Possible Landlords

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This is a lengthy overview.  If you prefer a paper copy, feel free to contact BCAH at 859-334-2105. 

The words in blue are links to SAMPLE forms for viewing only. The clients will be provided forms for you to fill out at a later date. 
Please note that some of these forms require Adobe Acrobat to view, which can be downloaded freely by clicking here.

We appreciate your interest in the Boone County Section 8 Housing Program.  The success of our program depends upon our ability to contract with property managers and owners who have decent, safe, and sanitary rental units.  Participation is voluntary; however many low income families in our community rely on owners like you, who are willing to participate in the program.  Boone County Assisted Housing Department (BCAHD) administers this Federal Program locally by providing eligible families with a Voucher.  This Voucher states that BCAHD will subsidize a portion of rent on behalf of the family.  At the present time, BCAHD is assisting approximately 995 families in Boone County.
 
Families apply for the Section 8 program online.  They are placed on a waiting list, in the order they have applied, once they have been preliminarily determined to be eligible.  When Vouchers become available they are issued to those families at the top of the list.  They may now begin to look for a rental unit. 

Although the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) determines the rules and regulations of the Section 8 Housing Program, BCAHD has defined specific local policies in the administrative plan. 

This information has been designed for owners or property managers to help understand how the program works.  Do not hesitate to contact BCAHD with any questions concerning the Section 8 program. 

The Section 8 housing program is a three-way partnership among BCAHD, the tenant, and the owner/landlord.
 
BCAHD’S RESPONSIBILITIES
 
  • Determine eligibility of applicants and issue Vouchers.
  • Conduct participant briefing sessions to explain all rules of the program.
  • Conduct a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Inspection of the unit and approve the contract rent.
  • Make housing assistance payments to the owner in a timely manner.
  • Make certain that both family and unit continue to qualify under the program.
  • Make certain owners and families comply with program rules.
  • Issue 1099 forms to owners showing amount of housing assistance payments paid for prior year for tax purposes.
OWNERS RESPONSIBILITIES  
                            
  • Certify that tenants and their family members are not a relative of the owner/landlord.
  • Screen families for tenancy (ie credit checks, back ground checks, income verifications, landlord verifications, etc.)
  • Be in compliance with all fair housing laws and not discriminate against any family.
  • Make necessary repairs in a professional and timely manner.
  • Adhere to the terms of the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Contract.
  • Collect the correct amount of tenant rent as stated in the contract/amendment.
  • Enforce the terms of the lease.
  • Proceed with eviction in accordance with state and local laws.
  • Collect a Security Deposit from the family, which is not in excess of what would have normally been collected.
  • Advise BCAHD of any suspected fraudulent situation such as unreported income or unauthorized occupants.
  • Complete required forms such as the W9, Landlord Certification, RFTA and Lead Base Paint forms in a timely manner.
  • Supply BCAHD with a copy of the lease.
 
FAMILY RESPONSIBILITES
 
  • Supply BCAHD with complete and accurate information.
  • Locate suitable qualified housing.
  • Pay the correct amount of rent as stated in the contract/amendment.
  • Maintain the property in safe, decent and sanitary condition, pay any utilities and supply any appliances as required according to the lease.
  • Comply with the Family Obligations of the Voucher.
  • Pay Security Deposit if required.
  • Comply with all the terms of the lease.
  • Comply with the Section 8 program guidelines. 
BCAHD will not approve a unit if BCAHD has been informed by HUD that the owner is barred, suspended, or subject to a limited denial of participation. 
 
BCAHD has administrative discretion to deny approval to lease a unit from an owner for any of the following:
 
  • Owner has violated obligations under a HAP contract.
  • Owner has committed fraud, bribery or any other corrupt or criminal act in connection with any federal housing program.
  • The owner has engaged in drug-trafficking.
  • The owner has a history or practice of non-compliance with HQS requirements, state or local housing codes.
  • The owner has not paid state or local taxes. 
At the owner’s request, BCAHD will provide families who have been issued a Voucher, general information about available rental units.  Families who are interested will schedule an appointment to view the unit, and discuss leasing possibilities.  BCAHD will not steer families to specific owners or rental units.
 
