FAQ - Housing Choice Voucher Landlord
1. Where is your office located?
700 County Avenue
Secaucus, NJ 07094
2. Who participates in the Housing Authority Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program?
The Section 8 program assists low-income families/individuals who meet the following eligibility requirements:
c. Criminal background clearance
d. Be in Good Standing with current and past Housing Authorities, if applicable
3. What types of units are accepted on the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program?
Single family houses, Apartments, Duplexes, Row Houses, Condominiums, Townhouses, Mobile homes and Manufactured homes.
4. How much rent can I charge?
All participants who receive a voucher on the Section 8 program are made aware of the allowable rent amounts. Typically, the landlord can ask for the market rent. Before the rent amount can be approved, the Section 8 Housing Coordinator will determine if the rent is reasonable.
5. Can I rent to a relative?
A landlord cannot rent to a relative (parent, child, grandparent, sister or brother of any member of the family) unless the Secaucus Housing Authority has determined that approving lease of the unit would provide reasonable accommodation for a family member with disabilities.
6. Does my unit have to be inspected?
Yes, all units must pass a Housing Quality Standards inspection in order to participate in the program.
7. What are the inspectors looking for when they inspect the unit?
The goal of the Housing Quality Standards inspections is to ensure the unit is safe, sanitary, and decent.
8. How do I schedule an inspection?
The prospective tenant will provide the landlord with a Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA) form, which is to be completed by the tenant and landlord. The tenant will submit the completed form to the Secaucus Housing Authority. The Housing Coordinator will forward the form to the Inspector who will contact the landlord to schedule an inspection date.
9. How long will it take to get my unit inspected?
Once the RFTA package has been received by the Secaucus Housing Authority, an inspection will be scheduled and conducted within 5-15 business days.
10. Who is responsible for the utilities prior to the unit inspection?
All utilities must be on at the time of the inspection or the unit will fail. The landlord is responsible if the unit is vacant. If the tenant plans to "lease in place" and already resides in the unit and is currently responsible for the utilities, they should continue to be responsible prior to inspection.
11. How much time do I have to make repairs if my unit fails inspection?
If the unit fails inspection, the landlord will receive a letter listing the failed items and the timeline for re-inspection. Typically, for Initial/New lease up inspections, the landlord is given 15 days to make the needed repairs, and must call within the 15 days to request a re-inspection. For Annual/Special inspections that are non-emergency, the landlord is given 30 days to make the needed repairs. For Emergency items, the landlord or tenant has 24 hours to make the repairs. The re-inspection appointment is scheduled to take place at approximately the same time the following day.
12. How much does the tenant pay for rent?
Participants pay approximately 30 percent of their adjusted income directly to the landlord. Prior to the execution of the Housing Assistance Payment contract with the landlord, the Housing Coordinator will notify the landlord of the tenant’s rental obligation. The Secaucus Housing Authority subsidizes the balance of the rent.
13. Who pays the security deposit?
The tenant is responsible for the entire security deposit.
14. How much may landlords charge for a security deposit?
A landlord is allowed to charge a security deposit of up to one month’s rent.
15. Who pays if the tenant causes damages to the unit?
The tenant is responsible for all tenant caused damages to the unit; this includes damages caused by the tenant’s visitors and/or guests.
16. If my rent is more than the Housing Authority can approve, can the tenant pay the difference?
No. Per HUD regulations, the landlord may not charge or accept any rental payment that is not authorized by the Housing Authority.
17. Is there a minimum length of time for the lease?
The tenant’s initial lease must be for a minimum and maximum of 12 months during the initial lease. After the initial 12 month lease, if the landlord chooses, the tenant may remain on a month-to-month lease basis.
18. When can I expect my check from the Housing Authority?
The Secaucus Housing Authority will share with the landlord when he/she will receive their first housing assistance payment. Payments after the initial payment are generally mailed out on the 1st day of the month. However, a landlord can sign up for direct deposit of Housing Assistance Payments for faster access to their funds!
19. If the tenant violates the lease agreement, is it possible to evict a Section 8 tenant?
If a tenant violates a lease agreement, the landlord must treat that tenant as they would any non-subsidized tenant. The only difference in the eviction process is that the landlord must simultaneously send copies of all legal notices to the Housing Authority. The eviction process must adhere to all rules as would apply in the private market.
20. When can a landlord ask for a rent increase?
The landlord’s request for an increase must occur during the client’s Annual Recertification. This request must be received no less than 30 days prior to the increase effective date. The Housing Specialist will notify the landlord if the rent increase can be approved.