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Tenant obligations are covered in detail in Chapter 5 Part I.C. of the Section 8/Voucher Administrative Plan.
Obligations of the family are described in the housing choice voucher (HCV) regulations and on the voucher itself. These obligations include responsibilities the family is required to fulfill, as well as prohibited actions. The PHA must inform families of these obligations during the oral briefing, and the same information must be included in the briefing packet. When the family’s unit is approved and the HAP contract is executed, the family must meet those obligations in order to continue participating in the program. Violation of any family obligation may result in termination of assistance, as described in Chapter 12.
Unless otherwise noted below, when family obligations require the family to respond to a request or notify the PHA of a change, notifying the PHA of the request or change within 10 business days is considered prompt notice.
When a family is required to provide notice to the PHA, the notice must be in writing.
The family obligations of the voucher are listed as follows:
Damages beyond normal wear and tear will be considered to be damages which could be assessed against the security deposit under state law or court practice.
The PHA will determine if a family has committed serious or repeated violations of the lease based on available evidence, including but not limited to, a court-ordered eviction or an owner’s notice to evict, police reports, and affidavits from the owner, neighbors, or other credible parties with direct knowledge.
Serious and repeated lease violations will include, but not be limited to, nonpayment of rent, disturbance of neighbors, destruction of property, living or housekeeping habits that cause damage to the unit or premises, and criminal activity. Generally, the criterion to be used will be whether or not the reason for the eviction was the fault of the tenant or guests. Any incidents of, or criminal activity related to, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking will not be construed as serious or repeated lease violations by the victim [24 CFR 5.2005(c)(1)].
The family must comply with lease requirements regarding written notice to the owner. The family must provide written notice to the PHA at the same time the owner is notified.
The request to add a family member must be submitted in writing and approved prior to the person moving into the unit. The PHA will determine eligibility of the new member in accordance with the policies in Chapter 3. PHA will also require documentation of landlord approval to add the additional family member to the lease.
Subleasing includes receiving payment to cover rent and utility costs by a person living in the unit who is not listed as a family member.
Notice is required under this provision only when all family members will be absent from the unit for an extended period. An extended period is defined as any period greater than 30 calendar days within a 45 day period. Written notice must be provided to the PHA at the start of the extended absence.
For more information on the steps and requirements for portability with your Housing Choice Voucher, please read the How Portability works handout from the office of Public and Indian Housing.