Family member with a disability rents from an unrelated third party
Renting a housing unit (e.g. apartment, house, condo) is another option for the family member with a disability. This section offers information on renting from an unrelated landlord – NOT a parent or sibling. Information in this section is offered from the perspective of the parent(s).
Family Member with a Disability Rents from a Third Party
Parents Rent from Third Party and Sublease to Family Member with Disability
- The family member with a disability is the tenant and rents directly from a third party.
- The parent(s) is the tenant and the parent(s) enters into a Leasing Agreement with the landlord, and the lease agreement allows for a Subleasing Agreement for the family member with a disability to reside in the property. The Subleasing agreement is between the parent(s) and the family member with a disability. The parent(s) is liable to the landlord for rent and any damages to the property. (If the lease agreement does not specifically allow subleasing of the property, then a parent(s) should not risk this option).
- The parent’s name is on the lease; the name of the family member with a disability is NOT on the lease. (If the family member with the disability has their name on the lease and the parent(s) is a co-signer, it is not a subleasing agreement).
- The Sublessee does not have a contract with the landlord, but instead, with the tenant (parent). Subleasing is subject to the lease agreement with the owner of the real property. Subleasing should be done with legal advice.
- The advantage of a sublease agreement is that the family member with a disability can live in a housing unit that he/she may not be able to qualify for with their income (they would not qualify to rent the property under the landlord’s financial parameters). Therefore, the parent(s) leases the property using their income, and then sublease the property to the family member at a lower rental rate that the family member with a disability can afford.
- The drawbacks are that there may be in kind support and maintenance issues if the parent(s) rents the housing option for less than fair market value ( ie. less than what they are paying to rent the property.) A STABLE Account can be used to pay to the landlord the portion of the rent they are not charging to the family member with a disability and then that rental support is not deemed to be in kind support and maintenance.
- As always, funds used from a STABLE account are not counted as in kind support and maintenance. See STABLE Account the Information and Resources section.
What Circumstances Make this a Possible Fit?
- The parent(s) and the family member with a disability want a flexible housing arrangement that does not require a long-term commitment.
- The parent(s) and the family member with a disability do not have the resources or desire to pursue other housing options.
- The parent(s) wants to help their family member with a disability take some first steps toward living on their own, without making a substantial financial commitment.
What Does This Mean to My Family Member with a Disability?
Many people, with and without disabilities, find that renting is the housing option that works best for them. Many parents and family members with a disability value the flexibility and ease of this arrangement.
Because leases are generally for only a one-year period, there is no long-term security that the family member will be able to live in one place. The family member with a disability may move multiple times. These moves may result in additional costs for security deposits, deposits for initiation of utility service, and moving expenses. Frequent moves may also have negative emotional and social impacts.
Depending on the financial situation of the family member with a disability, they may be eligible for a rent subsidy through the Housing Choice Voucher program (commonly referred to as “Section 8”). If a family member with a disability has a Housing Choice Voucher, they can use it to offset a portion of the rent, provided the landlord is willing to accept the voucher and participate in the program. (See “Vouchers: What and How?”) Other kinds of rent subsidies are available through the Public Housing and Low Income Housing Tax Credit programs (see below).
What Does this Mean to My Estate?
This option does not impact the estate of a parent or sibling (if any) as it does not require that an asset be provided for housing.
Where Do I Get More Information?
- Information on the Housing Choice Voucher Programs (in Hamilton County) is available through the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority or Talk To Us Hotline 513-721-2642, or contact the county board Service and Support Administrator (SSA).
- Information on available Low Income Housing Tax Credit housing units can be found at Ohio Housing Locator.
- Additional resource information for renters in Ohio is available from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
- Other kinds of rent subsidies are available through the Public Housing and Low Income Housing Tax Credit.
- Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME) offers information, education, and advocacy related to fair housing and tenant/landlord issues: Phone: (513) 721-4663.
Pros and Cons
Extent of Control
Effects on Public Benefits
Property Management Responsibility
Long Term Flexibility
Explore other housing options
Created by a Home Think Tank workgroup.
Information on this sheet is provided for informational purposes only. Nothing in this document should be considered legal or accounting advice. Contact a professional for information pertinent to your specific situation.
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