SCREENING THE FAMILY
 
Owners need to check the family’s Boone County Voucher for expiration date and the unit bedroom size for which they’ve been approved. BCAHD does not screen families for their suitability as renters; that is the job of the owner.  Landlords should apply the same standards of tenant selection as they would to any other prospective renter.  According to Federal law, tenant selection must not be based on race or color, national origin, age, religion, sex, familial status, disability or any other discriminatory factors.
 
Upon request, BCAHD will supply owners with the current address of the family and names and addresses of the current and previous landlord if known.  BCAHD will also provide documented information regarding tenancy history to prospective landlords if requested.
 
Once the screening process is complete and the owner has approved the family as a tenant, the owner should complete the Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA) and Lead Base Paint form (there is a Lead Based Paint Booklet should you need).  These should then be mailed, faxed or brought into BCAHD office, so that an inspection of the unit can be scheduled. 
 
TRANSFERS
 
All voucher holders are eligible to transfer to other localities. If you receive an inquiry from a voucher holder in another area, please refer them to our office.  The transfer process could take up two to four weeks to complete.  A new application in our office should be their first step.                                               
 
INSPECTION OF THE UNIT
 
Upon receipt of the RFTA  and Lead Based Paint Disclosure, BCAHD will schedule an HQS inspection of the unit.  The Landlord or representative should be present for this inspection.
 
The booklet, “A Good Place to Live”, provided by HUD describes the basic requirements for a unit to pass a HQS inspection.  There is a list of additional local standards adopted by BCAH, available here.  For additional information, please contact Chris Hutchison, the inspector, at (859) 334-2105.
 
The most common items that cause a unit to fail are:
 
  • Torn window screens or screen frames damages
  • Smoke alarm – missing batteries or wiring disconnected
  • Holes in walls or doors
  • Broken or missing electrical outlet covers and switch plate covers
  • Missing window locks
  • No dead bolt locks                                                          
  • No discharge line on water heaters
  • Missing down spouts and boots on gutters
  • Peeling paint
  • Refrigerator door gaskets
  • Stove burners not working 
Before our inspection of the unit, be sure the unit is in “move-in” condition.  This will avoid delays in starting a contract and issuing of the housing assistance payment.  If the unit is already occupied by the family who has a Voucher, please check the unit prior to the inspection.
 
If there are deficiencies in the unit, the inspector will notify you so corrections can be made.  Please make the corrections as soon as possible and contact the inspector for a re-inspection date.  BCAHD will not execute a contract until all deficiencies have been corrected and the family has taken occupancy.
  
Owners have an obligation to make reasonable modifications to a unit for families with disabilities, at the family’s expense.
 
If the family moves into the unit prior to contract execution the family will be responsible for the full rent for the entire month.
 
The inspector will conduct a rent reasonableness comparison of the unit.  This will be done by comparing rents for other units on the market of similar size, features and amenities.  Other factors that must be taken into consideration are the HUD established Fair Market Rents (FMR’S) and local utility allowance schedules, available in Single Family or Multi Family.  FMR’S are set by HUD for this area as the maximum allowable rent including all utilities for non-luxury units.  Negotiations between the owner and the Housing Authority could be necessary.  These negotiations must be with Ruth Tanner, the Director.
 
Tenants can pay the excess amount over the FMR for the bedroom size they qualify for only if the unit rent is still reasonable and it is not more than 40% of their monthly income. This will need to be verified through our office for approval.
 
After the unit has passed inspection, and rent has been agreed upon, BCAHD will prepare the contract for the owner’s signature.  This paperwork must be signed and returned to BCAHD office before the housing assistance payment can be issued. BCAHD also requires a copy of the lease.  The start date of this lease will need to match the start date of the housing assistance payment contract.  Normally the housing assistance payment will be issued between the 1st and 5th of each month.  If a contract is started after the 1st of the month, the pro-rated portion of payment for that month will be paid with the check issued on the 1st of the following month.  Housing Assistance payments are made in the form of direct deposit.  To sign up for direct deposit, the Direct Deposit form must be filled out and submitted to BCAHD.  The owner is responsible for collecting the tenant’s portion of rent. 
 
