24 CFR § 92.253 - Tenant protections and selection.

§ 92.253 Tenant protections and selection.

(a) Lease. There must be a written lease between the tenant and the owner of rental housing assisted with HOME funds that is for a period of not less than 1 year, unless by mutual agreement between the tenant and the owner a shorter period is specified. The lease must incorporate the VAWA lease term/addendum required under § 92.359(e), except as otherwise provided by § 92.359(b).

(b) Prohibited lease terms. The lease may not contain any of the following provisions:

(1) Agreement to be sued. Agreement by the tenant to be sued, to admit guilt, or to a judgment in favor of the owner in a lawsuit brought in connection with the lease;

(2) Treatment of property. Agreement by the tenant that the owner may take, hold, or sell personal property of household members without notice to the tenant and a court decision on the rights of the parties. This prohibition, however, does not apply to an agreement by the tenant concerning disposition of personal property remaining in the housing unit after the tenant has moved out of the unit. The owner may dispose of this personal property in accordance with State law;

(3) Excusing owner from responsibility. Agreement by the tenant not to hold the owner or the owner's agents legally responsible for any action or failure to act, whether intentional or negligent;

(4) Waiver of notice. Agreement of the tenant that the owner may institute a lawsuit without notice to the tenant;

(5) Waiver of legal proceedings. Agreement by the tenant that the owner may evict the tenant or household members without instituting a civil court proceeding in which the tenant has the opportunity to present a defense, or before a court decision on the rights of the parties;

(6) Waiver of a jury trial. Agreement by the tenant to waive any right to a trial by jury;

(7) Waiver of right to appeal court decision. Agreement by the tenant to waive the tenant's right to appeal, or to otherwise challenge in court, a court decision in connection with the lease;

(8) Tenant chargeable with cost of legal actions regardless of outcome. Agreement by the tenant to pay attorney's fees or other legal costs even if the tenant wins in a court proceeding by the owner against the tenant. The tenant, however, may be obligated to pay costs if the tenant loses; and

(9) Mandatory supportive services. Agreement by the tenant (other than a tenant in transitional housing) to accept supportive services that are offered.

(c) Termination of tenancy. An owner may not terminate the tenancy or refuse to renew the lease of a tenant of rental housing assisted with HOME funds, except for serious or repeated violation of the terms and conditions of the lease; for violation of applicable Federal, State, or local law; for completion of the tenancy period for transitional housing or failure to follow any required transitional housing supportive services plan; or for other good cause. Good cause does not include an increase in the tenant's income or refusal of the tenant to purchase the housing. To terminate or refuse to renew tenancy, the owner must serve written notice upon the tenant specifying the grounds for the action at least 30 days before the termination of tenancy.

(d) Tenant selection. An owner of rental housing assisted with HOME funds must comply with the affirmative marketing requirements established by the participating jurisdiction pursuant to § 92.351(a). The owner must adopt and follow written tenant selection policies and criteria that:

(1) Limit the housing to very low- income and low-income families;

(2) Are reasonably related to the applicants' ability to perform the obligations of the lease (i.e., to pay the rent, not to damage the housing; not to interfere with the rights and quiet enjoyment of other tenants);

(3) Limit eligibility or give a preference to a particular segment of the population if permitted in its written agreement with the participating jurisdiction (and only if the limitation or preference is described in the participating jurisdiction's consolidated plan).

(i) Any limitation or preference must not violate nondiscrimination requirements in § 92.350. A limitation or preference does not violate nondiscrimination requirements if the housing also receives funding from a Federal program that limits eligibility to a particular segment of the population (e.g., the Housing Opportunity for Persons with AIDS program under 24 CFR part 574, the Shelter Plus Care program under 24 CFR part 582, the Supportive Housing program under 24 CFR part 583, supportive housing for the elderly or persons with disabilities under 24 CFR part 891), and the limit or preference is tailored to serve that segment of the population.

(ii) If a project does not receive funding from a Federal program that limits eligibility to a particular segment of the population, the project may have a limitation or preference for persons with disabilities who need services offered at a project only if:

(A) The limitation or preference is limited to the population of families (including individuals) with disabilities that significantly interfere with their ability to obtain and maintain housing;

(B) Such families will not be able to obtain or maintain themselves in housing without appropriate supportive services; and

(C) Such services cannot be provided in a nonsegregated setting. The families must not be required to accept the services offered at the project. In advertising the project, the owner may advertise the project as offering services for a particular type of disability; however, the project must be open to all otherwise eligible persons with disabilities who may benefit from the services provided in the project.

(4) Do not exclude an applicant with a certificate or voucher under the Section 8 Tenant-Based Assistance: Housing Choice Voucher Program (24 CFR part 982) or an applicant participating in a HOME tenant-based rental assistance program because of the status of the prospective tenant as a holder of such certificate, voucher, or comparable HOME tenant-based assistance document.

(5) Provide for the selection of tenants from a written waiting list in the chronological order of their application, insofar as is practicable;

(6) Give prompt written notification to any rejected applicant of the grounds for any rejection; and

(7) Comply with the VAWA requirements prescribed in § 92.359.

[61 FR 48750, Sept. 16, 1996, as amended at 67 FR 61756, Oct. 1, 2002; 78 FR 44674, July 24, 2013; 81 FR 80803, Nov. 16, 2016]