Leasing a Unit

Unit Requirements

The regulations and the agency get to establish the approved jurisdiction where a family can select a unit. The regulations and the agency also get to establish the maximum subsidy amount per family based on the agencies approved budget, the family voucher size and the family’s annual income.


The family gets to rent a unit that:

  • the landlord has approved the family to rent
  • is considered affordable by the agency,
  • is considered rent reasonable based on the agencies study
  • Meets the unit type requirements by the program
  • Passes the minimum unit requirements for decent, safe and sanitary under the Housing Quality Standards


  • The family gets to rent based on the voucher size or they can select a unit where the number of bedroom is higher than or less than the number of bedrooms on the voucher with approval of the agency.
  • When families get to rent units larger than what’s approved on the voucher its because they have income to support the additional rent (affordable) or the landlord is requesting an initial rent that falls within the voucher subsidy.


  • The agency does not determine if the family is a suitable renter. Meaning the agency does not run credit checks, rental history, payment history in order to determine the family eligible for the program.
  • The landlord gets to hold the responsibility of determining suitability in order to select a tenant that meets their own requirements.
  • Applicants and Tenants rights are protected by Civil Rights Laws, Federal Fair Housing Laws, ADA and VAWA laws. 504 may apply to certain programs.


  • Because one of the requirements to participate in the program is that the family must be very low or extremely low income, they typically will not meet the landlord’s requirements of income that is 2x or 3x the rent amount.
  • If the ability to pay rent is the only determining factor that is not met, estimated subsidy is counted as part of the family’s income.
  • This is critical for landlords to understand in a jurisdictions where income is a protected class.

Successful Lease-Up

What does a successful lease-up look like? 

  • The family selects a suitable unit for them to assist them in achieving their goals of improving their quality of life and achieving economic self sufficiency
  • The landlord approves the participant renter and the unit rent
  • The unit meets the agencies unit and rent requirements
  • The landlord and participant get to execute a lease. The agency is not a party to lease but the HUD Required Tenancy Addendum must be a part of the executed lease
  • The HUD Tenancy Addendum provides additional protections to the tenant and the landlord who choose to participate in the program
  • Upon receipt of the executed lease, the agency will review for accuracy and consistency. If approved, the landlord and the agency get to execute the Housing Assistance Payments Contract.
  • Upon executed HAP Contract the landlord will be disbursed subsidy
  • Ongoing monthly payments occur
*More information regarding documents mentioned in this section will be further expanded upon in the IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS AND DEFINITIONS lesson of this course.