Become a Landlord
Advantages to Becoming a Section 8 Landlord
- LHA guarantees Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) portion of rent on monthly basis
- Free annual inspection 90 to 120 days prior to the anniversary month of the contract
- Upon tenant’s request & with LHA approval, LHA can adjust tenants rent.
- Free special inspection (suspicion of damage to the property can result in a request for a special inspection)
- Quick Retrieval of HAP Payments to a preferred bank account via free and secure Direct Deposit every first of the month (Recommended)
- Free Advertising
Upon request, Landlords can advertise units available by contacting Laredo Housing Authority @ 956-722-0221, via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or Fax # 956-753-4113 and provide following information.
Address For rent
Contact NAME and PHONE number
(LHA will contact YOU for additional info.)
Rent $ and Deposit Amount
Requirements for Becoming a Section 8 Landlord
The role of the landlord in the Housing Choice Voucher Program is to provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing to a tenant at a reasonable rent. The dwelling unit must pass the program’s Housing Quality Standards and be maintained up to those standards as long as the owner receives housing assistance payments. In addition, the landlord is expected to provide the services agreed to as part of the lease signed with the tenant and the contract signed with LHA. Property owners maintain the same rights and responsibilities in the voucher program as they would with an open-market tenancy, including:
- Performing all management and rental functions, including tenant screening.
- Ensuring that the property meets basic health and safety standards, including paying for any owner-supplied utilities.
- Collecting a security deposit, tenant monthly rent portion, and charges for damages cause by tenant.
Complete Request for Tenancy
- Before the Housing Authority can perform an initial inspection, the landlord must fill out a Request for Tenancy Approval. This form must be filled out completely because missing information will slow the process.
- After you send us the Request for Tenancy Approval, we check the rent and utilities for affordability.
- A family is provided with an affordable rental rate range, based on their income. We strongly recommend that you talk to participants ahead of time to find out if your rent falls within their range. If a family’s share of gross rent (contract rent + utility allowance) exceeds 40 percent of the family’s income, then the family won’t qualify for the unit.
- The Request for Tenancy Approval form is simply your intention to rent to the tenant and sets the terms for the tenancy. Either party may withdraw from the process before a lease or contract is executed. Your lease is the binding agreement with your tenant.
Units must be prepared for Inspection
- To ensure a speedy inspection process, units must be ready for inspection at the scheduled time.
- Construction or rehabilitation work must be complete. Also, the unit must be unoccupied (unless it is occupied by the tenant for whom the inspection was scheduled).
- If a unit is not ready for inspection at the scheduled time, Housing Authority inspectors will not inspect the unit, which will delay the process.
- The Housing Authority does not screen participants for suitability as renters.
- Owners should perform their normal landlord reference checks, credit reviews, etc.
- The Housing Authority can supply owners with the current and previous applicant address and landlord information if known. (Previous voucher holders, assisted by LHA)
Other Important Information
Side payments are NOT allowed
Landlords must never collect side payments from participants. Asking for or accepting a side payment is considered fraud and could make the landlord and/or tenant ineligible to participate with the HCV program.
Owners and participants cannot be related
Please note that landlords and participants in the HCV program cannot be related. Rare exceptions can be made in order to accommodate disabilities.
Provide receipts for paid rent
Landlords must provide proof of payments of rent. (Amount paid and date)
Tenants should not move in before inspection
Participants are advised not to move into a rental unit before it passes inspection. Participants who move in prior to the unit passing inspection are responsible for the total amount of contract rent. This can result in financial hardship for the participant and inconvenience for the landlord.
Termination of Lease
If a tenant falls behind in the rent or violates any of their lease obligations, give the tenant and our office a 30-day written notice on the 1st of a month.
If there is criminal or drug activity or if the tenant is causing damages to the unit, you may give the tenant a 3-5 day notice. (All notices must be copied to the Section 8 office)
How is the request for a Rent Increase made?
- Owners who request a rent increase must do so only at the annual renewal of the rental assistance contract. The request must be in writing and submitted to our office and the tenant sixty (60) days prior to renewal.
- Units that do not pass the initial inspection at the renewal are not eligible for a rent increase even if they pass the re-inspection. However, if the items are the tenant’s responsibility (such as “unit needs cleaning”) we will allow the rent increase.
- If the rent increase is comparable to other similar units, it can be granted. However, if the unit does not compare, you will be notified in writing and allowed to decline continuing in the rental assistance program.
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