligible for the program.
    5. The property cannot be rented to immediate family members. 
  2. Please note, applications for the Lease to Locals program must be submitted within 60 days of the start of the lease. Applications received after this deadline may not be accepted.

South Lake Tahoe Lease to Locals Processing Steps

  1. List the property for rent and start screening tenants. Note the lease term must be 12+ months. Click here to see incentive amounts. Please see this guide for suggestions of helpful websites to list your property on. 
  2. While screening tenants, ensure they meet the program qualification criteria below: 
    1. At least 50% of the adults in the household must work at least 20 hours per week for an employer located in the geographic boundaries of the South Shore.
      1. You will receive 1 grant for each tenant who is locally employed. Maximum of 5 grants available. 
    2. Average tenant gross annual income can not exceed $79,688 (125% AMI)
      1. For households with multiple working adults, take the average of the total group gross income, which cannot exceed $79,688. 
        1. For example, a group with 4 working adults, 3 of whom make $80k/ year and one of whom makes $40k/year would have an average income of $80k + $80k + $80k + $40k = $280k/4 = $70k average. This group would qualify.
    3. Children count cumulatively as one qualified tenant and are eligible for one additional grant payment. Children are not included when calculating average income.
  3. To verify that your tenants qualify for the Lease to Locals Program, you can follow the same steps we go through. By reviewing the below documents yourself, you can verify your tenants qualify before passing them onto Placemate as directed in the next step. Below is an outline of everything Placemate will collect from your tenants so that we can ensure they are qualified for the Lease to Locals program. Placemate will need employment documents and an application from each tenant (even from tenants that don’t qualify) to ensure the group as a whole qualifies for the program.  
    1. Required documents from each tenant 18 years or older:
      1. A government issued ID
      2. Employment documentation
        1. 2 of their most recent pay stubs, OR;
        2. If they have been employed full-time locally since the beginning of the previous calendar year and still hold that job, collect last year’s W-2, OR;
        3. A signed employer letter (see example here) or offer letter that verifies:
          1. Employer name, logo, and address
          2. Name of employee
          3. Anticipated start date (if new offer) or when they started originally
          4. Number of hours (ie; full-time, 40 hours week / seasonal, 20 hours a week)
          5. Rate of pay
          6. Location of where they are working
          7. Name, signature of manager / HR, and date signed, OR;
        4. If self-employed, required documents include:
          1. A business license registered to a local address AND: 
          2. If the business has been operational for more than 1 year 
            1. Tax returns, OR; 
          3. If the business has been operating for less than one year, is off the books, or tenant is self employed via gig work
            1. Internal P&L or
            2. Employer letter or
            3. Recent Contracts that show volume of work/pay 
  4. Once you have verified that the tenant group meets the above qualifications, sign a lease with your selected tenants.
    1. If you have any questions about your tenants’ eligibility and documents, let us know and we can help with verification.
  5. Next, email your Placemate contact your tenants’ contact information (name, email, phone), so we can send them a link to our online application to collect the documents described above. It helps if you let them know we’ll be reaching out.
  6. Once your tenants have completed their Lease to Locals application, and we verify they qualify, we will send you the property owner application, which is a 2 step process:
    1. 1st, we’ll send you the Property Owner Lease Summary form, which gathers basic info about your property and lease, and requires that you upload a signed lease.
    2. 2nd, after we review these materials, we will send you the Property Owner Grant Application for you to review and complete as prompted – this includes:
      1. Property and lease detail attestation
      2. Preview of your expected incentive amount
      3. W-9
      4. Invoice – in order to receive a check from the City of South Lake Tahoe
  7. After we have received your completed DocuSign, our final step is to text tenants and verify if they have moved in. If the lease has not yet started, we will text them on the first day of the lease. We cannot submit the grant paperwork until the lease has started and this step has been completed.
  8. After we receive your completed documents, and verify the tenants moved in, Placemate will submit your application to the City for review and approval. Checks are sent from the City and can take 30-60 days to be processed and mailed.
    1. Payments are split into two parts. The first half of the total grant is sent after the lease has begun and the second half is sent after the lease term has completed.
  9. At the mid-term point of the lease, Placemate will check in with both the tenants and owners to ensure lease terms are being upheld.
  10. At the end of the lease, Placemate will check in with both the tenants and owner and submit a request for the second half of the incentive payment.

Please note, as the Lease to Locals program is focused on housing creation, each qualified property may participate in the Lease to Locals program one time. There are no additional incentives after year one. We hope to develop programs addressing housing preservation in the future.


If you still need to secure tenants, here is some language you can put in your property listing, and a draft lease agreement for you to use if you choose. You are welcome to market your property as you please and use any lease agreement you like, so long as your tenants and lease meet program qualifications.

Draft Listing Language

The owner of this property is participating in the South Lake Tahoe Lease to Locals Program aimed at unlocking existing homes for local employee needs. As such, only tenants that meet the following qualifications will be considered for this home:

1) Work for an Employer in the Region — At least 50% of the adults in the household (related or unrelated) must work at least 20 hours per week, for an employer located in the geographic boundaries of the South Shore.


2) Each tenant’s annual income can not exceed $79,688. For households with multiple adults, you can take the average of the household’s gross income, which cannot exceed $79,688 per person per year.

Lease Template

You can use any lease you wish so long as your terms meet the program requirements. Placemate can not legally prepare your lease for you. However, we have worked with local Truckee legal firm MOBO Law, to create a Tahoe-specific lease template you can use.

Click here to view and download the lease template and see instructions.

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