How Much Can I Charge?
Property owners often ask the BHA what rent they can charge. BHA appreciates that deciding what rent to charge for your units is a business decision that each owner uniquely considers. BHA’s duty lies in acknowledging that business decision, while verifying the rent is both reasonable on the market, and affordable for the client.
What is Rent Reasonableness?
“Rent Reasonableness” is a requirement by HUD to determine that contract rent is “reasonable” when looking at other market rate units. In order to determine rent reasonableness, BHA must be able to document at least three other market rate units that are:
- in the same zip code,
- have the same number of bedrooms,
- are the same type of units (single family home, multi-family, etc.),
- and have rents that are at or above the proposed rent for the prospective Section 8 unit.
Other factors BHA may consider are:
- Housing Services
Rent Reasonableness is required to ensure that the Housing Choice Voucher program does not artificially inflate rents in the community, and that a fair rent is paid for units selected for participation in the program.
How does the BHA review Affordability?
When an HCV participant moves into a unit their portion of the rent cannot be more than 40% of their adjusted gross income. When a new client moves into a unit, BHA will work with the landlord to ensure the client’s rent portion does not exceed 40% of their total income.
However, at lease renewals, rent portions may go above that 40%. The BHA evaluates rent increases by reviewing the impact on the participant, ensuring the increase matches market standards.