Feature

Look for Key Attributes in Collection Agency

July 18, 2010    

You can hope you never need the services of a collection agency, but it's likely that you will. Suppose a resident skips out without paying the share of his rent above his subsidy. You are entitled to pursue the resident within legal means to collect past-due debts. That's when a good...

Follow HUD Guidelines for New Resident Orientation

June 20, 2010    

When new residents move in to your site, you should take steps to assure that they understand their responsibilities as outlined in their lease and house rules. While HUD does not require you to do this, HUD strongly encourages you to—and it is a good site management practice.

HUD...

How to Handle Requests for Reasonable Accommodations

April 20, 2010    

Under the federal Fair Housing Act and HUD guidelines, you must make every effort to provide “reasonable accommodations” at your site for residents with disabilities. For example, if a resident with limited mobility requests a ground-floor unit, HUD expects that you would try to...

Know the Ins and Outs of Live-In Aides

March 28, 2010    

From time to time, you may be asked by a resident to approve the addition of a “live-in aide” to his household. Reasons for the aide vary. The resident may have a disability and need help with day-to-day living. An elderly resident may need an aide for assistance and companionship to...

Set Smoke Detector Policy to Protect Residents, Avoid Liability

February 22, 2010    

You are required by HUD to have at least one smoke detector in every unit at your site. It's more than good common sense to take this safety step; smoke detectors can save lives.

Having the required smoke detectors in place also could save you down the road in a legal battle—but...

How to Conduct an Effective Eviction Meeting

February 1, 2010    

If you ever have to evict a resident, you need to keep in mind that the resident has certain rights. Among them is the right to meet with you to discuss your rationale for the eviction. Essentially, during this meeting, the resident has the right to present his or her case to convince you not to...

Translating HUD's LEP Requirements into Practice

December 28, 2009    

In 2007, HUD issued final guidance on helping those with limited English proficiency (LEP) gain access to federally funded services and programs. The guidance called for HUD-assisted housing entities to implement a plan that includes translating “vital” written materials and...

Abandoned or Absent: How to Handle Unit That May Have Been Vacated

September 22, 2009    

How do you know if a resident has abandoned his unit? What are the signs that it may just be an extended absence instead of abandonment?

Be Vigilant in Protecting Resident Information

September 22, 2009    

HUD has established “Privacy Principles” in which the agency outlines its obligation to protect privacy and safeguard the information that individual citizens entrust to it (see HUD's Privacy Principles on p. 7). This obligation is, HUD says, a fundamental part of its mission to...

Observing the Rights of Applicants and Residents with Mental Health Disabilities

September 20, 2009    

Owners and managers of assisted housing often struggle to comply with fair housing requirements. Laws protecting people with disabilities can be especially tough to interpret. To help clarify the requirements, particularly with respect to people with mental health disabilities, the Insider...

Avoid Appearance of Retaliation Against Residents

August 23, 2009    

When is an eviction retaliatory? That is an important question for managers of rental housing because many state and local rental housing laws bar “retaliatory eviction.” In addition, the Fair Housing Act makes certain retaliatory actions against residents illegal if they hinder the...

How to Write a Tenant Selection Plan

July 26, 2009    

One of the toughest jobs of a site owner or manager is writing a good tenant selection plan. The tenant selection plan is a crucial document, says Dan Bancroft, an attorney who has written tenant selection plans for project-based sites. It gives you a way to explain and justify your decisions if...