Landlord Information:

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program is a three-way partnership between property owners, tenants, and the Housing Authority. Your decision to join other rental property owners in the Section 8 Voucher Program will make a difference in providing affordable housing in the area. This program is historically the most successful, cost-effective and efficient way to assist individuals and families whose incomes are not sufficient to keep pace with rental costs. Providing affordable housing in the area cannot occur without you. You offer the rental units. The Housing Authority offers the rental assistance. Let’s work together to make this happen.

This is a Federally funded program administered by local public housing agencies (PHA). It provides housing assistance to eligible low-income families. The program enables families to obtain decent, safe, and sanitary housing by subsidizing a portion of each tenant’s monthly rent, and paying it directly and promptly to the property owner. Any type of private rental housing is eligible. Single-family dwellings, high-rise buildings, townhouses and congregate housing are eligible. Paperwork is minimal and the owner retains normal management rights and responsibilities, including tenant selection, rent collection, property maintenance and lease termination.

Who Participates In The Section 8 Program?

The Section 8 Program assists low-income households. The local PHA selects families who meet income and eligibility requirements.

How Is Rental Assistance Provided?

The housing agency calculates the amount of assistance each family receives. The level of assistance is based on family size and income. A family is expected to pay approximately 30 percent of its adjusted income towards rent. When a family finds a unit and signs a lease, the agency signs a Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) Contract with the owner. Each month the agency makes housing assistance payments directly to the owner. These payments are guaranteed monthly income to the owner as long as the family lives there and as long as the unit meets program requirements.

What Are The Tenant’s Rent Responsibilities?

The tenant must pay all rent and utilities that are not covered by the HAP Contract. Because the family is receiving assistance, the rent burden is reduced and the family should be able to pay its rent more easily and on time.

Annual Recertification, Unit Inspection and Lease Renewals
Each year the PHA re-evaluates the following:

1. Tenant income, family compositon and ongoing eligibility. A change in the tenant’s income or family circumstances is likely to result in a change in the portion of rent paid by the tenant and the PHA.

2. Condition of the property. The PHA inspects the unit each year to insure that it continues to meet program standards. These inspections also help you to stay informed about the condition of your property and help prevent deterioration.

3. Willingness of both parties to continue in the program. Prior to the expiration of the initial lease, the owner and family must decide if they wish to make any changes to the lease or change the amount of rent. After the initial year of receiving assistance, the lease automatically renews on a month-to-month basis. If the owner and the family choose to, they can sign a new lease for another year, but this is not required by the Section 8 Program.

Termination of the Lease

1. If the tenant becomes ineligible for assistance: If the tenant becomes ineligible, the PHA will cancel its contract with the owner. However, you may arrange with the family to continue to lease without housing assistance.

2. If the family decides not to remain in the unit: If the family decides to move from the unit, and you decide to continue with the program, you may rent to another family who is eligible for housing assistance.

3. If the owner decides to terminate the lease: The owner may terminate the lease only if the tenant violates the lease or for other good cause. The owner and tenant can mutually decide to terminate the lease at any time.

4. If the owner sells the property: The owner must contact the PHA prior to the sale of the property. However, the PHA and the NEW owner may transfer the housing assistance contract to provide uninterrupted rental assistance payments.

5. If the tenant vacates the unit in violation of the lease: You may retain the housing assistance payment for the month in which the tenant moved. You may also retain the security deposit for the amount of unpaid rent and any damages caused by the tenant.

6. Eviction procedures: If you decide to begin eviction proceedings against a tenant, you must follow standard procedures required by state and local laws. You must give written notice to the family stating the grounds of the proposed eviction. You must also provide a copy of the written notice to the PHA.

Non-Discrimination in Housing

In the selection of tenants, provision of services, or in any other manner, Federal law states that an owner may not discriminate against any person because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Additionally, state and local statutes may prohibit discrimination on broader grounds (eg. age, marital status). Program participants are instructed to report all cases of discrimination.