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rent reasonableness

LHA uses the following criteria to determine the market value of rent:

            1.       Base rent determined by year built, number of bedrooms, and type of unit (apartment,                       duplex, or house)

            2.        Amenities can add or deduct to the value of the base rent

                      Range, Refrigerator                                                  Location
                      Dishwasher, Disposal, Microwave                        Size of Unit
                      Washer & Dryer or Connections                            Additional Rooms
                      Storage, Shed                                                            Number of Bathrooms
                      Balcony, Deck, Patio                                                 Condition of Paint
                      Fireplace, Ceiling Fans                                           Cleanliness of Unit
                      Air Conditioning                                                         Basement
                      Floor Level of Unit                                                     Garage, Parking Availability
                      Security Building                                                       Clubhouse
                      Pool                                                                             Cable TV

            3.       Information about three units that are comparable to the unit chosen by the Housing Choice                       Voucher tenant.

When LHA receives a Request for Inspection and Unit Information (RIUI) form, the dollar amount of the proposed rent is reviewed to determine the following:

            1.       the proposed rent does not exceed rents charged by the owner for comparable unassisted                       units.

            2.        the rent is reasonable in relation to rent charged by other owners for comparable units.

For apartments and duplexes: An owner may present LHA with a current lease of an unassisted unit that is the same as one chosen by the Housing Choice Voucher tenant to show the rent being charged is at market value.

Can a tenant pay the difference if the rent exceeds the Payment Standard?

Yes, only if the contract rent meets the rent reasonableness as determined by the Housing Inspector. LHA will always notify the owner and the tenant in writing of the tenant's portion of rent. The tenant should never pay more for rent than on the written notices and the owner can not ask for more rent than on the written notices.

Example: Contract rent asked for by the owner is $700 for a 2 bedroom unit. The Housing Inspector has determined the rent reasonableness to be $650. The tenant will pay 27% of their income towards rent plus anything over the $644 Payment Standard. The Housing Authority will use $108 for utilities which will be added to the contract rent ($650 + $108 = $758). The tenant in this scenario can pay the difference ($758 -$644 = $114). Total tenant's rent portion would be $114 plus 27% of the tenant's income because the cost of the rent plus utility allowances exceeds the Payment Standard of $644 and the unit meets the rent reasonableness determination.

No, if the contract rent asked for by the owner does not meet the rent reasonableness as determined by the Housing Inspector.

Example: Contract rent asked for by the owner is $700 for a 2 bedroom unit. The Housing Inspector determines the value of the unit at $650. The tenant CAN NOT pay the difference of the $50 between the contract rent and the rent reasonableness determination.