Housing Choice Voucher Landlord FAQ
HCV program frequently asked questions
To help answer your questions about what it’s like to be a landlord participating in the HCV program, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions.
Are there benefits to renting to an HCV tenant?
Yes! Landlords who lease to HCV tenants receive a guaranteed payment of rent directly from us each month. Depending on several factors, this can be a portion or all of the rent.
What is the HCV program?
A federal program that provides decent, affordable housing to individuals and families, including people with disabilities and senior citizens. We work with local housing agency partners to administer the program in various parts of the Commonwealth.
What is a voucher?
A voucher allows qualifying tenants to select from a wider range of housing, as opposed to being limited to designated housing projects. Tenants pay the landlord a percentage of their adjusted monthly income towards rent with the voucher subsidizing the remainder.
What’s the process? What type of paperwork will I need to complete?
A tenant interested in your unit will give you a Request for Tenancy Approval to complete. Once the form is returned to the local housing agency, they will contact you to set up an inspection. If your unit is approved, you will be asked to submit the following information:
- Request for Tax ID Number
- Proposed lease agreement
- Housing Assistance Payment Contract (HAPC)
- Direct Deposit Authorization form
Can I accept a voucher holder from outside of the city, county or state?
Yes! Vouchers are portable and can be used by tenants even when they relocate from other cities, counties or states.
Can I require a security deposit or payment for damages?
Yes. Your lease should specify what is required from tenants and what the consequences will be if the property is damaged.
Who is the typical Housing Choice Voucher tenant?
Prospective tenants often represent the diversity of your local community. They may be individuals, families, people with disabilities or senior citizens. They tend to be highly motivated renters who pay rent in a timely manner and maintain the property. Many HCV tenants hold jobs as teachers, police officers or other service providers.
Who screens prospective tenants?
The local housing agency screens each applicant for HUD Housing Choice Voucher program eligibility. As a landlord, you are responsible for screening your tenants for your acceptance criteria, just as you would any non-subsidized applicant.
What determines how much rent I can charge?
The rent amount is based on what is reasonable for the location of your property, amenities and condition.
Can I evict someone for non-payment, property damage or another reason?
Yes. If tenants violate the requirements of the lease, then you have the right to evict the tenant at any time. Inform your local housing agency at the beginning of the eviction process.
Can I rent to a family member/relative with a voucher?
No. As a landlord, if your prospective tenant is your parent, child, grandparent, sister or brother, or any member of your household, their rent cannot be subsidized through the Housing Choice Voucher program.
What are my responsibilities as a landlord?
Your lease will generally outline your responsibilities, which includes providing a safe and clean property.
What is the tenant’s responsibility?
HCV tenants are required to uphold the requirements of the lease, make timely rent payments and maintain the property. Tenants must inform the local housing agency and the landlord of any changes to who lives in property so they can be approved.