24 CFR 290.9 - Setting rental rates.
Because of the subsidies involved in making multifamily housing projects affordable, the setting of rents involves two steps: first, establishing the rent on a unit that will be paid to the owner, and second, determining the rent that the tenant pays (with the difference made up by a subsidy), using a number of procedures to obtain income verification and notify tenants of changes in rent. These procedures for a property owned by HUD or where HUD is mortgagee-in-possession are explained below.
(a) Setting unit rents. Except as modified by this section, for a property where HUD is mortgagee-in-possession (MIP), HUD will set unit rents in accordance with the rent setting requirements of the project's mortgage insurance or direct loan program; or for a property owned by HUD, rents will be set in accordance with the rent setting requirements of the project's mortgage insurance or direct loan program in effect immediately before HUD became the owner of the project.
(b) Setting rents payable by tenants -
(1) Tenant rent. The rent the tenant pays will be based on the income certification and the rent payment requirements of the project's mortgage insurance or direct loan program in effect while HUD is MIP or immediately before HUD became the owner of the project, as affected by any of the factors in paragraphs (b)(2) through (b)(4) of this section. However, if a tenant does not certify income as required by this section, the tenant must pay the unit rent as determined under the rent setting requirements in paragraph (a) of this section.
(2) Utility allowance. For a tenant whose rent is based on a percentage of adjusted income (except for rental voucher or rental certificate holders), if the cost of utilities (except telephone) and other housing services for the unit is the responsibility of the tenant to pay directly to the provider of the utility or service, HUD will deduct from the rent to be paid by the tenant to HUD a utility allowance, which is an amount equal to HUD's estimate of the monthly costs of a reasonable consumption of the utilities and other services for the unit for an energy-conservative household of modest circumstances consistent with the requirement of a safe, sanitary, and healthful living environment. If the utility allowance exceeds the percentage of the tenant's adjusted income payable as rent, HUD will pay the difference between the amount payable as rent and the utility allowance to the tenant or, with the consent of the tenant and the utility company, either jointly to the tenant and the utility company or directly to the utility company.
(3) Rent adjustments for project viability. For a HUD-owned project, HUD may adjust the rent provided for in paragraphs (b)(1) or (b)(2) of this section if necessary or desirable to maintain the existing economic mix in the project, prevent undesirable turnover, or increase occupancy.
(4) Tenants who are rental voucher or rental certificate holders. Tenants assisted with rental vouchers or certificates certify their income to the public housing agency (PHA) administering the assistance, and pay rent pursuant to the policies and procedures governing such assistance.
(c) Income verification and rent notification procedures -
(1) Income certification by tenants -
(i) In subsidized projects. (A) For families residing in subsidized projects, when HUD becomes MIP or owner, HUD will request an income certification from each family as soon as practicable after HUD initially assumes management, unless the family's income has been examined by the owner or by HUD not more than four months before HUD's assumption of management.
(B) For each family applying for admission to subsidized projects, HUD will request an income certification to determine the family's eligibility for a subsidized rent, and (if the rent is based on a percentage of adjusted income) the family's subsidized rent, in accordance with part 813 of this title.
(ii) In unsubsidized projects.
(A) For tenants in occupancy when HUD becomes mortgagee-in-possession or owner of an unsubsidized project, HUD may request an income certification from families who are not paying a subsidized rent.
(B) For families applying for admission to such projects, HUD will request sufficient information for income verification to determine the family's ability to pay the unit rent.
(2) Notice of increases in the amount of rent payable. Whenever HUD proposes an increase in rents in a HUD-owned multifamily project or a project where HUD is mortgagee-in-possession, HUD will provide tenants 30 days notice of the proposed changes and an opportunity to review and comment on the new rent and supporting documentation. After HUD considers the tenants' comments and has made a decision with respect to its proposed rent change, HUD shall notify the tenants of its decision, with the reasons for the decision. A tenant in occupancy before the effective date of any revised rental rate must be given 30 days notice of the revised rate, and any change in the tenant's rent is subject to the terms of an existing lease. Notices to each tenant must be personally delivered or sent by first class mail. General notices of rent increases to all tenants must be posted in the project office and in appropriate conspicuous and accessible locations around the project.
(3) Disclosure and verification of Social Security numbers. Any certifications or reexaminations of the income of tenants or prospective tenants in connection with tenancy under this section are subject to the requirements for the disclosure and verification of Social Security Numbers, as provided by part 200, subpart T, of this title.
(4) Signing of consent forms for income verification. Any certifications or reexaminations of the income of tenants or prospective tenants in connection with tenancy under this section are subject to the requirements for the signing and submitting of consent forms for the obtaining of wage and claim information from State Wage Information Collection Agencies, as provided by part 200, subpart V, of this title.