Don't Charge for Use of Party Room

February 10, 2009
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If you are thinking of earning extra income for your tax credit site by renting out the community room for parties, think twice. If your community room is part of your site’s common area, you cannot charge households a fee to use the room—not even your market-rate households. If you do, you may cause the owner to lose tax credits on that portion of the site.

The IRS expressly bars you from charging a fee to households for use of any common area facilities. Common areas must be equally available and provided without charge to all households in the building, including any market-rate households at the site [26 CFR 1.42-5(c)(1)(viii)].

Though you may not charge for the use of a community room, you may require that households using the room pay reasonable damage deposits, as long as you refund the deposits if there is no damage to the room. And you can charge the households for any additional services you have to provide, such as maintenance and cleaning services to repair any extra mess or damage the parties cause.