Commonly Asked Landlord Questions
What is My Role as a Landlord [24 CFR 982.452]?
The role of the Landlord in the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV) is to provide decent, safe and affordable housing to a tenant at a reasonable rent.
The dwelling unit must pass the program’s Housing Quality Standards and be maintained to those standards as long as the Landlord receives housing assistance payments.
In addition, the Landlord is expected to provide the services agreed to within the leased signed with the tenant, and the contract signed with the Public Housing Authority (PHA).
What do I Do When a Voucher Holder is Interested in My Unit?
- Step 1: Landlord Screens Tenants – When a family approaches a Landlord to apply for tenancy, the Landlord is responsible for screening the family and deciding whether to lease to the family, just as the Landlord would with any potential unassisted tenant. The PHA has no liability or responsibility to the Landlord or other persons for the family’s behavior or suitability for tenancy.
- Step 2: Request for Lease Approval – If the Landlord is willing, the Landlord and family will complete the Request for Tenancy Approval (RTA, Form HUD 52517), which constitutes the family's request for assistance in the specified unit, and which documents the Landlord’s willingness to lease to the family and to follow the program’s requirements.
When the tenant submits the form to our office, an inspector will contact you to schedule an inspection. Please note that the utilities must be on for the inspection. (Inspection Checklist Attached to Request for Lease Approval)
- Step 3: Inspection and Rent – The unit will be inspected to ensure that it meets HUD Housing and Quality Standards (HQS). Required repairs will be discussed with you by the inspector. Only 2 inspections will be complete; if it fails to meet HQS the tenant will be instructed to find other suitable housing.
- Step 4: Lease and Contract – After the rent has been approved and the unit passes inspection, the landlord and tenant will be notified and enter into a lease. The tenant and landlord will sign a lease provided by landlord, The WHA and the landlord sign a Housing Assistance Payments Contract through which the rent is assisted on behalf of the tenant.
How do I Make my Unit Available to Voucher Holders?
- Advertise in the local Newspaper.
Can I Collect a Security Deposit?
Security Deposits are strictly between tenant and landlord.
WHA assumes no liability for any damages or vacancy loss whatsoever. The Waterbury Housing Authority encourages Landlords to request one month’s contract rent, however Connecticut State law states a landlord can request up to two (2) full month’s contract rent.
How is Rent Calculated?
Contract Rent - Contract Rent is the Total Rent the landlord collects from the Housing Authority (PHA) & the Tenant - no additional amounts should be collected. Determined by Rent Reasonable Study, PHA Payment Standard & Utility Schedule. Contract Rents will be approved by PHA staff based on occupancy standards, PHA Payment Standard, utility composition & a Rent Reasonable Study of comparable units.
Separate Non-Lease Agreements between Owner and Tenant
- Landlords may not demand or accept any rent payment from the family in excess of the rent to the owner as approved by the PHA minus the PHA’s housing assistance payments to the owner [24 CFR 982.451(b)(4)].
- The owner may not charge the tenant extra amounts for items customarily included in rent in the locality, or provided at no additional cost to unsubsidized tenants in the premises [24 CFR 982.510(c)].
Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) – Housing Authority Portion paid directly to Landlord
Contract Rent minus Tenant Portion = HAP
Tenant Payment to Landlord – Housing Authority Portion paid directly to Landlord
A calculation of family income will be performed to determine eligibility based on income limits and annual gross family income.
Housing Quality Standard Inspection
Rental units must meet minimum standards of quality and safety as determined by HUD.
Annual Inspection – WHA will conduct an annual inspection prior to the end of the Lease term to ensure the unit continues to meet Housing Quality Standards (HQS). You and your tenant will receive a letter from the WHA if the unit does not pass inspection. The letter will list the items requiring repair and will give you a date by which the repairs must be completed. If the violations are not corrected within the time limit given, the WHA will abate the Housing Assistance Payment.
WHA will not abate the rent if all of the Housing Quality Standards violations are tenant caused. However, WHA may terminate the tenant’s assistance if the tenant caused HQS violations are not corrected. A 30-day notice will be provided to you and the tenant for any WHA termination.
It only takes one deficiency for a unit to fail an inspection. Failed units require a re-inspection. Re-inspections cost money and time. You can help save time and money by doing your own inspection and making repairs prior to the Housing Authority inspection. The PHA will charge a $25.00 fee for failed re-inspections when the Landlord notifies the PHA that a repair has been made but the deficiency has not been corrected, and when the time for repairs has elapsed and the deficiency has not been corrected.
Can I Request an Annual Rent Increase?
Rent increases are not automatic and must be requested in writing with documentation justifying the increase. The annual inspection can be requested at annual recertification time and must be current with no outstanding HQS violations in order for the rent increase to be granted.
Enforce Your Lease
It is your responsibility to enforce your Lease. WHA cannot do this for you. You have the right to serve a notice for serious violations of the Lease. If eviction is necessary, you must proceed according to state law. A copy of all notices to the tenant must also be sent to the WHA