ARent Comparability Study (RCS) must be submitted with a Section 8 contract renewal. Because the RCS is submitted to HUD, it must meet specific requirements and guidelines. The Rent Comparability Studies are prepared in accordance with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) and the supplemental standards of HUD Chapter 9. Market rents are defined and estimated in accordance with Section 9-7 through Section 9-13 of Chapter 9, and the reports are prepared in accordance with Section 9-14 through Section 9-16 of Chapter 9.
The purpose of the RCS is to determine market rents for each unit type in the subject property. This is achieved by selecting comparable market-rate properties and making detailed adjustments to the rents based on the differences between the subject property and the comparable properties. The RCS must be prepared by or signed off by a state certified General Appraiser licensed in the state in which the subject property is located.
Selecting proper comparable properties is a critical aspect of a proper RCS. Characteristics that are considered when determining comparability include: similarity of bedroom type, unit size (square feet), building design, age, quality, amenities, and location to the subject property. Adjustments are made to the comparable property’s rent that allow for the differences; this is done by using the HUD 92273-S8 grids.
Rent Comparability Study Summary:
The Rent Comparability Study (RCS) is required to renew the HAP Contract under the Mark Up to Market Program and Option 2. In some Pre-MAHRA cases, it is also required for an AAF rent adjustment.
The following is a checklist of RCS requirements. Please refer to the Section 8 Guidebook, Ch. 9, Sections 9 – 14; 9-16; & 9-20 for references on the following checklist and more details:
Rent Comparability Study Checklist:
Submission timeline: completed no earlier than 180 days prior to the contract expiration.
Rent Comparability Study Alternatives:
The Section 8 Guidebook allows for two alternative methods to demonstrate how the Section 8 rents proposed at renewal compare to the rents charged for other units:
For more information on the RCS alternatives, reference the Section 8 Guidebook, Chapter 9, Section 9-4; 9-5; and 9-6
Rent Comparability Study Resources:
www.hud.gov - Access the Section 8 Guidebook or Rent Comparability HUD form, 92273-S8
www.appraisalfoundation.org – Details the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice
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