Low income housing generally refers to either apartment dwellings or multi-family rental properties priced less than market models usually found in standard, high end real estate markets. Many rental housing built, managed or sold under the low income housing umbrella in the United States utilizes government funds to cover the loss of rent during the transition into the new ownership structure. This is especially true in the case of low cost housing constructed as apartment complexes or townhouses that are not open to all residents. Such complexes may have been built with a mixed-income population and some of them are still occupied by low income families even after the complex has been converted to apartments or single family residences.
The potential tenant is considered a low income earner if he or she will receive assistance with utilities (water, sewer, electric, cable, etc) in addition to being able to make the required payment on the property. Usually a potential tenant must be at least 18 years of age and a full-time student. In the past it was often difficult for people with kids to be considered for such a modest apartment complex. But in today’s economic climate, many families with children are now able to find such modest living arrangements that they are able to live on the income earned from renting their apartments rather than having to qualify for government or private assistance programs. There are some rental communities that are particularly designed for this low income group but most communities are designed for all types of families in economically challenging situations.
To ensure that low income housing units do not fall prey to abusive landlord or tenant practices, it is up to the property managers to maintain a high quality of management. Property managers must make sure that all lease provisions are enforced, tenants receive fair treatment in the workplace, maintenance standards are met and that privacy of the residents is maintained at all times. In this regard, it is important to note that some jurisdictions require property managers post signs acknowledging that low income housing units are available to rent. If property managers violate these laws, fines can be levied against them. Also, in some cases, if a resident becomes ill or has an accident on a property owned by the management, the property managers may be held liable.
A key concern for most landlords and property managers is how to attract good, qualified potential tenants without scaring them off with high rents. One method that is frequently tried is offering incentives to qualified job candidates who wish to occupy the low income housing units. One popular incentive is a percentage of a potential tenant’s net income when they purchase a home. Another method of attracting qualified people is to provide free business training to people who apply for the low income housing units.
Another method of attracting qualified tenants is to use the standard appraisal process, which is the same as the appraisal that would be used for purchasing any other real estate transaction. The difference between this process and the standard appraisal is that the property manager will have access to more data than a typical real estate investor. This information includes not only the income and value of the property, but also details such as the location of the building and other relevant information about the neighborhood in which the property is located. Many landlords and property managers believe that a well-established real estate agent is best able to assist them in the process of finding the right tenants.
Many people who own their own business and choose to rent out their properties are extremely careful who they let into their rental property portfolio. They do a good job of screening tenants on a case by case basis, and they try to avoid situations that might result in tenant complaints, court judgments or charges against them. For this reason, it may be more difficult for self-employed individuals to rent out properties. However, if they follow a few simple tenant screening rules, they should be able to find great renters without having too much trouble.
Tenant income and rental property location are not the only factors that go into determining who will rent from an individual or business. There are many other employment and income resources that potential renters will need in order to qualify for assistance. Many landlords and management companies require a potential tenant to fill out and complete an application called an application for assistance. The application, which is typically available in English, contains several different sections that will ask about various forms of assistance that the individual or company provides, as well as information regarding their specific situation, their monthly income and sources of income.
Another important section of the application asks about sources of net income. This section will be used to determine whether a potential tenant can afford a certain level of living expenses. In many cases, the tenant will provide documentation that will substantiate their statements about their net income. It is important to remember, though, that individuals and businesses that cannot provide a reasonable amount of net income to a landlord or management company are not considered eligible to rent from either the owner or the manager.