The Most Northeastern City in the United States.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Unit

Caribou Municipal Building
25 High St
Caribou, Maine 04736
Lisa Plourde, Executive Director
Sue Ouellette, FSS/Homeownership
Phone: (207) 493-4234
Fax: (207) 376-0178
E-mail: housing@cariboumaine.org

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Things to Consider When Choosing a Unit 

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Equal Housing Opportunity

There are many factors to consider as you search for suitable housing, so try to select a place that meets your family’s needs.  Here are some things to keep in mind when you are looking.

Condition

Having a good place to live is important.  You are free to choose any dwelling you like, as long as it meets certain HUD requirements known as Housing Quality Standards (HQS).  Please read the enclosed brochure entitled “A Good Place to Live”.  It explains the purpose of HQS and the HQS inspection. If the unit fails inspection there will be only one chance for the landlord to bring the unit up to the HQS standards. The time on your voucher will continue to run. If  repairs take too long or if the unit fails a second inspection and your voucher has expired, your voucher will be cancelled, therefore, it is important that you select a rental that is in good condition.

Rent Reasonableness

The landlord must not charge more rent for the dwelling (unit) than rents charged for comparable units in the private market.  Comparable rents are monitored by the Housing Authority and will be used to determine rent reasonableness.  If the requested rent exceeds comparable rents, the rent is too high.  You will need to negotiate a lower rent or find another unit.

Location

When selecting a rental unit, you should consider the safety of the neighborhood and whether the unit is close to public transportation, centers of employment, schools, shopping, etc.

Cost of Utilities/Energy Efficiency

Depending on your lease agreement, you may be responsible for payment of some or all of the utilities of your rental unit.  To keep costs as low as possible, rental units should be energy-efficient.  Emera Maine recommends that you consider items such as:

  • Energy efficient appliances
  • Heating source – electric heat is the most expensive type of heat
  • The following conservation measures should be considered:
    –   caulking around windows, doors and anywhere air leaks in and out
    –   weather-stripping around windows and doors
    –   heat and cooling ducts wrapped with duct wrap or duct tape
    –   energy-saver showerheads
    –   insulation blanket around the water heater