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Why the Section 8 HCVP makes sense for landlords

You, probably, already rent to families that are very similar to those receiving The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP) assistance1.

  • Worried about who won’t make rent this month?  Next month?  Every month?
  • Think you’d worry less if part of the rent—often the lion’s share—were guaranteed each month?  Mailed directly to you?  On the first of each month?
  • Think there’s got to be a better way?

There is.  The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program–a win-win for landlords and tenants.  Rental assistance that lowers the rent of eligible families, and guarantees on-time monthly payments to owners.

You’re in the driver’s seat

  • Screen applicants and choose your own tenant–just as you do for your market-rate units
  • Use your own lease–and go month-to-month, if you wish, after the initial lease term
  • Charge the same late fees and security deposits that you charge anyone else
  • Enforce the same tenant rules
  • If there’s a problem, terminate the lease at any point with good cause – or terminate for whatever reason you choose once the initial lease period is up.

Guaranteed, on-time payments

Participating landlords tell us that one of the most popular benefits of the Section 8 HCVP is guaranteed, on-time payment.  Our share of the tenant’s rent is mailed the last business day of each month.  Often, our share is the lion’s share.  And, since the tenant’s share is made more manageable by the HCVP assistance, the tenant is more likely to make his/her payment on time as well.

Flexibility and stability

Hiccups in the economy usually hit low-income families – your tenants – first and hardest.  Usually, a layoff or reduction in hours puts your rent at risk.  But, if a the income of a Section 8 HCVP tenant unexpectedly drops, HACA can reduce the tenant’s portion of the rent and increase HACA’s share – flexibility that reduces missed tenant rent payments and preserves tenancies.

Setting the rent

We’ll work with you to identify the maximum rent for you unit (see How Much Rent Can I Charge?) based on HACA’s payment standard and comparable rents.  The rent you charge your Section 8 HCVP tenant will be the same you charge everyone else, as long as its comparable to similar units in your area and within HACA’s payment standards.

Got a vacancy? We’ll help you lease up

HACA assists over 7,000 Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP) families.  Each month, many of these families plan to move or are already actively looking.  HACA’s free online “For Rent” Directory will help you maximize exposure of your listings and minimize vacancy loss.  It’s the only rental listings directory targeted to Section 8 HCVP participants in HACA’s jurisdiction. (We also expand the exposure for your vacancies by making printed copies of the listings available.)

Annual inspections help you reduce expenses and maintain the value of your property

We inspect your unit when you first lease it to a Section 8 HCVP tenant and every 24 months thereafter.  We aren’t looking for code compliance, but, rather, for possible health or safety hazards like, a smoke alarm with a dead battery, or an outlet without a switch plate – what the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) calls Housing Quality Standards.  (Sometimes, of course, health or safety hazards are code violations.  Also, we do require that additions or significant remodels have been done under permit.)

(You can see HUD’s inspection form HERE; and the check-off list we use to pass (or, when necessary, fail) a unit.)

If everything checks out, the unit passes.  If not, we’ll come back to reinspect.

Our biennial inspection can help you preserve your investment by identifying problems before they become costlier to correct or lead to disputes with the tenant.  Our discovery of energy wasters like loose seals in the refrigerator can lower your monthly expense when corrected.

Rent Increases

After the initial lease term, you can get a rent increase provided that the new rent is comparable to similar units in your area and within HACA’s payment standards.  You can use our free online “For Rent” Directory, Craigslist, or other sources to check “comps”.

Getting Started

To participate in the Section 8 HCVP, just list your available unit in HACA’s free online “For Rent” Directory.  Once you and a HCVP family tentatively agree to sign a lease, fill out the Request for Tenancy Approval form (RTA) that the family will present to you and return it to HACA (the RTA form provided here is an example only and only HACA’s form will be honored).  We’ll contact you on receipt to schedule a unit inspection and get your signature on the required forms.  The whole process usually takes 7-10 business days.

Questions?  Want more information about the Section 8 HCVP?

Click HERE for more information about the rights and responsibilities of the family, the owner, and HACA in the Housing Choice Voucher Program.  Contact us if you have additional questions.  We’ll promptly acknowledge your inquiry and reply.

1 Families that receive Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP) assistance qualify as to income and family composition(e.g., families, elderly or disabled individuals, or other individuals).  They receive assistance because they have applied for it and have been chosen, by lottery or otherwise, to receive one of a limited number of HCVP vouchers available from HACA or from another housing authority.  Participation in the Section 8 HCVP is not an entitlement available to anyone who qualifies.  Rather, participants are fortunate recipients of a strictly rationed, federally-financed housing resource.

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