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Renting to Section 8 Guide

Are you interested in Renting to a Section 8 Participant?

Thank you for your interest in the Malden Housing Authority (MHA) Rental Assistance Program. The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP) is a federally funded rental assistance program designed to help low-income families, senior citizens, and people with disabilities afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing. The program provides subsidies to qualified households for use in private housing in the community of their choice. Under the Section 8 program, households initially pay 30%-40% of their income towards the rent plus utilities and the federal government pays the difference between that amount and the approved contract rental amount.

The Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA) form must be filled out completely and signed by both the prospective tenant and the property owner in order to initiate the rental process for participation in the HCVP.

Submitting the RFTA to MHA

Step 1: Tenant Selection Screening

The owner must approve the family as a suitable renter, even though a family is determined by the MHA to be eligible for the HCVP program. Therefore, the owner must initiate his/her own tenant selection screening as they would for any non-subsidized rental applicant. When a RFTA form is submitted, MHA knows the owner has approved a family for tenancy.

Step 2: Security Deposits

MHA has no responsibility for damages to the unit or unpaid rent. As in the private market, the owner may collect a full month security deposit (not to exceed the amount of the monthly contract rent) from the tenant. The owner must comply with all state statutes and regulations covering security deposits.

Step 3: Submitting the RFTA to MHA

When you have completed your screening process, and are ready to move forward, you and your prospective tenant must completely fill out a RFTA. Incomplete forms will be returned to you and could delay the rental process. In addition to the completed RFTA form, the following documents must also be submitted.

W-9 Form
Letter of Lead compliance (if applicable)
Tenant Lead Law Certification form
Proof of Ownership
Certificate of Fitness

Step 4: The Inspection Process

After a family finds a suitable housing unit and the owner approves the family, MHA will determine if the unit meets the HUD Housing Quality Standards (HQS) for the Section 8 Program. Upon receipt of a RFTA including all of the required documents, the Section 8 Representative will submit a request for an inspection to McCright & Associates. A representative from McCright & Associates will contact you to schedule your initial HQS Inspection. Please note that this can take up to five days upon receipt of your completed RFTA.

MHA cannot make any subsidy payments prior to the unit being inspected and certified as being in compliance with HQS Inspections. Also, the unit must be completely vacant (unless the voucher holder currently resides in the unit) and there must be access to the basement and all common areas for the HQS Inspection to be scheduled. All utilities must be on at the time of the inspection even if the family will be responsible for the payment of the utilities in order to ensure they are in working order.

If the unit does not pass the initial HQS inspection, you will be provided a list of repairs that will need to be corrected prior to a re-inspection. When all of the repairs are complete, please contact a representative from McCright & Associates so that s/he can schedule a re-inspection. We expect that any required work will be completed within 10 days of the initial inspection and need to hear from you within that timeframe. If you are unable to make the required repairs, please contact McCright & Associates as soon as possible.

Step 5: Unit Rent Determinations

The MHA cannot enter into a Housing Assistance Payment Contract until the MHA has determined that the rent for the unit is reasonable. The purpose of the rent reasonableness is to ensure that a fair rent is paid for each unit rented under the HCV program.

HUD regulations define a reasonable rent as one that does not exceed the rent charged for comparable, unassisted units in the same market area. HUD also requires that owners not charge more for assisted units than for comparable units on the premises.

The MHA will primarily utilize www.gosection8.com which will collect and maintain data on market rents in the MHA's jurisdiction.

In the remote chance GoSection8.com does not have adequate comparables, MHA will use a secondary method to collect data by means of obtaining 2 to 3 rent comparables by utilizing the local newspaper, Craig’s List or other acceptable resource.

Step 6: The Lease and HAP Contract Process

A representative from MHA will contact you and your tenant once the apartment passes inspection and rent approval in order to schedule an appointment to sign the lease and the HAP contract.

At the lease signing the Section 8 Representative will determine the tenant rent share and the MHA Housing Assistance Payment (HAP).

Additional Lease and Contract Information

In order to begin the subsidy payments, a Lease (with HUD lease addendum) and Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Contract must be executed. The minimum term for the lease is 12 months. MHA Rent Payments will be made after the HAP Contract and Lease are signed by both the owner and the tenant and returned to MHA. Upon receipt of the signed HAP Contract and Lease, MHA will make the initial payment and continues to make monthly payments to the owner.

IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT THE HAP PAYMENT:

ALL documents to the owner must be completed, signed and returned to MHA by the 20th of the month in order to initiate payment by the first of the following month. (Payment will be retroactive to the start date to the HAP contract). If MHA has not received the signed lease and contract, the signed W-9 form, and acceptable proof of ownership by the 20th of the month, payment will be delayed!

Direct Deposit Policy

Direct Deposit is now available for MHA property owners. Any property owner who is already signed up for direct deposit and wants MHA to change any pertinent information such as bank account or address information must complete a new direct deposit form and send it to our accountant department.