Learn About Multifamily Assisted Properties
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) maintains a portfolio of properties that include multifamily housing. These types of properties consist of five or more units and house multiple families. Multifamily dwellings include buildings such as apartments, townhomes and retirement centers. However, hospitals, nursing homes, mobile home parks and even certain vacant land may also be considered multifamily housing. HUD provides subsidies and grants to the owners of these types of buildings. This helps to provide affordable housing options for low-income populations.
Multifamily housing is also available for low-income individuals with special needs such as those who are elderly, disabled or veterans. Local public housing agencies (PHA) oversee and manage these rental units. Some types of units are more populated than others. These include project-based Section 8 housing, Section 202 housing for elderly tenants and Section 811 housing for renters with disabilities. Read further to learn more about HUD multifamily housing and about the responsibilities of both property owners and tenants.
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Find Out How to Get Property Approval
In order for a property to be considered for the HUD portfolio, landlords must first submit a completed application to their local housing authority. Aside from the application, property owners are required to undergo an interview and their property must pass a HUD inspection.
Also, landlords are subject to both background and credit checks as part of the application. Once approved, some landlords may be required to complete an Owner Certification Course.
A relationship is maintained between the agent and landlord after he or she is approved to rent to Section 8 housing recipients. This agent will also help to resolve any disputes between the landlord and tenants.
Both a landlord and his or her property must be approved by HUD before tenants can seek housing in that particular building. All properties are subject to a full inspection to ensure that they satisfy Section 8 housing standards. Inspectors look for the following:
- Ventilation in hallways.
- External electrical hazards.
- Access to fire exits.
- Signs of insect infestations.
- Leaks in plumbing.
- Hallway smoke detectors.
- Overall maintenance of building exterior.
- Signs of deterioration on surfaces and building foundation.
- Operation of heating facilities.
- Date of last elevator inspection.
HUD expects landlords to maintain inspection standards consistently. Both tenants and property owners are responsible for this maintenance.
Sometimes HUD will perform spot inspections on properties to ensure that housing standards are upheld regularly. Occasionally, inspectors’ supervisors will conduct the inspection themselves as a means of quality control.
After inspection clearance, a property’s rent values are evaluated. A rent ceiling is established by examining the average rent in the area and the overall quality of the neighborhood.
Once the landlord agrees to a particular rent standard, HUD accepts the property into its housing portfolio. Then Section 8 participants can apply to rent at that particular property.
What qualifications do tenants need to have?
Potential Section 8 tenants are required to meet HUD qualifications just as landlords are. All renters are subject to background checks before being accepted into the program.
Once a family reaches the top of a waiting list, they can either accept the housing available to them or seek a Section 8-approved property. If recipients choose to seek housing the private market, they will have for meeting the expectations, rules and requirements of private landlords.
Families looking for Section 8 housing in the private market may be required to meet additional qualifications. This is because landlords are allowed to implement their own application procedures.
This way, owners can maintain some power in assessing potential tenants; he or she is not required to accept all applicants. However, they must abide by equal opportunity laws when evaluating potential renters. This means that property owners cannot reject tenants based on:
- Family status
Moreover, landlords cannot discriminate against families with children if their property is not designated for renters 55 years of age and older.
Therefore, a landlord can turn away certain applicants, but tenants are still legally protected from discrimination. Furthermore, if landlords impose additional qualification criteria, they must require all applicants to meet them, not just Section 8 renters.
After being accepted, Section 8 tenants are expected to pay a certain amount of rent each month directly to the landlord. It is usually paid through direct deposit.
The rest is paid by the local PHA. This way, property owners have the certainty of regular rent payment every month by HUD.
Tenants agree to yearly leases to the property. This agreement is made with the property owner, not HUD. Lease specifications and property rules are also concerns between the landlord and renter.
Section 8 tenants must practice good neighbor habits and behaviors to maintain both their rental and voucher. These renters are expected to:
- Pay rent on time each month.
- Practice good housekeeping.
- Prevent damage to the rental.
- Prohibit the occupancy of unauthorized persons in the dwelling.
- Refrain from disturbing neighbors.
- Update their PHA about changes to family size and income.
Disputes Between Tenants and Landlords
Disputes and issues regarding leasing and other complaints must first be handled between renter and owner. If a resolution cannot be established, either the tenant or landlord can contact the local PHA agent responsible for the property.
Then, a timeline will be set to resolve the dispute. If the issue cannot be solved within the designated period of time, the agent can escalate the case.
HUD as the authority to either release a tenant from his or her lease because of an irreconcilable dispute or the landlord will be granted permission to evict the tenant. Both renter and property owner will have a period of time which they can contest the PHAs decision.
If a renter is deemed to be at fault, the property will remain within the HUD portfolio and approved to rent to Section 8 recipients. However, if a landlord is at fault in a dispute, his or her property will be removed from the HUD housing portfolio and the Section 8 housing program.
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