Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) Program
The Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) Program provides rental assistance to low-income families while allowing the Landlord to maintain the Tenant/Landlord relationship as it would be in the unassisted rental market. This packet will provide you with some basic information about landlord participation in the program.
How to Lease Your Unit to an HCV Participant
The Housing Authority of the County of Chester cannot provide you with applicants or participants for your vacant units. However, if you are interested in participating in the HCV (Section 8) program as a landlord, you may list your vacant units on our Rental Referral List, by calling us at (610) 436-9200. Also, you can advertise in the newspapers that you will accept HCV (Section 8) participants, to help attract tenants to your rentals. You can only participate in the HCV program if one of our applicants or participants contacts you and requests to transfer their housing assistance to your rental unit.
Please be aware that owners are responsible for screening and selecting tenants as they would in the unassisted rental market. The Housing Authority only determines that the tenant is income eligible for the program. We do not screen program participants to look for "good tenants".
Due to confidentiality restrictions, the Housing Authority can tell you very little about your prospective tenant. However, federal regulations require that we release the tenant's current address and the name and address of the tenant's current and prior landlord to assist in the tenant screening process, if requested by prospective landlords. If you desire this information, please complete the attached Request to Release Information Form and submit it to the Housing Authority.
Landlord / Tenant Lease
The Housing Authority will supply the Addendum containing all required items for incorporation in your lease. In order to easily add this addendum to your standard lease, the Housing authority will prepare the document for signature along with the other contract documents. Within the body of your lease, you must include reference to the HUD Tenancy Addendum. Suggested wording: "HUD Tenancy Addendum is incorporated in this lease." You must also supply a copy of your lease to the Housing Authority. This can be done when you complete the paperwork that will be sent to you after the unit has been approved for the program.
Steps Involved in the Lease Up / Contract Finalization Process
After screening and selecting your potential tenant, you must complete a Request for Tenancy approval form (provided by the Housing Authority to the tenant). Upon submittal of this form, the requested rent is reviewed to ensure that it does not exceed maximum program rent. If the requested rent is within our allowable range, then the Housing Authority will schedule the unit for an initial Housing Quality Standards inspection. If the tenant moves into the unit before it passes this inspection, the tenant is responsible for full rent to the owner prior to the date the unit passed inspection.
Once the unit passes inspection (or a re-inspection if there are failed items), the unit is approved for the program and the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract can be finalized. The HAP contract is a contract between the landlord and the Housing Authority. This contract sets forth the terms of payment to the landlords who participate in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program. The Housing Authority will prepare the HAP Contract and a required HUD Tenancy Addendum, based on information provided in the Request for Tenancy Approval. Please note that if there are any differences between the information in the Landlord / Tenant Lease, and the HUD Tenancy Addendum, the HUD Tenancy Addendum will supersede the lease.
Once all documents have been signed and returned, payments will begin. Payment will be retroactive to the date that all of the following items were completed:
- The unit passed inspection.
- The lease was signed by both Tenant and Landlord.
- The Tenant occupied the unit.
Under the HCV (Section 8) program, the landlord may collect a security deposit equivalent to that collected in the private market. This amount must be entered on the Request for Tenancy Approval form.
It the tenant leaves without notice or damages the unit, the landlord may use the deposit for unpaid rent or to make the necessary repairs. If the deposit is insufficient, the landlord may claim the balance from the tenant. The landlord may not claim the balance from the Housing Authority.
HCV (Section 8) rental assistance programs have no provision to pay for security deposits to the landlord. Any rent that the tenant owes before the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) is executed by the Housing Authority is the tenant's responsibility. The Housing Authority cannot pay retroactive rent.
Non-Discrimination and Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities
For information about pertinent laws and regulations which mandate non-discrimination and accessibility in federally funded housing and non-housing programs for persons with disabilities, please see HUD's notice (PIH 2010-26).
Landlords are able to check status of their accounts with the HACC via our landlord portal.
Dale P. Gravett
Section 8 Coordinator