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the lease - page two

Who enforces the lease?

The owner or the owner’s agent enforces the lease.  The lease is between the owner and the tenant.

How does the owner enforce the lease?

It is important to know the Landlord-Tenant Law.  It is also important that owners read the Lease Addendum that LHA will attach to the owner’s lease. 

Can an owner collect a security deposit?

Yes.  In the Housing Choice Voucher program, an owner may collect up to one month's contract rent for a security deposit .   The tenant must pay this deposit.  Upon vacating the premises, if the security deposit is not sufficient to cover any money the tenant owes under the lease, the owner may seek to collect the balance from the tenant.

Can an owner charge late fees?

Yes.  however, this provision must be included in the owner’s lease and must be charged to all tenants, assisted and unassisted. 

Who pays for damages?

The lease is between the owner and the tenant so this decision is made between the owner and the tenant.  It is a good idea to include a clause regarding damage payment terms in the lease as well as a list of charges that may be applied to tenant caused damaged.  It is also important to screen potential tenants to avoid costly damages.

Can additional members be added to the household and lease?

Yes.  Additional members may be added with written approval from the owner and prior approval from LHA. Additional adults may have income that affects the rent portions paid by the tenant and LHA. The owner has the right to screen additional adults in the same way the original tenants were screened. All additional members must meet the requirements of the original applicant. If the family breaks up, LHA will determine which members of the family will continue to receive assistance.

How many times may a family move?

A family may not move during the initial year of the assisted occupancy unless the owner and tenant agree to a mutual termination.

When can rent be increased?

Rent may be increased after the first year of the lease. The owner is required to give the tenant 60 days notice for a rent increase. A copy of the notice must be received by LHA in order for LHA to determine if the rent increase is reasonable. A LHA Inspector will determine if the rent amount that the owner wishes to charge is reasonable in comparison to similar rental properties in the area. Under no circumstances can a rent increase be allowed if the increase exceeds the rent reasonable determination.  If your lease continues on a year to year basis, the owner must provide the tenant with a 60 day notice prior to the new lease term. If your lease continues on a year to year basis, the owner must provide the tenant 60 day notice prior to the new lease term.

What if the tenant wants a pet?
The pet arrangement is between the tenant and the owner.  The LHA is not involved in the arrangement.