How To Become A Section 8 Landlord


Tenant Approved By Owner

Even though a family is determined by the NHA to be eligible for the program, the owner must approve the family as a suitable renter. Therefore, the owner must initiate his/her own tenant screening.

The NHA can assist in the process by providing names and addresses of current and past landlords, while the tenant has been a participant of the program. We strongly urge all owners to thoroughly screen all prospective tenants. There are a variety of options open to owners for screening tenants from viewing housing court documents to credit checks. Check with local Landlord Associations for further information regarding tenant screening. When a RFTA form is submitted, our agency knows that the owner has approved the family for tenancy.

Security Deposits: NHA has NO responsibilities for damages, unpaid rent, vacancy loss or any other special claims. The owner may collect a full security deposit (not to exceed the amount of the first month’s rent) from the tenant. The owner must comply with all State statutes and regulations covering the collection of security deposits.


Submission of RFTA

Should you decide to participate in the program, the renter will supply you with the following: HUD’s (Housing and Urban Development)

The RFTA and RRDF must be completed and signed by the prospective tenant and owner in order to initiate the inspection process required for participation in the HCVP. The RRDF is necessary to assist the Housing Authority in approving the rent you are requesting.

If you decide to participate in the program, HUD requires that you provide proof of legal ownership of any unit that you offer.  You may do this by providing a copy of a tax bill or deed (signed and recorded.  If the property is in a trust, a copy of the trust and tax id# for the trust is also required.

If RFTA is incomplete, it will be returned to the owner for completion. If complete, the tenant’s portion will be determined affordable (not more than 40% of their monthly adjusted income). If not affordable, the owner and tenant will be notified and may renegotiate a new rent. If affordable, an unsigned copy of the proposed lease will be requested to be reviewed. The written request for the lease will indicate what is required in the lease.


Unit Approved by Agency

After the RFTA, Proposed Lease and rent have been determined and complete, the NHA will need to determine if the unit qualifies for the Section 8 program. A Housing Quality Standards Inspection will take place. If the Unit does not pass inspection, repairs are required.
INSPECTIONS: NHA cannot make any subsidy payments prior to the unit being inspected and certified as being in compliance with HUD’s Housing Quality Standards. NHA inspectors perform all inspections.

  1. The unit must be completely vacant (unless the voucher holder currently resides in the unit) and there must be access to the basement and all common areas.
  2. If the building was built prior to 1978 and is to be occupied by a family with children under 6 years of age, you must provide a Letter of Compliance from a licensed deleading inspector. It must state that the unit and relevant common areas are in compliance with the Massachusetts Lead Law, M.G.L.,c111s190-191. If the building was constructed after 1978, a copy of the original building permit is required.
    Unit Rent Determinations: Unit rents have to be approved by the NHA. The proposed rent will be compared to the rent for other (non-Section 8) units, taking into consideration size, condition, location
    and amenities.

Contract & Lease Signed

If the unit meets the program requirements and tenancy can be approved, the NHA will then enter into a Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) Contract with the owner, and the family will enter into a lease with the owner.
* Please note that the NHA has 60 days to execute the Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) Contract with the owner. The NHA does not take 60 days to complete this process.

However, there is always some delay in the initial HAP payment.


Rent Payments Made

After the HAP Contract has been signed by the owner and returned to the NHA, the NHA makes the initial payment and continues to make monthly payments to owner. This takes place as long as the family continues to meet eligibility criteria and the housing unit continues to qualify under the program.

We hope this makes the process easier to understand and follow. As always, please feel free to contact the office if you have any questions.