Getting Your Unit Leased
As a property owner you are required to screen and select a tenant for your unit. Once you’ve checked references and completed your tenant selection process, you’ll complete the Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA). This form notifies Housing Assistance that you and the tenant are ready to start the lease up process. The tenant will bring this form to you for review and signature.
Once the RFTA is received by our program representative, an inspector will schedule a date and time for the housing inspection. The inspection will be scheduled no later than 10 business days after receipt of the RFTA. The purpose of this inspection is to ensure the unit meets Housing Quality Standards established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Some of these requirements are found in Basic Inspection Checklist.
While awaiting the results of the inspection, the program representative will be reviewing the tenant’s income and requesting any needed documents. The program representative will also be in contact with you either by mail or phone to discuss the process and request any documents needed from you. Such documents include a W-9, a letter of compliance (for lead paint) or building permit if a child under the age of 6 will be living in the unit, and a copy of the lease you will use. The lease must be the same lease you use for any unassisted units you rent. If you do not rent other units, we can provide you with the Section 8 Program Lease. Whichever lease you use, the HUD tenancy addendum will be attached.
The program representative will also discuss the maximum permissible rent and a rough estimate of the tenant’s share. Final amounts cannot be determined until the inspection is complete.
After the unit is inspected, the inspector will notify you of any needed repairs. These repairs must be corrected before the lease and Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract can begin. The HAP contract is the document signed by Housing Assistance and the property owner, which outlines both parties’ responsibilities and the amount Housing Assistance will pay each month toward the contract rent.
Once the unit passes inspection, the rent you requested is reviewed to ensure it is reasonable compared with similar, non-subsidized units in the area based on size, type, and other factors. Now it’s time to finalize and calculate the rent for your unit. We do this based on the tenant’s income and estimated cost of utilities, rent-comparable data, the results of the inspection, and the payment standard established by HUD. You will receive a portion of the rent each month from the tenant, and the remainder from Housing Assistance as the HAP. These combined figures equal the contract rent – the total amount you can charge.
The entire process from receipt of the RFTA until you receive your check can initially take up to 4 weeks, but often happens sooner. But after that, you will receive the HAP by the first of the month. The program representative is available to both the property owner and the tenant if you have questions regarding this process.