BECOMING A SECTION 8 LANDLORD IS EASY
We are pleased that you have expressed interest in becoming a participant in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Section 8 Program and helping us promote and realize the mission of the Caribou Housing Authority (CHA). CHA’s mission is to provide safe, quality, affordable housing to low and moderate income families in the Caribou area; and to promote personal responsibility and self-sufficiency of residents while maintaining the fiscal integrity of the agency.
The Section 8 Program, is a HUD subsidized program, also referred to as “Voucher” or “HAP” (housing assistance payment). This income-based program provides rental assistance for low-income families. The Section 8 program is a partnership between the Caribou Housing Authority, the tenant, and the owner/landlord of the rental property.
Step 1: You will need to advertise that you are willing to accept a renter who has a Section 8 voucher.
- When a family with a voucher is entering into a new lease for a new unit, the family cannot pay more than 40% of their monthly adjusted income for rent. Some families with a Voucher can afford more expensive units than other Voucher holder.
Step 2: If contacted by a prospective tenant, the owner/landlord must screen the prospective tenant carefully to insure s/he is a suitable renter.
CHA conducts a criminal background check on program participants but we do NOT conduct credit checks or provide rental histories. It is strongly advised that the owner conducts any or all of the following screening procedures: credit check, criminal background check, landlord reference
check, etc. CHA encourages all of these screening methods as long as the owner does not discriminate. Discrimination includes any tenant selection based on race, color, religion, ancestry, sex, and country of birth, handicap or familial status
Step 3: After a family finds a suitable housing unit and the owner screens and approves the family, the family will submit a Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA) package (also known as the “leasing” packet) to the owner to be completed.
Once the packet has been completed, it is the responsibility of the family to submit the packet to CHA for approval. Upon submission of the RFTA package, CHA staff will complete an income calculation to determine if
the tenant can afford the rent requested based on their income and determine the portion of the rent that the tenant and CHA is estimated to pay.
Step 4: Once the RFTA paperwork has been processed, the a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection will be scheduled.
The unit must be ready for a move-in inspection. All utilities must be turned on and the appliances (range and refrigerator) must be in the unit.
Step 5: After the unit passes inspection and the rent has been approved, the tenant is allowed to sign a lease and move into the unit.
A copy of the signed lease agreement between the tenant and landlord MUST be submitted to CHA. The initial term of the lease must be for at least one year.
IF THE TENANT MOVES INTO THE UNIT PRIOR TO THE UNIT PASSING INSPECTION, THE TENANT IS SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE FULL CONTRACT RENT.
Also, note that CHA does not provide assistance with security deposits. The
owner may collect a security deposit; however, the Housing Authority prohibits security deposits in excess of private practice and in excess of amounts charged by the owner to unassisted tenants
Step 6: Once the tenant moves into the unit, a Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Contract must be executed between CHA and the owner within a processing period of approximately 1 to 2 weeks.
The effective date of the HAP contract is the latest date between the lease start date and the passed inspection date. After the processing period, CHA
pay its portion retroactively to the effective date of the HAP contract. HAP checks are issued to the owner on the 1st business day of the month as long as the family continues to meet eligibility criteria and the property qualifies under the program.
It is our hope that this overview of the Section 8 Program is helpful as you decide if you would like to become a Section 8 landlord. Thank you again for your interest