See link for Section 8 Owners.
Families who are searching for housing will contact owners to apply for tenancy. Families will follow the owner’s standard application process. IHA encourages owners to screen all applicants. Owners may do so by contacting previous owners and conducting criminal history checks as well as reviewing credit history information. Remember that IHA does not screen for suitability; it is the responsibility of the owner to screen applicants. However, owners must follow the same practices as used for non-Section 8 applicants. Owners should become familiar with federal, state and local fair housing laws and tenant/owner laws to ensure the screening criteria applied are not discriminatory. Upon written request, Section 8 can provide owners with a list of previous owners for a specific client (if available).
When the owner agrees to rent to a Section 8 family, the owner and family will complete the RTA. The RTA form lists information on the type and size of unit, year constructed, proposed rent for the unit, security deposit requested and the date the unit will be available for inspection. The form will also indicate who actually owns the unit, who is responsible for the utilities, who will supply the appliances, the amount of the security deposit, the most recent rent charged for the unit, comparable unassisted units, the managing agent (if applicable) and the mailing address for the Housing Assistance Payment. The form notifies our Inspection Department that an inspection is needed.
IHA will inspect the units using the Section 8 Housing Quality Standards (HQS) to ensure that the units are decent, safe and sanitary. To accomplish this, HUD regulations (24 CFR 982.401) set forth basic Housing Quality Standards, which all units must meet before rental by program participants. The primary objective of these standards is to protect the participants receiving assistance under the program by guaranteeing what HUD considers is a basic level of acceptable housing. The regulations stipulate that each unit leased under the HCV program shall meet basic “performance requirements” with the respect to the following:
The HUD form 52580-A is used to record and document inspection results. The owner or a representative of the owner must be present for all initial inspections. If the unit does not pass inspection, the inspector will provide the owner with a copy of the needed repairs and schedule a date for re-inspection. All units must pass inspection before a Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract can be executed. Inspections are also performed on an annual basis for families who are under lease to ensure units are maintained in accordance with HUD’s Housing Quality Standards (HQS) guidelines. Owners are encouraged to be present. Failure to keep units up to HQS guidelines could result in the abatement of payment or termination of the HAP Contract.
Owners should request rent for a unit based on the amount that the unit is "worth." The requested rent should be comparable to the rents charged in the immediate area for units of like size, features, and amenities. The area in which the unit is located will most times dictate the unit's worth along with the quality of workmanship and amenities. Section 8 will determine if the unit's rent is reasonable once an inspection is performed. The inspector will chart a "rent reasonableness survey" while inspecting the unit. Rent reasonableness is a HUD requirement. If the total points from the survey agree with the owner's requested rent and the family is able to pay their share, the proposed rent will be approved. In accordance with HUD guidelines, no more than 40% (percent) of a participants adjusted income can be used for rent and utilities during their first year under lease.
The owner may determine the amount of security deposit for a particular unit. The requested security deposit standards should be the same for all of your clients (whether a Section 8 family or not). Remember that Section 8 is not responsible for damages that may be caused by the program participant. It is the participant’s responsibility to pay the full security deposit and any damages.
The HAP will begin 2 to 3 weeks following the return of the signed lease and contract. Initial payments will be prorated based upon the effective date of the executed lease and contract.
If an owner violates the housing assistance payment (HAP) contract, IHA may suspend payments and will investigate the situation to determine if the contract should be terminated. IHA will terminate contracts that are under abatement at the earlier of (a) the family's move from the unit or (b) six months after the last HAP was made. Owners can be barred from the program for a serious breach of contract as determined by HUD. The owner can terminate tenancy for any reason permitted under the lease or lease addendum. Owners may terminate for serious or repeated violations of the terms and conditions of the lease, violation of federal, state or local law, criminal activity or other good cause. An owner has the same rights for evicting assisted families as they do for private market tenants; owners must first give the family a notice stating the reason for eviction and must forward a copy to IHA. See contract concerning owner's right to evict. The family may terminate tenancy after the first year of the lease. Terminations by the family during the first year are allowed only if the owner agrees to release the family from the lease. The family must give the owner and IHA notice of termination of tenancy in accordance with the lease prior to moving from the unit. The owner’s lease may not require more than 60 calendar days notice for the family to terminate after the first term of the lease. Owners must immediately notify IHA if a family no longer occupies the assisted unit. Housing assistance payments made to an owner after a participant has vacated the assisted unit, must be returned immediately.
The Owner’s Responsibilities
The Family's Responsibilities