About 90 to 120 days before the end of the initial term of the lease, BCAHD will begin the re-certification process.  The landlord will be sent information concerning the renewal of the lease, and the inspection date.  The landlord will also be given the opportunity to request a rent change to be effective with the contract renewal date.  Annual rent increases will be considered upon written request provided the unit continues to meet HQS, and increases are in compliance with the rent reasonable test.
                                                          
UNIT INSPECTIONS
 
Owners are responsible to check their property during the contract period.  However, an annual inspection is performed each year to ensure that the unit continues to meet program standards. These inspections also help owners to stay informed about the condition of their property and to help prevent deterioration through neglect.  BCAHD will not continue the contract if the unit does not meet HQS.  Owners will be notified of any deficiencies.  All repairs must be made, in a professional manner, within a time period as specified by BCAHD:
 
  • Twenty-four hours for items endangering the family’s health and safety, to include:
    • Any condition that jeopardizes the security of the unit
    • Major plumbing leaks, flooding, waterlogged ceiling or floor in imminent danger of falling
    • Natural or LP gas or fuel oil leaks
    • Any electrical problem or condition that  could result in shock or fire
    • Absence of a working heating system when the outside temperature is below 60 degrees Fahrenheit
    • Utilities not in service, including no running hot water
    • Conditions that present the imminent possibility of injury
    • Obstacles that prevent safe entrance or exit from the unit
    • Inoperable or removed smoke detectors
    • Inoperable appliances 
  • Up to thirty days for less serious violations. 
The family is responsible for any repairs that are the result of damage caused by the family beyond normal wear and tear.  If the family fails to meet this responsibility, the contract could be terminated or the landlord may make the needed repairs and bill the tenant.
 
BCAHD must perform a follow-up inspection to assure that violations have been corrected.  If repairs are not made, BCAHD must abate housing assistance payments until the repairs are made (no retroactive payment will be made once the unit complies).  At this point, the landlord may incur inspection fees.  If the deficiencies continue, cancellation of the HAP contract  will be initiated. 
 
Once the recertification process has been completed, owners and tenants will receive a copy of the lease amendment showing the new contract rent, HAP and tenant rent.
 
INTERIM ADJUSTMENTS
 
The family is required to report to the BCAHD any change in income or family composition.  These changes are likely to result in a change in the amount of rent paid by the family and the housing assistance payment.  The family and owner will receive an amendment showing the rent adjustment and effective date of the change.
 
If this change results in the tenant paying the entire contract rent, the HAP contract will continue under these terms for six months.  All contract and lease provisions will remain in effect during this time.  If this situation remains unchanged, the contract will terminate at the end of the six month period.
 
TERMINATION BY OWNER
 
During the initial term of the lease, the owner may terminate the contract only for:
 
  • Serious or repeated violations of the terms and conditions of the lease.
  • Violations of Federal, state or local law which directly relate to the use or occupancy of the unit or premises.
  • Criminal activity which includes any illegal activity that threatens the safety or right to enjoyment of the premises by other residents or persons residing in the immediate vicinity of the premises, including alcohol abuse, and any drug-related criminal activity on or off the premises.
  • Other good cause.  Other good cause may include the following:
    • Failure by the family to accept the offer of a new lease or revision.
    • Family history of disturbance of neighbors, destruction of property, or living or housekeeping habits resulting in damage to the unit or premises.
    • The owner’s desire to use the unit for personal or family use, or a purpose other than residential.
    • Business or economic reasons, such as sale of property, renovations of unit, or desire to lease the unit at a higher rental rate. 
Standard lease termination procedure as required by federal state and local law must be followed.  A copy of any proposed eviction must be provided to BCAHD.  BCAHD should also be notified of any subsequent court dates, and the final ruling of the eviction proceeding.
                                                                                     
NON RENEW
 
After the initial term of the lease, the landlord may notify the family and BCAHD of lease termination simply stated as non-renewal of the lease.  This must be at least a 30 day written notice, or whatever the lease states.
 
