About Low Income Housing Rental Agreements

Monday, January 25th, 2016

Although there are many similarities between low income housing rental agreements and standard rental agreements, there are also many differences. The biggest difference between the two is that low income housing rental agreements hold the renter responsible for putting just 30% of their income toward rent. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) covers the remaining rent expenses. This arrangement must be included in the rental contract. Low income housing rental agreements also detail other relevant HUD regulations that are not in traditional leases.

With low income housing rental agreements, both the tenant and HUD pay rent money directly to the landlord. The landlord signs a contract with HUD, and the tenant signs a lease with the landlord. This arrangement creates a three-way agreement between HUD, the tenant, and the landlord. Low income housing rental agreements must be based on a HUD model lease and will include some common required attachments, information about notices, and security deposit information.

HUD model lease for low income housing rental agreements

Section 8 property owners must use the HUD model lease for their voucher tenants. If there are any changes made to their low income housing rental agreements, HUD must approve them. If there are any provisions that do not match local or state laws, the property owner must adhere to the law that offers the highest benefit to the tenant. All adult household members must sign the low income housing rental agreement. An initial low income housing lease is for one year. After the initial term, the lease turns into a month by month term.

Required attachments for low income housing rental agreements

There are a couple of required attachments that must be included with low income housing rental agreements. These documents are a lead based paint disclosure and house and pet rules.

If the property was constructed before January 1, 1978, there must be a lead based paint disclosure signed and attached to the lease. This disclosure details the potential risks of living in a residence with lead based paint. Landlords with properties built after January 1, 1978 are exempt from this disclosure.

If the landlord and tenant establish any house and pet rules, they must be written out in full and then signed and attached to the lease. House and pet rules must be of a reasonable nature and must be equally enforced among all of the residents.

Notice information for low income housing rental agreements

HUD requires particular notices to be issued by property owners and low income tenants in a given amount of time.

The tenant must recertify their income on an annual basis to determine if they are still eligible for rental assistance. The first reminder notice is sent 120 days before the annual recertification date. If the tenant fails to recertify, a second notice is sent 90 days before the recertification date. If needed, a third notice is sent at the 60 day mark. If the tenant does not comply with the recertification process, rental assistance is terminated.

The property owner must issue a 30 day notice if the rent increases due to an income increase. When the tenant is ready to vacate the property, he must give a 30 day notice to the landlord.

Security deposit information for low income housing rental agreements

Section 8 landlords are required to collect a security deposit at the start of the initial lease term. Typically, the security deposit is one month’s tenant rent. If the tenant has no income, the deposit is $50. After the tenant vacates the property, the owner will refund the security deposit, minus any unit repair expenses. If the property owner deducts funds from the security deposit for repairs, an itemized list of the funds and repairs must be provided. The tenant must provide a forwarding address to receive the security deposit balance.

Assertive Management Group, part of Hope Housing Foundation (HOPE), is a nonprofit corporation based in McKinney, Texas. We are focused on creating and preserving high quality and affordable workforce housing for individuals, couples, families, and seniors in low and moderate income brackets. We are also committed to bettering the community that we serve. We are involved in a number of resident services, community development programs, and educational scholarship programs. To learn more about our mission and services, call (214) 842-8383 or Contact Us by email for more information.