Additional Landlord Information
How Much Can I Rent My Unit For?
DETCOG has established payment standards by bedroom size that is guidelines for determining the maximum subsidy we can pay for a family. This payment standard is generally a gauge of the current rental market. However, each unit is evaluated by the Inspector on a case-by-case basis. Each unit's rent must be reasonable and comparable to unassisted private market rental units of similar size, location, amenities, quality, unit type, maintenance, utilities and services. In no case can the rent be more than comparable available unassisted units. Current payment standards can be accessed from the DETCOG website.
How Can a Landlord Increase Rent?
Request For Rent Increases may be submitted to our office not more than 120 days and not less than 60 days in advance of the effective date of the requested increase. An owner may increase the unit rent any time an increase is allowed under the terms of the lease. The owner must give the tenant at least 60 days’ written notice of any changes in the amount of rent. The owner must attach a copy of the Notice provided to the tenant and the tenant's acknowledgment of the increase with the request form. Where the lease does not include specific terms for rent increases, the landlord will be allowed one increase annually.
The allowed rent increase is the lesser of the following:
The reasonable rent as determined by the PHA; or
The amount requested by the owner.
The unit must be HQS compliant before an increase may be approved.
The owner must give the tenant at least a sixty (60) day written notice of an increase before it can go into effect. A copy of the notice provided to the tenant and the tenant's acknowledgment of the increase must be submitted to DETCOG before the rent increase can take effect.
The new rent amount must be reasonable in comparison with other similar units in the area. Once DETCOG receives the notice of rent increase, a rent comparability study is conducted to determine if the new rent for the unit is reasonable in comparison to unassisted private market units in the area. If it is determined that the rent is not reasonable, DETCOG will contact the owner and advise him/her of a reasonable rental amount for the unit. If the owner does not agree to the amount, the Housing Authority and landlord will have to negotiate another acceptable amount or the owner can provide the family with a notice to vacate.
Can the tenant pay the extra rent to make up the amount the landlord wants for the unit?
No. The Housing Authority determines the tenant's portion of the rent. The owner may not, under any circumstances, charge or accept additional payments from the family for their share of the rent that has not been approved by DETCOG.
Does the Family Pay For Utilities?
Yes, unless the owner includes utilities in the rent. The owner decides which utilities they will provide as a part of the rent and which utilities the family will be responsible for. Utility service, including water, must be on at the time of the move-in inspection. Utilities that the Section 8 participant pays for cannot be master metered or shared with another unit or common area and must be billed directly by the utility service provider. If a family is responsible for paying a utility, DETCOG generally will credit the family with a utility allowance that lowers their tenant rental share and leaves them with the necessary money to assist with utility cost.
When Can I Expect My First Check?
After the lease and HAP contract have been executed, the contract is processed for payment. Generally, the first payment takes approximately 30 to 45 days. Payments will be made via direct deposit into your savings or checking account each month.
Who Do I Call If I have a Question or Problem with my Tenancy?
Each tenant is assigned a housing specialist. Generally, the role of the housing specialist is to handle any matters concerning the family's income, household composition changes and all matters concerning the unit and payments. Find out who your tenant staff representative is here.
Can I Cancel the DETCOG Contract If I'm not satisfied?
No. Only DETCOG can cancel the Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) Contract. A landlord is free to terminate a lease agreement pursuant to the State and local laws. Once the Lease agreement ends, the HAP Contract terminates automatically.
How Long Can I Rent To A Housing Choice Voucher Family?
The initial lease term is for one year. After the initial term, the lease continues on a month-to-month basis indefinitely as long as there are available funds and the unit, family and landlord are in compliance with program requirements, including family income.
Can a Voucher be used to rent from a relative?
Housing Choice Voucher holders cannot rent from their immediate relatives. This includes the participant's mother, father, sister, brother, grandparents, grandchildren, step-family, in-laws, or any member of his or her household. A family can rent a unit from a relative as a reasonable accommodation only if the head of household or a member of the household is a person with a disability. The family must show that renting the unit provides a reasonable accommodation. DETCOG must approve the reasonable accommodation.
What types of housing can someone rent with a Section 8 Voucher?
Section 8 Vouchers can be used to rent houses, duplexes, apartments, condominiums, townhouses and manufactured homes.
Can I transfer the lease and contract to a new owner?
The lease and HAP Contract may be transferred to a new property owner. The new owner will need to provide DETCOG with proof of ownership documentation and all required new owner information in order to begin receiving the Housing Assistance Payments.
What to do when you find someone who is interested in your unit?
You must screen the prospective tenant carefully to insure that you are making a good selection. DETCOG does not screen families for suitability or behavior. We only screen families for income eligibility and criminal background. Therefore, DETCOG cannot provide a reference as to their expected behavior as tenants. You may use any or all of the following screening procedures to approve or deny an applicant:
DETCOG strongly encourages landlords to screen prospective tenants and to use all or any of the above screening methods as long as they do not discriminate. Discrimination includes any tenant selection based solely on race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin or handicap (disability).
Your satisfaction as a landlord will be directly proportionate to how well you screen potential renters. Screening and selection are completely landlord responsibilities.
What should I expect from Housing Choice Voucher tenants?
Pay their rent on time.
Keep the unit clean.
Maintain exterior of residence and yard.
Avoid illegal activities by household members and guest.
Allow Housing Authority inspector’s access to the unit to conduct inspections.
Permit landlord and designated repairmen access to the unit for repairs.
Avoid damage to property by household members and guests.
Refrain from disturbing others (respecting the right to peaceful enjoyment by their neighbors).
Allow only those occupants on the lease to reside in the unit.
Comply with terms and conditions of the dwelling lease and tenancy addendum.
For more information, contact:
Fax: (936) 632-5916
or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org