Landlords / Vendors
What is a Section 8 Housing Choice Landlord?
The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program increases affordable housing choices for very low-income households by allowing families to choose privately-owned rental housing. The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program creates a three-way partnership between the local housing authority, the participating family and the owner/landlord of the private rental property.
How the Process to become a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Landlord Works?
Through the Section 8 Rental Voucher Program, the administering housing authority issues a voucher to an income-qualified household, which then finds a unit to rent. If the unit meets the Section 8 housing quality standards, the housing authority then pays a subsidy directly to the landlord.
Steps to Landlord Participation:
When the family has found a housing unit that is satisfactory, they must negotiate a residential lease with the landlord. To do this, the landlord must first agree to participate in the Housing Choice Voucher Program.
The rent for the unit must be reasonable, according to area comparables. If the landlord agrees to participate in the program and to lease their unit, the landlord and family should conduct a joint inspection of the unit to determine its current condition.
The landlord must meet the lease requirements as set by LHA, and complete the documents given to the family, which include Request for Tenancy Approval, Tenancy Addendum, Owners Certification, (Management agreement if applicable), Lead Based Paint disclosure statement, request for taxpayer identification and certification (Form W-9) from the IRS, and three copies of the residential lease agreement. The lease must not have the beginning or ending dates nor the contract rent amount filled in.
The family will return these documents to our office where they will be reviewed and approved. If all is in order, an inspection of the rental unit will be conducted within 5-10 business days. If the unit meets Housing Quality Standards (HQS) set by federal regulations and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and LHA and the owner have agreed on a monthly contract rent amount, the lease will be approved.
The family may move in once the unit has passed inspection, and their current lease has expired.
A Housing Assistance Payments Contract (known as a HAP Contract) must be signed by the Landlord and LHA. This contract runs concurrently with the Lease Agreement signed between the Landlord and the Assisted Family.
Payment of the family’s portion of rent will begin on the effective date of the contract and lease. A family can remain on the Housing Assistance Program as long as they continue to be eligible and fulfill their obligations under the federal regulations of the program.
Housing Quality Standards
Housing quality standards help to insure that a tenant's home will be safe, healthy, and comfortable. In the Section 8 Certificate Program and the Housing Voucher Program there are two kinds of housing quality standards.
Things that a home must have in order approved by the LHA, and additional things that a tenant should think about for the special needs of their family.
Every house or apartment must have at least a living room, kitchen, and bathroom. A one-room efficiency apartment with a kitchen area is all right. However, there must be a separate bathroom for the private use of your family. Generally there must be one living/sleeping room for every two family members.
For more information about requirements, please see A Good Place to Live.
See also Lead Based Paint brochure.
Responsibilities of the LHA:
- Ensure that all units in the Section 8 Certificate Program and the Housing Voucher Program meet the housing quality standards.
- Inspect unit in response to Request for Lease Approval. Inform potential tenant and owner of results and necessary actions.
- Encourage tenants and owners to maintain units up to standards.
- Make inspection in response to tenant or owner complaint or request. Inform the tenant and owner of the results, necessary actions, and time period for compliance.
- Make annual inspection of the unit to ensure that it still meets the housing authority quality standards. Inform the tenant and owner of the results, necessary actions, and time period for compliance.
Responsibilities of the tenant:
- Live up to the terms of your lease.
- Do your part to keep the unit safe and sanitary.
- Cooperate with the owner by informing him or her of any necessary repairs.
- Cooperate with the LHA for initial, annual, and complaint inspections.
Responsibilities of the owner:
- Comply with the terms of the lease.
- Generally maintain the unit and keep it up to the housing quality standards outlined in "A Good Place to Live" booklet.
- Cooperate with the tenant by responding promptly to requests for needed repairs.
- Cooperate with the LHA on initial, annual, and complaint inspections, including making necessary repairs.