Keene Housing (KH) administers several federally funded voucher programs. Our voucher programs allow low- and moderate-income households to rent privately owned apartments by helping them pay a portion of the rent. KH provides rent payments, called Housing Assistance payments (HAPs), based upon the current voucher payment standards (VPS). The VPS is paid for new or recently renovated apartments that include all utilities.
LEASE-UP PROCESS (A Step By Step Guide)
Find a good candidate
Carefully screen any prospective tenants. KH does not screen tenants for owners. KH only screens applicants to make sure they are eligible to participate in a voucher program. This usually means the KH has verified that the household meets a program’s immigration and income requirements. KH typically denies anyone with a history of drug distribution or violence in the past five years from participating in any voucher program.
Complete the Request For Tenancy Approval (RFTA)
The Request for Tenancy Approval is the document that notifies KH of an owner’s intent to rent to a voucher holder. Please make sure the RFTA is complete before submitting it to KH. Incomplete RFTAs will slow-down the lease-up process.
Collect Security Deposit
The owner may collect a security deposit from the tenant consistent with applicable New Hampshire state law and not in excess of amounts charged by the owner to unassisted tenants.
After all of the necessary documentation is submitted to the KH, KH’s housing Inspector will contact the owner to arrange for a final inspection.
Since KH is paying a portion of the rent, we are required to inspect the unit before the new tenant moves in and rent payments begin. KH’s inspector makes sure meets or exceeds the Housing Quality Standards (HQS) set by HUD. KH will notify the owner and tenant of the results. Should the unit fail, the owner will be given up to ten (10) business days to correct the items noted.
In addition to HQS requirements, if a pregnant woman or child under the age of six (6) will be occupying the unit, owners need to provide KH with certification that the unit complies with federal lead paint laws. For more information, please review the US EPA’s brochure, Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home.
Contracts and Lease Signing
Once the inspector approves the unit, the tenant is eligible to sign a lease. Owners can allow the tenant to move in on whatever date they and their tenants agree on once the unit is approved, however, HAP will not be provided until all of the following conditions are met:
- The unit is eligible;
- The unit passed initial HQS inspection;
- The household continues to meet all eligibility and screening criteria;
- The owner/property manager signs the Request for Tenancy Approval and a HAP Contract (if applicable);
- KH approves the leasing of the unit;
- Both parties sign the lease;
- KH receives a copy of the lease signed by both parties; and
- KH and the participant household sign a KH MTW Housing Contract