Community Housing - Image of family sitting on couch

Author Site Reviewresults

Information about Signing a Lease and Annual Reviews

Signing the Lease

Following the acceptance of an offer:
  • Information is received from the future tenant as requested in order to complete a rent calculation and prepare the lease. The lease date is dependent on the unit being turned over completed by the Maintenance Manager, and the date the tenant is ready to move. It should be determined if the tenant will be moving in on a dual receipt. (the process by which we grant rent forgiveness for a month or partial month as the tenant has paid rent to another landlord and provided a receipt)
  • Property Manager contacts the tenant to arrange date, time, and location of lease signing, and verifies travel schedule of other Housing Managers to minimize duplicate travel.
  • Once tenant is met, lease is reviewed with tenant by providing a copy. Key areas of lease are reviewed and explained. (see attached lease with highlighted areas)
  • Appropriate forms are filled out, including PAD form (if required), Pay-direct to Landlord for OW – if requested; Possession of Key.
  • Tenant is provided with mandatory “Information for New Tenants” leaflet from the Landlord and Tenant Board
  • Rent is collected and receipt is provided
  • Tenant is asked if they have a pet, and if so, rules regarding pets are explained, including requirement to license and vaccinate animal and provide verification to office for file.
  • Any questions are answered from the tenant.
  • Tenant is given a tour of the building, including Common Room, Laundry Room, and Garbage Room. All terms of usage are explained such as laundry schedule (if in effect), how to book Common Room and guidelines of use, recycle area.
  • Unit is attended with tenant. While tenant becomes familiar and may measure for curtains, Property Manager completes Move–In Inspection noting any deficiencies and newly installed items and fixtures (i.e. new floor Sept 2009, unit painted throughout Sept 2009, new tub, tap and tiles, Sept 2009).
  • Unit inspection is reviewed with tenant. Tenant is asked to review and note any deficiencies. Form is signed by Property Manager and Tenant. It is explained to the Tenant that the inspection form will be placed in their file and compared to a move-out inspection once they vacate, and that should there be any willful or negligent damage, they would hence be responsible to repair or bear the cost. Copy is made and provided to tenant for reference.
  • Keys are given – if applicable; or tenant is advised on how/when they can obtain the keys from the Custodian. Contact number and time parameters are provided.

New leases are issued to tenants when required, albeit not necessarily annually. Situations which require a new lease are; change from RGI to Market or the reverse, changes to household composition, or a transfer of units. It has been undertaken to compare annual renewal documents with the current lease on file to determine if a new lease is required.

Annual Review of Eligibility – Lease Renewal

The process commonly referred to as an annual lease renewal, is actually an annual review of eligibility as per SHRA Regulations. The purpose, as I’m sure is known, is to verify continuing eligibility for RGI assistance, the household income, and composition of the household.

The process is as follows:

  • 5 months prior to the anniversary date of a tenancy, notices are sent out to tenants requesting updated information for annual income review. The tenant is given 30-days to reply. The second page of the letter sent to the tenant includes a list of the documents required for verification purposes. Included in the package sent are the following forms: Household Composition, Income and Asset Review, Employment Verification – Form 1, Verification of Assets for Social Housing – Form 4, Release and Consent, Definition of Income information page, and Occupancy Standards.
  • If the tenant does not reply, a second request is sent. The tenant is given 2 weeks to reply. If after the 2 weeks, the tenant has not replied, notice to market value rent is sent.
  • Once the documents are received back from the tenant, the package is verified for completeness, and to ensure that the tenant has provided verification of all sources of income and household composition.
  • Once the package is complete, the Program Assistant completes a Rent-Geared-to Income Calculation and passes such to the Property Manager for approval.
  • Once approved and returned to the Program Assistant, the new information is compared to that currently contained in the tenant file to determine if further action is required (new lease, further review of income and assets).
  • Checklist is followed to ensure all steps are done including updating lease cards, updating lease charges in system, updating tenant income tab in system, updating Household Income Limit memos.
  • Letter is sent to Tenant advising of any rent changes, along with the Request for Internal Review should the tenant not agree with the decision – Note SHRA timelines must be met when advising tenants of rent changes.