Boston Housing Authority

Departments > Operations > Manager's Manual > 7 - Residual Tenancy Policy


The Residual Tenancy Policy is designed to assure that the rights of the remaining members of a tenant household who qualify as eligible tenants are protected.  The policy also sets forth the procedures to be followed by management and the occupant who wishes to become a Resident when the person who originally signed the lease is no longer present in the home.  All remaining members of a Resident household may apply to become Residents; however, unless extenuating circumstances exist, they will only be found eligible if they meet the following criteria.

IMPORTANT - Household members of a leaseholder vacating an apartment are not eligible for residual tenancy, if the vacating leaseholder is relocating to public or assisted housing elsewhere, owes rent or otherwise has defaulted on a financial obligation to the BHA or is under eviction for non-payment of rent or for cause. (A Resident shall be regarded as being under eviction if after a private conference the Manager has decided to proceed with eviction and the Manager's decision has not been over turned by the BHA Grievance Hearing Panel.)

WHO IS ELIGIBLE?

In order to assume the status of a Resident under this policy, the individual requesting to become a residual resident must be:

1.    An adult who has been a recorded part of the family composition and whose income has been recorded and considered in the rent computations during the period of his/her occupancy unless he/she was without income or was a full-time student.

OR

2.    In the event that the occupant family consists only of minor children, there must be an appropriate adult who is willing to assume guardianship and enter into a lease.

OR

3.    In the event that the occupant is an incapacitated adult who is unable to fulfill the responsibilities of a BHA Resident, there must be an appropriate adult willing to assume guardianship and enter into a lease.

AND

4.    All individuals must meet the eligibility requirements for applicants as set forth in the Tenant Selection, Assignment and Transfer Plan or successor plan.

In the event of divorce, separation or a protective order issued by a court under Chapter 209A, the BHA shall abide by the decision of the court and permit the remaining member of the household to apply for residual tenancy.

Individuals applying for residual tenancy status will not be found ineligible based on income exceeding the eligibility limits for standard applicants for admission to public housing.  Residual tenancy applicants whose income was considered in the rent computations will be granted the benefit of rent increase caps in effect in federal developments to which the former Resident was entitled.  Residual tenancy applicants who move into the premises to assume guardianship over minor children or incapacitated adults will not be granted the benefit of rent increase caps in federal developments, but will be treated as new tenants for the purpose of rent calculations.  Pending a decision on the occupant's request for a change of status he or she will be required to pay use and occupancy. The use and occupancy amount shall be thirty (30) percent of the adjusted income of the occupant's household.

HOW TO APPLY TO BECOME A RESIDENT UNDER THIS POLICY?

Step 1:        The occupant or residual applicant must meet with the Manager, preferably fifteen days before, but no more than fifteen (15) days, after the departure of the Resident.  At the meeting, the Residual Tenancy Policy will be explained to the occupant or residual tenancy applicant; and he/she will be asked to sign the Use and Occupancy Agreement (Form RT-02).  The Manager will then give the occupant a Request for Status Change Form (Form RT-04).

Step 2:        The occupant must complete the Request for Status Change and preliminary application at the development and the Manager will forward to the Occupancy Department, as a package, the Use and Occupancy Agreement (Form RT-02), the Request for Status Change Form (Form RT-04), the Manager's Report (Form RT-05) and preliminary application.

Step 3:        Upon receipt the Occupancy Department will evaluate and process the Request.  The Director of Occupancy will notify the occupant and the manager of the decision in writing. 
 
IF DETERMINED ELIGIBLE: 

If the apartment presently occupied by the occupant is of appropriate size for the household composition, the Manager and the occupant will execute a lease. If the apartment presently occupied by the occupant is not of appropriate size, the Manager and the occupant will execute a transfer request for an apartment of appropriate size.  This transfer request will be processed as set forth in the Tenant Selection, Assignment and Transfer Plan or successor plan and the Transfer Manual.  In those cases where there is an approved transfer for  the former Resident, the case will be reviewed by the Occupancy Department to determine the appropriateness of continuing the approval.  If it is determined appropriate to continue the approval, the residual applicant will assume the current waiting list position for a transfer.  If there is a need to adjust the bedroom size, the residual tenancy applicant will go on the appropriate list chronologically by the original date of application by the former Resident.

