Understanding the Lease and/or Rental Agreement Approval Process
When a family has qualified for rental assistance, a Voucher and Request for Tenancy (RFTA) form are issued. After families are issued an RFTA, they may search for a unit anywhere within the Housing Authority's jurisdiction. The family must find an eligible unit under the program rules with an owner who is willing to enter into a Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Contract with the Housing Authority (HA). The following rules also apply:
- It is the family's responsibility to return the RFTA before the expiration date stated on their Voucher.
- The HA will review the documents to determine whether to approve them.
- If the RFTA is approved, a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection will be scheduled with the property owner/manager.
Review of the Request for Tenancy Approval
For review of the Request for Tenancy Approval:
- All information must be completed.
- Owner information: The HA will verify that address and phone numbers are correct and that all information is completely filled out.
- Unit information: Unit address, security deposit amount, and all other requested information must be completed.
- The HA is required to obtain Tax Identification Information on owners and/or property manager payees.
- All phone numbers and the address must be current.
- The date the unit will be ready for inspection must be listed on the RFTA.
Rent Comparables & Lease
Rent comparables are required to justify the amount of rent the owner is requesting for his unit. The HA will make a determination as to the reasonableness of the proposed rent in relation to:
- Comparable units available for Tenancy on the private, unassisted market and,
- The rent charged by the owner for a comparable assisted or assisted unit in the building or premises.
The HA will review the lease. Responsibility for utilities, appliances and optional services must correspond to those provided on the Request for Tenancy Approval form. Other guidelines include:
- Owners may use their own lease or rental agreement.
- The HUD Tenancy Addendum must be attached to the lease or rental agreement.
Housing Assistance Payment
The Housing Assistance Payment from the Housing Authority shall be made effective according to the following criteria:
- The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) effective date shall begin on the date the unit passes inspection.
- If the unit fails the initial inspection, the HAP will be made effective the day all repairs are completed and the unit passes inspection.
- Tenants remain responsible for the FULL amount of the contract rent until the unit passes inspection.