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January 21, 2018
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Home > Regional Housing & Planning Programs > Housing Programs > Housing Choice Voucher Program

What Landlords Need to Know

Property Listings

You can list your property for free by contacting your local housing agency. Once listed, property information will be provided to any voucher holder looking for a unit of that particular size and price.

Expected Rent

You determine the asking price for the unit. However, the rent must be reasonable compared to other units of similar location, quality, size, type and age. If the rent is not reasonable to similar units, you may be asked to lower it to accommodate the tenant interested in moving into the property. Should you rent property through the Housing Choice Voucher program, rent increases must also be reasonable in relation to comparable units, the payment standard in the jurisdiction, and what portion of the rent the tenant can afford to pay.

Security Deposit

You can ask for as much as allowable under local law, typically one month's rent. However, you cannot legally ask more in security deposit from a Housing Choice Voucher applicant than you would ask of any other applicant. Security deposit funds must be placed in an interest-bearing account. Consult local guidelines for more details.

Rent Payments

The housing agency will issue you a check for the difference between the jurisdiction's payment standard and the tenant's total payment. The tenant pays the difference between the total rent and the voucher amount. Both the tenant and the housing agency pay their portions of the rent to you at the beginning of every month. A delay in the housing agency's payment may be expected when the tenant first moves into the unit. However, a prorated rent can be paid on a mid-month move. Contact your local housing agency for more details.

Tenant Selection

You have the right to select the tenant you want for your unit using whatever criteria you determine. However, you cannot discriminate against an individual because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, familial status, or disability. In some jurisdictions, you cannot refuse to rent to someone just because he or she has a Housing Choice Voucher.

Inspections

Before a tenant can move into your property, the housing agency has to inspect the unit. The inspector is looking for minimum Housing Quality Standards (HQS) to ensure that the unit is in livable condition. If it is not, you may be asked to make some repairs to the unit prior to the client moving in. The housing agency cannot pay on the unit until it passes inspection.

Damages to the Property

Damages beyond normal wear and tear and that are tenant-related are paid for by the tenant. You should have a standard practice listed in the lease as to how damages will be paid for by the tenant. After the tenant moves out, you may take compensation for damages beyond normal wear and tear from the tenant's security deposit.

Lease Enforcement

You have the right to enforce your lease and take the necessary actions against a tenant when there is a violation of the lease. Follow local regulations and send a copy of all landlord-tenant correspondence to the housing agency. In some cases, the housing agency may take action against the tenant to terminate the assistance prior to any action you may take.


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