What Landlords Need to Know, Part 1

Real estate agent at work

As an owner or manager of a rental unit, it is important that you select the appropriate tenant for your unit.  This process is not always easy, especially when you wish to consider voucher holders from the Housing Choice Voucher Program which requires adherence to federal guidelines. There are a number of rules and regulations surrounding the Housing Choice Voucher Program and many things to consider.  Here are some quick tips that can ease the process.

Know the Program: It is important to familiarize yourself with the program in order to best serve yourself and your community. The Housing Choice Voucher Program is a housing assistance program designed to help low-income families with a housing subsidy. Through the Housing Choice Voucher Program, families are provided with vouchers that can be used to help pay for a portion of the rent on the home of their choosing. The rest of the rent can be covered by the voucher holder’s own wages, social security, disability or pension.

The Housing Authority will issue a voucher to the individual or family, which will indicate the unit bedroom size that is required. As a landlord, it is essential for you to make certain the bedroom size of your rental property is in compliance with the voucher. For frequently asked questions about the Housing Choice Voucher Program, visit our Landlords page.

Do Not Judge a Book by Its Cover: Families that participate in the program are often negatively perceived as “bad” tenants. Richard Abramson, landlord, discusses with us why that is certainly not the case:

As a landlord, it is important to stay open minded when accepting Housing Choice Voucher holders. The tenants work hard to be a part of the program and are not willing to risk having their voucher taken away from them.

Create a Relationship: You are responsible for screening tenants and for selecting the family or person that will best fit your housing community, whether they are a voucher holder or not. Communication is the strongest tool in creating a healthy tenant-landlord relationship. Landlords should apply the same criteria to voucher holders that they apply to any other tenant.