Becoming a Landlord
  Steps to Becoming a Section 8 Landlord

1. List Your Rental Property with Charleston-Kanawha Housing or advertise in local newspapers your willingness to accept Housing Choice Vouchers. CKH will post your property for a sixty day period or until you inform us the unit has been rented.

2. Select a family - As the owner or agent you have the responsibility to determine which family is most suitable to occupy your unit. Please note, Charleston-Kanawha Housing only screens families for their eligibility to participate in the program. You may want to review the Fair Housing Handbook for more information on lawful screening.

3. Complete the Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA) Packet - The family will present you with a RFTA. This paperwork tells us important information about the rent you’re requesting, which utilities will be included in the rent and which ones the tenant will pay, when the unit was built, the square footage and recently charged rent. Also, you will complete IRS form W-9 for tax purposes and other required documents.

4. Pass the Housing Quality Standards Inspection - After we receive the Request for Tenancy Approval you will be contacted within 7 days to set an appointment to have your rental unit inspected. The property must be in move-in condition and all utilities must be on. The purpose of the inspection is to ensure the family has a decent, safe and sanitary place to live. To review HQS requirements you should review the HQS Checklist, HUD booklet A Good Place to Live and the Inspection Form. After the property has passed inspection, the family is authorized to move in. If the family is occupying the unit prior to obtaining their voucher or if they move in prior to the inspection the lease and contract will start on the date of the passed inspection.

5. The Rent Must Be Reasonable - After the inspection, Charleston-Kanawha Housing will determine whether your requested rent is reasonable in comparison to similar unassisted properties in the area. Rent Reasonableness takes into consideration such factors as the size, condition and location of the property, as well as any amenities that are included. If the requested rent is not reasonable you will be asked to lower the rent.

6. Execution of the Housing Assistance Payment Contract (HAP) - Charleston-Kanawha Housing staff will determine the amount of assistance to be paid. The family is required to pay at least 30% of their monthly household income toward rent and utilities, but may pay up to 40% depending upon their income. If the family’s portion exceeds the 40% limit you may be asked to lower the rent in order for the family to rent the unit. CKH staff will contact you about this determination.

Once the subsidy amount is determined, the Lease Agreement between the owner and family should be executed. The lease is to be provided by the owner and must be similar to the one used by the landlord for other tenants. HUD requires a Tenancy Addendum to be attached to all landlord leases which states program responsibilities for both parties. The HUD addendum overrides any provisions of the owner’s lease that may be in conflict.

Charleston-Kanawha Housing will mail the HAP contract to you for your signature. The HAP contract states the amount of assistance CKH will provide on behalf of the family and list other contractual responsibilities of both the owner and CKH. After signing and returning the contract Charleston-Kanawha Housing will process the payment and an executed copy of the contract will be mailed to you.


More Resources...

Landlord Information Packet

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