Simply writing program requirements into law does not guarantee that inclusionary dwellings will be occupied by the tenants they are intended to serve. For their program to work, municipalities must be willing to devote staff to oversight, and take decisive action when there are violations that jeopardize the reputation and effectiveness of the program”

For rental properties, communities typically record a deed restriction or covenant that requires that affordable units be rented for no more than an affordable rent (as defined annually by a local agency). The restrictions also generally require that affordable units only be rented to residents earning less than a specific income threshold (generally some percentage of the area median income).

While property managers sometimes have trouble complying with program rules, legal action is usually not necessary to enforce these obligations. Many cities require property managers to provide annual tenant and rent rolls indicating the income level of all tenants in affordable units and their current affordable rents. When problems are identified, program administrators will send a formal letter to the property manager identifying any compliance violations.