MUTUAL RECISSION
 
The owner and family can mutually decide to terminate the lease at any time with written notice to BCAHD.  This form is available here, as well as on our website or in our office.
 
CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP
 
BCAHD and family should be given at least a 30 day notice of any change of ownership, so that termination of the contract can begin if the new owner does not wish to participate in the Section 8 program.  A transfer of ownership form will be provided by BCAHD, to be completed by both parties if the new owner chooses to continue in the Section 8 program.  A new contract will be executed by the new owner and BCAHD.
 
TERMINATION BY THE FAMILY
 
During the initial term of the lease, the tenant may terminate the lease only by mutual rescission.
 
After the initial term of the lease, the family may give a 30 day notice, or whatever notice is stated in the lease.
 
Termination of assistance by family with 30 day notice will end the contract.  The lease will no longer be in effect and the landlord will be notified to issue a new lease if the family wishes to remain in the unit.
 
TERMINATION BY BCAHD
 
The term of the HAP contract  terminates when the lease terminates, when BCAHD terminates program assistance for the family, or when the owner has breached the HAP contract.
 
The following actions will be considered a breach of contract by the owner:
 
  • The owner has violated any obligation under the HAP contract for the dwelling unit, including the owner’s obligation to maintain the unit to HQS standards, including any additional standards BCAHD has adopted.
  • The owner has committed fraud, bribery or any other corrupt or criminal act in connection with any federal housing program.
  • The owner has engaged in drug trafficking.
 
BCAHD may also terminate the contract if:
 
  • BCAHD terminates assistance to the family.
  • The family is required to move from a unit which is under occupied, or over crowded.
  • The contract will terminate automatically if 180 days have passed since the last housing assistance payment to the owner, due to the tenant’s change in income which requires them to pay the full contract rent.
  • BCAHD may terminate assistance for a family because of the family’s failure to meet their Family Obligations.  The family will be given notice stating the reason for termination and the opportunity for an informal hearing.  BCAHD will also give written notice of the contract termination to the owner.
 
Communication between the owner and BCAHD is essential.  BCAHD should be given a copy of any correspondence between the owner and tenant.  Likewise, BCAHD will provide the owner with any pending activities between BCAHD and the tenant.
 
Any notice to vacate, or proposed eviction should clearly state the reasons for eviction.
 
Section 8 Tenants have the same rights/obligations as any other tenant.  Therefore, handle them accordingly.
 
If a move-out notice is given by a tenant, notify BCAHD immediately.  Please don’t assume the tenant has contacted us.
 
It is the landlord’s responsibility to justify the information on the Housing Assistance Payment check.  If any of the information differs, notify BCAHD immediately.
 
Please do not transfer a Section 8 tenant from one unit to another without prior approval from the BCAHD.  This could mean termination of assistance.  It could result in a delay in your payment.
 
Do not allow a Section 8 family to move into a unit until it has passed the HQS inspection.
 
It is the landlord’s responsibility to notify BCAHD of any unauthorized persons living in a unit whose name is not on the lease.  Also, any unreported income coming in to the household should be reported to BCAHD.
 
If an inspection appointment has been arranged and the unit is not ready to pass on that date, please call in advance to cancel the appointment.
 
In closing, remember that the lease is signed by the tenant and the landlord/owner.  It is the landlord’s responsibility to enforce the terms of the lease.  BCAHD is here only to help subsidize the rent.  The BCAHD’s portion is not rent.  It is a housing assistance payment for the tenant.
 
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the housing office at 334-2105.  We will be glad to talk with you about becoming a participating Section 8 landlord.
 
For further information contact:
Main Office (859) 334-2105
Fax (859) 334-3127
TDD (859) 334-2299
Information Line (859) 334-2101
Ruth Tanner – Director