Frequently Asked Questions for Landlords
The Housing Choice Voucher Program is a federally funded program that is designed to assist low-income households by providing rental assistance that is based on household income. The assistance is paid directly to the landlord once the assisted unit has been approved and contracts have been approved.
The Housing Choice Voucher program is a good option for landlords who want security. The majority of the rent will be paid directly by the Housing Authority every month. The balance of the rent will be paid by the tenant. Other benefits of the Voucher program.
Let us know if you have a unit available. We always have clients looking for a new home. List your unit with GoSection8. It is free and gives your property great exposure to voucher holders and other prospects.
Owners are responsible for screening their tenants, utilizing their standard screening procedures. The Housing Authority does limited background screening.
Owners have the same rights under the Voucher program as they do under a standard rental agreement. The Housing Assistance Payments contract does require that landlords maintain their unit in a decent, safe and sanitary condition, and provide proper notice of any changes in the rental agreement, including the rent.
The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) checks are mailed the last business day of the month for the following month's rent payment. Checks are typically received by the 5th of the month and will not be canceled and reissued prior to the 10th. If you have not received your check by the 10th of the month, please contact the finance department.
The Housing Authority does not currently allow for direct deposit, but we are able to send your check directly to your bank. We anticipate being able to do a direct deposit in the upcoming year, 2020.
Yes, you are allowed to charge a security deposit, comparable to what you would charge any other renter.
No, there is no one year lease requirement. The Housing Authority accepts any lease term, from month-to-month to one year.
The Housing Quality Standards are established by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. HUD requires that all assisted units meet this minimum standard to ensure the unit is decent, safe and sanitary. All things in the unit should be working and operable, as designed. The requirements create a minimum standard. Most units in good repair should meet this minimum standard and pass the inspection. All systems in the unit should be operable and in sound condition, including electrical, plumbing, lighting, windows, doors, floors, roofs, etc.
For most units we are currently on a biennial inspection schedule, meaning we do inspections every 24 months.
This depends on the lease terms. The owner or tenant could be responsible for the utilities, depending on how they are assigned in the lease. The Housing Authority does not pay any utilities on behalf of the tenant.
If a property is offering concessions, the concession is generally averaged across the terms of the lease to decrease or reduce the amount of monthly rent.
The tenant cannot, nor should they be asked to pay additional monies outside of the lease agreement and contract. This violates program rules and guidelines and subjects both parties to termination from the program.
The tenant will continue to receive assistance as long as they are income-eligible and continue to meet program requirements, or until they voluntarily terminate.
Yes, the amount of rent the tenant pays is subject to change. The amount of assistance a tenant receives is based on their income. As their income fluctuates, a tenant's rent can also fluctuate. The participant and landlord will always be provided with a minimum of thirty (30) days notice of a change in the tenant rent share. If the tenant's rent share goes up or down, the amount of the rent you receive from the Housing Authority will also change so that you still receive the total agreed upon rent.
If a Voucher holder tenant violates the terms of the lease agreement, you would issue notice to them the same as you would any other tenant, following landlord/tenant laws. If the tenant causes damages or owes you money, you would also treat them the same as any other tenant. In case of damages to the unit, you may be able to get compensation through Washington State's Landlord Mitigation Program.
We take fraud very seriously. If you suspect someone under the program is committing fraud, please complete and submit the Report Fraud form.
If you are planning on selling your property, we ask that you contact our office prior to the sale or change of title. Once the property changes ownership, a Change in Address or Ownership form must be completed by both parties and submitted to our office. This form is available for download on our Current Landlords page.
A change in lease terms requires a sixty (60) day notice to the Housing Authority.
A tenancy under the Voucher program may be terminated following Washington State law. You will need to provide our office with copies of any notifications you issue to the tenant.
Units that were constructed prior to 1978 must be free of chipping or peeling paint if there is a child under the age of six (6) residing in the unit. Refer to Washington State's Department of Commerce website for more information on lead-based paint.