Landlord Q and A

How do I list my property with BCHA?

How do I become a Landlord?

No preapproval is required to become a Housing Choice Voucher Landlord.

  1. Screen and select a voucher participant as you would with any unassisted tenant.
    Check references (former landlord)
    Conduct credit check
  2. Complete the required paperwork with the participant and have the family return it to BCHA.
  3. Paperwork is processed and forwarded to Inspection Department to schedule inspection.
  4. When the unit passes inspection and the move-in date has been established the Housing Authority and Landlord will execute the Housing Assistance Payments Contract.
  5. It takes approximately three (3) weeks to process the initial Housing Assistance Payment; thereafter the check will be deposited into your bank account by the third business day of each month.

Can I use my own lease?

Yes, you may use the same lease you use with your unassisted tenants. However, the HUD Tenancy Addendum must be made part of your lease.

What must be contained in the Lease?

  • Name of owner and tenant
  • Address of unit
  • The term of the lease (and any provisions for renewal)
  • Specify utilities and appliances to be supplied by the owner and tenant
  • Monthly rent
  • Acknowledgement of security deposit if collected
  • Any house rules

How much can I require as a Security Deposit?

You may charge the same amount as you charge your unassisted tenants.

Who determines the rent?

The landlord establishes the rent. However Federal Regulations require the Housing Authority to approve the requested rent by conducting a rent reasonableness review that compares your rental unit with comparable unassisted rental units located in proximity to your unit.

What does the inspector check when he inspects the unit?

All units are required to meet the HUD established Housing Quality Standards (HQS).

What is rent abatement?

Abatement is the suspension of Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) to the landlord for failure to correct owner responsible (HQS) deficiencies in the prescribed timeframe.

How do I know if the unit fails HQS?

After completion of an HQS inspection, the housing authority inspector will provide you with a deficiency notice that identifies the HQS violations that must be corrected. The owner has 30 days to correct most violations. Health and safety violations that are life threatening must be corrected within 24 hours. Units are inspected after the correction period for compliance. Any deficiency that has not been corrected results in the abatement of the Housing Assistance Payment.

If the rent is abated, how do I get it reinstated?

Make the repairs as soon as possible and call for an inspection. Once the unit meets HQS the rent will be prorated from the date the unit passes inspection. The owner is not entitled to payment when the unit is not in compliance.

How do I prevent abatement?

Owners are encouraged to inspect their units prior to occupancy and before each annual re-inspection to ensure the unit meets HQS.

How can I terminate a lease and evict a Section 8 tenant?

An owner can terminate a lease with a Section 8 tenant for the following:

  • Serious or repeated violation of the lease
  • Violation of Federal, State or local law that imposes obligations on the tenant in connection with the occupancy or use of the premises
  • Criminal activity or alcohol abuse, or
  • Other good cause

What is considered "criminal activity"?

An owner may evict a tenant for any of the following types of criminal activity by the tenant, other members of the household, or tenant's guests:

  • Criminal activity that threatens the health, safety, or right to peaceful enjoyment of other residents
  • Any drug-related criminal activity on or near the premises
  • Any violent criminal activity on or near the premises

What is "other good cause"?

During the initial term of the lease, an owner can evict the tenant for good cause such as history of disturbing neighbors, destroying property, or damaging a unit or property.

Other good cause after the first year of the lease includes:

  • Business or economic reason for regaining possession of the unit
  • Owner's desire to repossess the unit for personal use
  • Tenant's refusal to accept an offer of a new lease

How do I evict a tenant?

An owner may evict a tenant only by a court action in accordance with state and local law. It is recommended that you consult with an attorney if you are not familiar with the eviction process.

The owner must provide the tenant with a written notice specifying the grounds for termination of tenancy, at or before the beginning of the eviction action. The notice may be included in, or may be combined with any owner eviction notice to the tenant. The owner must also provide the Housing Authority with a copy of the eviction notice and all other legal documents served on the tenant. You must also notify the Authority case manager immediately of the Sheriff's lockout date or the date the tenant vacates.

Does the Housing Authority help me with the eviction?

No. The Housing Authority does not assist owners with evictions. Remember the lease agreement is between the owner and the tenant.

Will I continue to receive my Housing Assistance Payments through the eviction process?

Yes, as long as the Authority has not already terminated the family from the program and you are in compliance with the Housing Assistance Payment Contract. Housing Assistance Payments will continue through the date of the Sheriff's lockout or the date the family vacates the unit, whichever comes first.