If you apply for assisted apartment housing that the USDA finances, you have to follow certain rules. If you violate the rules, you could find yourself without an apartment to rent. Knowing the following factors can help you stay on the ‘up and up’ with the USDA, allowing you to continue renting your USDA rural apartment.
Tell the Truth
USDA rural rental housing is only for certain demographics. If you don’t tell the truth on your application, you commit fraud. The USDA considers incorrect or omitted information fraud and could leave you:
- Required to reimburse the USDA for any rental reimbursement you earned
- With legal issues and fines
Some of the information you must provide includes:
- Disclosure of income of all adults living in the apartment including wages, alimony, child support, disability, pension, or income from assets
- Disclosure of all assets of all adults living with you including bank accounts, investment accounts, real estate assets, or business assets
- Disclosure of the names of all adults that will live with you
You Must Recertify
Once a year, you must recertify with the USDA to continue to have the right to rent USDA rural housing. Your annual recertification requires:
- Disclosure of all income changes
- Disclosure of any changes in household members
- Disclosure of your current assets
You Must Report Changes Right Away
If you have a change in your income or the members that live with you, the USDA must know right away. The USDA requires that you report changes in income of $100 or more per month right away. They also require that you report any changes in household members right away.
How Owners Benefit
Property owners of rural rental housing receive funds from the USDA to provide lower rent to their tenants. The USDA pays a part of the rent on behalf of the low income tenants, but you must apply to be a part of the program. You can apply through your local USDA office to receive rent on behalf of tenants to help with your operational expenses.
Rural rental housing helps property owners help low income renters have a place to live. Following the guidelines will ensure that everyone receives their benefits, whether a place to live or supplemental rent. Contact your local USDA office for specific questions about your area.