What is Section 8?
The Section 8 program provides assistance for low-income families in the private rental market through the Housing Rental Assistance Program. Rental Voucher Holders select a unit from the private rental market. Rental assistance makes market rate housing affordable. Program participants usually pay no more than 40% of monthly-adjusted income towards rent and utilities. The Housing Assistance Payment subsidizes the balance of the rent to the property owner.
How Do I Make A Unit Available To Voucher Holders?
You may advertise in the newspaper with the phrase "will accept section 8". Our families look for those listings.You may also call the Housing Authority Office to have the unit listed on our list of available units.
What Are The Requirements For My Unit To Be Rented to an Assisted Family?
The unit must meet HUD Housing Quality Standards (page) and the rent must be approvable within HUD Fair Market Rents and market rate comparable (copy of HQS (page) available).
What Do I Do When A Voucher Holder Is Interested In My Unit?
- Landlord Screens Tenants
You must screen the prospective tenant carefully to insure you are making a good selection. When one of our families contacts you, we can only certify to their income eligibility for the program. We cannot provide a reference as to their expected behavior as tenants. You may use any or all of the following screening procedures:
- Credit Check
- Landlord references
- Criminal Check
- Home Visits
We encourage all of the above screening methods as long as you do not discriminate. Discrimination includes any tenant selection based on race, color, religion, ancestry, sex, country of birth, handicap or familial status makes it illegal, in most circumstances, to refuse to allow children to live in a residential unit. To do so would be a direct violation of the Fair Housing Laws.
- Request For Tenancy Approval
When you have selected a tenant, he/she will have a "Request for Tenancy Approval" form for you to complete. When the tenant submits the form to our office, a housing representative will contact you to schedule an inspection.
The unit will be inspected to insure that it meets HUD Housing Quality Standards. If applicable, you may be mailed a letter of the inspection repair list.
- Lease and Contract
After the unit passes inspection and the rent has been approved, the landlord and tenant enter into a lease for an initial term of one year. The Housing Authority and the landlord sign a Housing Assistance Payments Contract through which the rent is assisted on behalf of the tenant.
Can I Collect A Security Deposit?
Yes. The deposit usually equals one months rent. The Housing Authority prohibits security deposits in excess of private practice, or in excess of amounts charged by the owner to unassisted tenants.
What Is The Term Of The Lease?
After one year, the lease is renewed on a month to month basis. The tenant may vacate with a written 30-day notice after the term of the lease expires. If the tenant remains in the unit, the tenant is recertified for eligibility and the unit is inspected for Housing Quality Standards annually, at which time the landlord may request a rent increase which must be approved by the Housing Authority. This request must be submitted in writing to the Housing Authority and tenant thirty days prior to renewal.
What Are My Rights And Responsibilities As A Landlord?
Maintain your property in good condition. Complete repairs within a reasonable amount of time upon request by the Housing Authority or tenant, 24 hours for emergencies. The amount of time that is considered reasonable depends on the nature of the problem.Set reasonable rules about the use of unit and common areas.
- Do not enter a unit without tenants permission and proper notice except for emergencies or tenant requested repairs.
- Collect appropriate security deposit as directed under the program and use it only as directed by state law.
- Comply with equal opportunity requirements.
- Enforce tenant obligations under the lease.
- Expect your tenant to:
- Pay rent on time
- Keep unit clean
- Avoid illegal activity
- Permit access for repairs
- Avoid damage to property
- Refrain from disturbing others
- Allow only those occupants on the lease to reside in the unit
- Comply with terms and conditions of lease and HAP contract.
- Take action through Magistrate's Court to evict when tenant violates the lease.
- The Housing Authority offers a Direct Deposit program for landlords. The only requirement is to have either a checking or savings account.
- The Housing Authority will automatically deposit your check into your checking or savings account.
- No lost checks.
- No delayed checks due to problems with the post office.
- There are none.