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Question:
What documents do I need to retain in a tenant file?

Answer:

Tenant File Documentation Guidance

Tenant file records are critical pieces of source documentation, perhaps the critical source documentation, used as evidence to support determinations and conclusions in all areas of occupancy monitoring.  The tenant file records must be complete and contain all information and forms relevant to occupancy at the project including.

The following information is a guide for documents to maintain in the tenant file.  This is not an all inclusive list of required tenant file documentation and shall not be a replacement of HUD requirements as outlined in; HUD Handbooks, RHIIP Handbook, HUD FAQ's or other HUD Policy and Procedures.

EIV (does not include Master file documentation as required by HUD notice 10-10)

Required For All Households

  • EIV and You Brochure acknowledgement at MI and each AR.
  • Income Summary report indicating verified status of all household members
  • Income Detail report at AR/IR (and within 90 days of MI) for all household members.   

EIV report and supporting documentation to resolve issue (if applicable)

  • Existing Tenant Search
  • Pre-Screening and Failed Verification
  • Income Discrepancy
  • New Hires
  • No Income
  • Multiple Subsidy
  • Deceased tenant
  • Repaymement agreement documentation

 Application/Household Information

  • Pre-application/application (must be date and time-stamped - must also include Form HUD 92006 for MI after 12/15/09)
  • Screening information/forms (all tenant files must include criminal and sex-offender status screening, as well as any others as defined in each property’s Tenant Selection Plan)
  • Verification/certification of social security numbers (please use a consistent procedure for all tenant files)
  • Citizenship declaration/immigration status (all family members)
  • Eligible Non-citizen Verification & SAVE verification (if applicable)
  • Preference verification, if applicable
  • Eligibility verification documents (e.g., persons with disabilities, elderly, live-in aide, assistive animal, etc.) – completed only at move-in
  • Acknowledgement of the head of household’s receipt of lead based paint      disclosure brochure, if applicable
  • Verification of age as required
  • Race and Ethnicity certification or documentation that the applicant refused to complete the form
  • Consent forms (required at move-in and at each annual recertification – are valid for 15 months following signature date)
  • HUD-9887, Notice and Consent to the Release of Information (family members age 18 and older – be sure that the correct addresses are completed at the top of the form)
  • HUD-9887-A, Applicant’s/Tenant’s Consent to the Release of Information (family members age 18 and older)
  • Fact Sheet acknowledgement for 9887/9887-A packet
  • *Acknowledgement of head of household’s receipt of Resident Rights and Responsibilities brochure – required at move-in and at each annual recertification
  • *Acknowledgment of Fact Sheet “How Your Rent is Determined” – required at move-in and at each annual recertification
  • Family Summary Sheet - required at move-in and when a change in family composition has occurred.

Lease

  • Lease (must be signed and dated on or before the effective date)
  • Lease amendments/addendums/agreements
  • Violence Against Women Lease Addendum
  • *Project rules and regulations acknowledgement
  • Pet rules & acknowledgement (if applicable)
  • Pet deposit receipt (if applicable)
  • Security deposit receipt
  • Move-in inspection report (including the “safe, decent and sanitary” clause and dated and signed by the tenant as well as the owner/agent on or before the effective date)
  • Annual inspection reports
  • Lead-based paint addendum, if applicable
  • Payment plans, if applicable

Certification/Recertification

  • Initial, interim, and annual recertifications
  • Recertification notices (initial and, if applicable, first, second, and third)
  • Verifications for income, assets, and deductions (evidence of 3rd party verification or attempt must be documented for each source)
  • 50059 data requirements printout signed by owner/agent or manager who has authority to sign on behalf of the owner and the head, spouse, co-head, and all other family members age 18 or older – signed on or before the effective date, and 30-day notice must be given for rent increases on recertifications (It is recommended that certifications and supporting documentation be filed in chronological order with the most recent certification supporting documents on top)   
  • Disposal of assets verification (head of household, spouse, co-head)
  • Correspondence both issued to, and or received from, tenant(s)

Other Files That Need to Be Maintained

Move-out files

  • The current tenant file will become the move-out file.  In addition to the above items, the move-out files must contain:
  • Copy of the intent to vacate notice received from the tenant, if applicable
  • Copy of the notification provided to HUD or the contract administrator
  • Move-out inspection report
  • Copy of the security deposit disposition notice provided to the tenant
  • Documents supporting retaining all or a portion of the security deposit (i.e. tenant
  • Ledger, invoices, receipts, copy of security deposit refund check –if applicable)
  • Special claims and supporting documentation

Application/Reject files

  • Application
  • Documentation to support the reason(s) for rejecting, such as screening information from previous landlords, personal references, credit reports, criminal activity, failure to declare citizenship or provide social security numbers, and refusal to sign consent forms
  • Copy of the written notice of rejection sent to the applicant (including a statement of the applicant’s right to appeal w/in 14 days and reasonable accommodation language)
  • Any information or letters regarding appeals by applicants

 

*Denotes an item that may be covered in a blanket acknowledgment form in each tenant file

****NOTE:  If there are documents noted as missing or incomplete from a tenant file that cannot be recreated or corrected, be sure to add a written statement to the file explaining/acknowledging the omission.  This may prevent any additional and/or future Findings on the same issue.

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