IF DETERMINED INELIGIBLE:

If the occupant is found ineligible, he/she will also be notified of his/her right to an informal conference and his/her rights to appeal.  The occupant will be granted an informal conference in accordance with the applicant appeal procedures and an appeal as permitted by state regulations, if one is requested.  If a conference or an appeal is not requested, the manager shall send the occupant a notice to vacate the premises (Form RT-03).

SUMMARY

As explained in the "Residual Tenancy Policy," members of a tenant household may qualify to become tenants when the person who originally signed the lease is no longer present in the home.  To accomplish this, the residual occupant must indicate this desire to the development manager  within 15 days of the original leasee vacating the premises.  If the Manager becomes aware that the original tenant has left the household, he/she may request a private conference with the residual occupant. The Manager is responsible for explaining the policy to the occupant, obtaining from the occupant a signed "Use and Occupancy Agreement" (Form RT-02), and providing the occupant with a "Request for Status Change" (Form RT-04).  The occupant delivers the request form to the Occupancy Department at 52 Chauncy Street and completes a housing application.  The Occupancy Department notifies both the occupant and the Manager of its decision.  If the Occupancy Department determines that the occupant is eligible for tenancy,  the Manager prepares a lease for the tenant to sign.  If the unit is no longer the appropriate size, the Manager and the occupant will also execute a "transfer for an apartment of appropriate size" in accordance with the Tenant Selection, Assignment and Transfer Plan.  If the Occupancy Department finds the occupant ineligible for tenancy, the occupant is also advised of his/her right to an informal conference in accordance with BHA applicant appeal procedures and an appeal as permitted under state law.  If the occupant chooses not to exercise these rights, or if the BHA prevails after the applicant exhausts his/her appeals, the Manager sends the occupant a Notice to Quit (Form RT-03).  This notice would also be used once the occupant has had the informal conference and the appeal hearing, if the BHA Hearing Officer upholds the denial of residual tenancy.

PROCEDURES

Residual Occupant

or

Manager

1.  Advises development manager of desire to become the tenant on the lease.

or

Requests of private conference to discuss situation (Form RT-01).

Manager    

2.  Explains Residual Tenancy Policy.
3.  Asks occupant to sign "Use and Occupancy Agreement (Form RT-02).

Residual Occupant

4.  Signs Form RT-02.

Manager

5.  If occupant fails to appear at conference or refuses to sign Form RT-02, prepares "Notice to Quit" (Form SQ-01), and delivers to occupant.  Use squatter eviction process. See Section 11, Squatters.
6.   Gives occupant a "Request for Status Change Form (Form RT-04).

Residual Occupant

7.   Fills out Form RT-04.

8.   Takes form to Occupancy Department at 52 Chauncy Street, Boston.

9.   Fills out housing application and leaves it at Occupancy Department.

Occupancy Department

10.   Processes and evaluates request.

Director of Occupancy

11. Notifies occupant and development manager of decision in writing, including advising the occupant of rights to an informal conference and appeal hearing if application denied.

Manager

12. If the decision is favorable, prepares a lease and executes it with the occupant.
13. If the decision was favorable but the unit  size is inappropriate for the current household composition, executes a "transfer for an apartment of appropriate size" with the occupant.

Residual Occupant

14. If the resident is found ineligible, decides whether to request informal conference and to appeal. 
15. If decides to request conference and hearing, does so following the applicant appeal procedures within the prescribed time frames.

Manager

16. If occupant does not request the conference and hearing, or if after termination of the appeals process, the Occupancy  Department decision is upheld, prepares the "Notice to Quit" (Form RT-03) and has it delivered to the occupant.