1. How do I list my property with your program?
To list your property with the Housing Authority of the City of Arlington (AHA), please go to www.gosection8.com or contact our Landlord Liaison at 817-276-6775. The Landlord Liaison will provide you with the necessary information to help you list your property.
2. How does the Housing Choice Voucher Program work?
The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program is a federally funded program designed to help eligible low income persons, the elderly, and persons with disabilities to reside in safe, decent and affordable housing.In the program, there are three bi-party contracts. The first contract agreement is between the program participant and the AHA. This contract is issued to the program participant when they are determined eligible to participate in the HCV program. This contract agreement is called the Housing Voucher.The second agreement is the lease agreement between the program participant and the landlord. The program participant will be required to sign the landlord’s lease agreement before they can move into your rental unit.The third agreement is between the AHA and the Landlord or property owner. This agreement is called the Housing Voucher Contract.The Voucher holder seeks housing of their choice and requests the landlord to accept them as a tenant. If the landlord agrees to accept the voucher holder, the landlord and the voucher holder complete the “Request for Tenancy Approval” form and submit the completed form to the AHA.The AHA will review the Request for Tenancy Approval, and arrange with the Landlord to inspect the dwelling unit to determine if it meets program standards and to determine if the rent is reasonable.Following AHA approval of the dwelling unit, the landlord and the tenant will sign the landlord’s lease. The landlord and the AHA sign a Housing Voucher Contract. This contract identifies the amount of total rent, the amount of tenant rent and the amount of rent to be paid by the AHA. After the contract is signed, the AHA authorizes the tenant to move into the dwelling unit.The tenant is required to pay the authorized amount of tenant rent to the landlord monthly and the AHA makes its monthly rental assistance payments directly to the owner.
3. What are the benefits of the program?
The AHA guarantees owners a portion of the rent through the rental assistance contract. The intent of the program is to help the family to reside in safe, decent, rental housing they can afford, which results in more consistent, timely and full rent payments to owners. Periodic inspections of the unit alert owners of required and/or recommended repairs. Additionally, marketing of available rental unit is free.
4. What is the purpose of the inspection?
A unit must be inspected by the AHA prior to admission to the program and annually to ensure the unit meets Federal Housing Quality Standards (HQS).
5. What if the unit “fails” inspection?
Under Federal regulations, a unit either “passes” or “fails”. Any item that does not meet the standards will cause the unit to fail. The owner will be notified in writing if the unit fails, and what repairs are required in order for the unit to pass the HQS inspection. The owner determines whether he/she is willing to make the repairs and informs the tenant and the AHA of this decision. If the owner elects not to make the repairs, the family must choose another unit to receive assistance. If the owner elects to make repairs, the AHA MUST be notified the repairs were completed, and the unit will be re-inspected. The assistance cannot begin until ALL of the following items have been completed: 1) the unit passes the HQS inspection; 2) the lease and contract have been approved by the AHA; 3) participant has possession of the unit, and 4) the AHA has received all required documentation from owner and tenant.
6. What are some of the most “common” fail items?
Disabled or missing smoke detectors:
- Must be operable at all times.
- Must be located on each level of a dwelling
- Must be installed in an approved location and meet applicable code
- Refrigerator must be in serviceable condition, plugged in and cooling.
- All top burners on range (either gas or electric) must ignite by use of control knobs.
- All burner control knobs must be in place and work properly.
- Oven door handle must be in place and the door must close properly.
- Must be reasonably weather tight and safe to operate
- All damaged or broken glass must be replaced. Small corner cracks can be repaired, typically with silicone type sealant.
- All first floor windows and any other readily accessible windows must lock securely.
- A minimum number of screens for adequate ventilation must be provided.
- Either an openable window or a mechanical exhaust fan must provide bathroom ventilation.
- Toilets should be securely fastened to the floor.
- No holes, tears, or loose edges that could cause a tripping hazard or an unsanitary condition.
Electrical equipment and devices:
- All outlets and switches must have proper cover plates.
- All electrical boxes must have proper covers.
- Main fuse or breaker panels must not have any accessible electrically live parts.
- Light fixtures must be secure with no hanging or exposed wiring or accessible electrically live parts.
Doors – knobs and locks:
- All doors should have functioning latches, knobs and handles.
- All exterior doors must be securely lockable.
- Must meet applicable codes.
- Temperature Pressure Relief valves for water heaters must be in place and have full sized discharge pipes extending to an approved location.
- Systems must be free of leaks, have all needed traps, and comply with applicable code.
- The dwelling must be free of serious vermin or rodent infestation
7. How much rent can an owner charge for his/her unit?
With the HCV program, a unit’s contract rent must be reasonable. Rent Reasonableness is based on HUD guidelines and is documented by comparable rents for unassisted rental units of similar size, type and location.
8. How do I request a rental increase on my property?
You may request a rental increase annually within 45 days of your tenant’s anniversary lease date. The inspection department will review your request and notify you if your request is approved.
9. How do I evict my tenant?
It is the responsibility of the landlord to abide by the law and use the established legal process to evict your tenant by complying with the terms of your lease and the governing eviction process. The eviction process must comply with applicable federal, State and Local laws. If you evict a program participant, it will be necessary for you to notify the Arlington Housing Authority of the eviction.
10. What are examples of program abuse or fraud?
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the AHA are concerned about program abuse. Incidences of program abuse and fraud include; willful and intentional misrepresentations or intent to deceive with regard to a federal program are criminal acts that will lead to cancellation of program participation and legal actions resulting in fines and/or imprisonment. Another example of program abuse is when a landlord requires a tenant to make “extra” payments not listed or approved in the contract. An example of an “Extra” payment would include requiring the tenant to pay funds to supplement the contract rent. Additionally, a program participant may not ask the landlord to approve the contract rent amount and then offer to pay the landlord an extra amount of rent not included in the lease and contract.
11. What do I do if a program participant asks me to commit fraud or program abuse?
If a program participant asks you to engage in unlawful or unethical activity, please contact the AHA Compliance Coordinator at (817) 276-6734.
12. What type of housing unit can be rented by the family?
The following types of housing can be rented by the family: Single-Family Homes, Duplexes, Townhomes, Apartments, and Mobile homes.
13. Is an owner required to participate in the HCV program?
No. However, Federal, State, and Local Laws prohibit housing discrimination based on race, color, creed, sex, national origin, source of income, martial status, and/or disability.14. What should an owner do if a tenant seriously and/or repeatedly violates the provisions of the lease?Owners, property managers / agents (landlords) are responsible to address lease violations committed by HCV program participants in the same manner as unassisted tenants and in accordance with applicable laws. The lease is between the tenant and the owner. Only the owner or his/her agent is legally able to enforce the owner’s lease.The AHA advises the owner to notify the family “in writing” of any lease violations and provide the family with reasonable and appropriate due process. If the family repeatedly violates the lease, the landlord is strongly encouraged to enforce the lease to the full extent of the law and in accordance with the appropriate legal process. The landlord is also encouraged to contact and inform the AHA of the problem. In certain circumstances, such as when the family allows an unauthorized person to reside in the unit, the violation of the lease may also be a direct violation of the family’s contract with the AHA. Landlords are encouraged to contact the AHA Compliance Coordinator at 817-276-6734 to report allegations of program abuse or possible fraud.