Becoming a Section 8 Landlord (Five Steps)
How do I become a Section Landlord (Vendor)?
In order to become a landlord on the Orlando Housing Authority Section-8 Program, there are a few simple steps that must be followed in order to have your unit approved and your first Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) deposited into your bank account in a timely manner. We would first like to mention that the Orlando Housing Authority only makes rental subsidy payments by means of direct deposit. We would also like to mention that there is no such thing as one of our inspectors coming out to pre-approve a unit; an inspection will only be completed after Step 2 of the process outlined below.
STEP 1 - Complete a Property Form
If a landlord wants to post a property with the Orlando Housing Authority (OHA), they must fill out a "PROPERTY FORM" available at our office. It is not a contract and does not legally bind you into renting your unit to a Section-8 client. Completing this form simply states that you are aware of the program, and if the right person contacts you, you will be willing to rent to them. After completing this form we will post it in our office. Most of our landlords start receiving phone calls 3 days after our list has been updated.
STEP 2 - Owner Screening for Residents
After our clients begin to contact you, you should immediately start your own screening process, including background checks. The Orlando Housing Authority (OHA) only determines that a family is eligible to receive the subsidy, it is up to you as the landlord to determine if this client will be the right person for your unit. If an individual approaches you and claim to be a recipient of this program, they must have a copy of a "VOUCHER" HUD form 52646 (form number is located in the lower right hand corner of the voucher). If you are having difficulties choosing between more than one potential tenant, you may request in writing to view their file. The type of information kept on file are lease violations, i.e, how many times have they been late paying the rent, any reported unauthorized persons in the household, damages beyond normal wear and tear to previous units, etc. This information can be viewed for any potential tenant.
STEP 3 - Owner and Resident Complete RFTA
After you have chosen your tenant, he or she will have a form called a "REQUEST FOR TENANCY APPROVAL" (RFTA). The RFTA is not a contract; it simply states that after a thorough screening on your part, you have found someone that you would like to live in your unit. This form must be completely and correctly filled out by you and the tenant to avoid a delay in the unit being inspected, which can result in a delay in your HAP payments. Common mistakes include not listing what type of unit needs to be inspected i.e. house, duplex, etc, or using an incorrect zip code on the unit to be inspected. After the form is received by our agency an inspection is scheduled within 5 to 14 business days. A sample RFTA is attached below along with other required information for us to process your payments (W-9, State issued picture I.D., proof of ownership, Declaration of ownership/affidavit of agent, and Authorization Agreement for automatic direct deposit).
STEP 4 - Unit Inspection and Resident Move-In
After the unit passes inspection and the rent the owner is asking for is determined to be reasonable, the client may move into the unit on that day. The OHA will begin its subsidy payments effective the day the unit passes inspection, if the tenant moves in on that day. If the tenant moves in after the unit has passed inspection, the subsidy payments will be effective for the move in date. If a family moves into the unit before it passes the inspection, then the family is responsible for the full portion of the rent (the OHA is not a party to these side deals that are made between the landlord and tenant).
STEP 5 - Submit a copy of LEASE to OHA
Before you or the tenant know what the portion of rent is that the OHA will pay and what the tenant has to pay, a signed lease must be turned in to the OHA. If this is not done it may delay your first HAP payment. After all information is entered into our computer system, the OHA will mail the landlord a copy of the HAP contract that is to be signed and returned to the agency.
Important Payment Information (as of 12/1/2016)
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has changed the way they fund the Housing Authority. The HUD change, therefore, changes the timing of OHA's HAP payments to you. Therefore, HAP payments will be deposited via ACH into your account between the 2nd and 5th day of each month. OHA will make every effort to make HAP payments the earliest date possible.