The role of the owner/landlord in the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV) (Formerly Section 8 — HUD) 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 owner/landlord receives housing assistance payments.

In addition, the owner/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).

The PHA enters into a contract with the owner/landlord to provide housing assistance payments on behalf of the family. If the owner/landlord fails to meet the obligations under the lease, the PHA has the right to terminate assistance payments.

The Waterbury Housing Authority will determine if the rent for a unit is within the payment standard for the area and that the rent is reasonable for the community based on the property’s physical location, amenities and the Housing Quality Standards.


Commonly Asked Landlord Questions

Q: What are the requirements for my unit to be rented to an assisted family?
A: The unit must meet HUD Housing Quality Standards and the rent must fall within HUD Fair Market Rents and market rate comparables.

Q: How do I make a unit available to certificate and voucher holders?
A: Complete a Referral Listing at the main office to have the unit posted on our list of available units. You may also advertise in the newspaper with the phrase “will accept Section 8.” Our families look for those listings.

Q: Who pays the rent?
A: The tenant pays 30% of his/her monthly income less utilities toward the rent. You collect the tenant’s portion of the rent from the tenant. The WHA pays the assistance (difference between the tenant rent and the contracted rent amount) directly to you.  Once Housing determines the contract rent for the unit, no other additional monies can be collected from the tenant.

Q: Can I collect a security deposit?
A: Yes, you may collect a security deposit as stated in local and state laws. You cannot charge an assisted tenant more than you charge an unassisted tenant.

Q: What is the term of the lease and contract?
A: After one year, the term is open-ended as long as the tenant remains eligible and the unit is maintained to Housing Quality Standards.

Q: What do I do when a voucher holder is interested in my unit?
A: Here are the steps to follow:

  • Step 1: Landlord Screens Tenants – you must screen the prospective tenant carefully to insure you are making a good selection. When one of our families contacts you, we can only certify to you their income eligibility for the program.
  • Step 2: Request for Lease Approval – When you have selected a tenant, he/she will have a “Request for Lease Approval” form for you to complete. 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 insure 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.

Q: What is required of me as a landlord?
Annual Recertification – Annually you are required to complete paperwork for the Annual Recertification to determine tenant’s continued eligibility.

Annual Inspection–The Housing Authority 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 Housing Authority 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 Housing Authority will abate the Housing Assistance Payment.

The Housing Authority will not abate the rent if all of the Housing Quality Standards violations are tenant caused. However, the Housing Authority 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 Housing Authority 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.

Enforce Your Lease It is your responsibility to enforce your Lease. The Housing Authority 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 Housing Authority.

Q: Can I Request a Rental Increase at Annual Recertification?
A: You may request an annual rent increase. Rent increases are not automatic and must be requested in writing with documentation justifying the increase.  The annual inspection must be current with no outstanding HQS violations in order for the rent increase to be granted.