Frequently Asked Questions about being a Section 8 Landlord!

Frequently Asked Questions about being a Section 8 Landlord… please feel free to ask more!

What are some of the benefits of being a Section 8 landlord?
  • Housing Assistance Payments are deposited directly to the owner or agent of the owner.
  • Risks of rent default are reduced because the tenant’s portion of rent is based on income.
  • The owner/landlord is responsible for screening tenants for a vacant unit. This allows the owner/landlord full discretion in tenant selection.
  • An owner may choose to accept or reject a Section 8 tenant for any vacancy that may be available. It does not matter whether or not the building already contains a Section 8 tenant.
  • Annual HQS inspections assist the owner with identifying areas requiring repair and help to maintain the overall quality of the unit.
  • AHA enforces the family obligations portion of the Section 8 Program. It is a violation of the family’s responsibilities if they fail to make timely rent payments or damage the apartment beyond normal wear and tear.

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How do I become a Section 8 landlord?
Please read our Prospective Landlords section for more information on becoming a Section 8 Landlord.

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How does Section 8 work?
Families can apply when the waiting list is open. Once their name reaches the top of the list they will be contacted to determine if they meet the eligibility requirements of the program. Families must be income eligible, include a U.S. citizen or eligible immigrant, and may not include any adult family members arrested for violent or drug related criminal activity within the previous three years. Applicants who are working, participating in job training, are elderly or disabled, or are living, working or attending school in Aurora receive preference for admission.Families are selected for participation based on preference points, date and time of application. If they are determined to be eligible, they will be issued a voucher which will allow them to rent a unit from a private landlord on the open rental market. Families pay approximately 30% of household income towards rent.Visit the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) for more information.

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How is the tenant’s portion of rent determined?
For purposes of calculating the amount of financial assistance to be provided to the family, the monthly tenant payment is generally 30% of the family’s adjusted monthly income.Each year, HUD establishes “Voucher Payment Standards” for apartments based upon the number of bedrooms. If a voucher holder finds an apartment where the rent is at or below the payment standard, the tenant pays a monthly rent equal to 30% of adjusted gross income and the Housing Authority pays the remainder of the rent.If a voucher holder rents an apartment where the rent is above the payment standard, the tenant portion of rent is equal to 30% of adjusted gross income plus the difference between the payment standard and the contract rent. However, at the initial rental the family contribution for rent may not be permitted to exceed 40% of adjusted monthly income.

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Can I increase the rent?
Yes, an owner may request a rent increase upon expiration of the initial or subsequent leases. Appropriate documentation must be submitted at least 60 days in advance of the expiration for approval to AHA per the “rent reasonableness” standard. Please remember that all payments from tenant to landlord must be in the lease and approved by Section 8previous to rental.
Please review our Request for Rent Increase Procedure for more information.  You will be required to complete a Rent Increase Form as part of the package for rent increase.

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Can I collect a security deposit?
Yes, AHA encourages landlords to collect a security deposit, however AHA does not pay security deposits for its voucher holders. The security deposit should not exceed that charged to other unassisted renters, the total payment, or one month’s rent whichever is lower.

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Who selects and screens the tenants
The selection and screening of suitable tenants is the responsibility of the owner. Section 8 staff only screens the family for eligibility according to Program criteria (income, citizenship, housing need, etc.), including a criminal background check, which is conducted for every adult family member.

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What incentives are there to making my units handicapped-accessible?
You may be entitled to tax credits, tax deductions, or loans for making apartments accessible. You may wish to consult with your legal or tax advisor regarding these incentives, and your eligibility for them. Following is a partial listing of sources to consult for more information on these incentives.

PARTIAL LIST OF SOURCES

  • http://www.ada.gov/taxincent.htm regarding an annual federal tax credit for qualified small businesses for “eligible access expenditures” under the American with Disabilities Act, and an annual $15,000 tax deduction for removing architectural or transportation barriers. regarding federal mortgage insurance to finance.
  • www.hud.gov regarding federal mortgage insurance to finance improvements to multifamily properties.

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May an owner sell a property occupied by a Section 8 tenant?
Yes. AHA requests that you contact the Section 8 office and notify the family as soon as possible in the event of an ownership change.
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Who do I contact if I am a Landlord and have questions? 

Please contact the client’s housing specialist:
Directory
If you are looking to LIST your property for rental, go to ColoradoHousingSearch.com or you can call our Front Desk Receptionist (720) 251-2100 for more information

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