Welcome to Decatur Housing Authority's Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) Landlord Page. Here you will find relevant information for Landlords.
Landlord/Owner Information - How it all works:
List Your Property
The Housing Authority utilizes the services of Georgia Housing Search, a non-profit organization, that lists properties free of charge for landlords and tenants. To list your property for rent go to www.georgiahousingsearch.org. Georgia Housing Search software will instruct you on how to list your property on their website. The first time you rent to a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher client, or if you acquire a new property, you must register your property with the Section 8 Department. There are very specific documents required to register your property. A complete packet of information may be picked up at our office or accessed through the web at Housing Register Forms.
Screen Prospective Participants
The Housing Authority determines eligibility to participate in the HCV Program. The Housing Authority will screen for sex offender registration (Megan's Law). However, the final selection of a family for tenancy is the responsibility of the property owner. The Housing Authority strongly encourages owners participating in the program to screen all potential tenant families for criminal, credit, and rental history.
The choice is the landlords. Tenant selection is based on the landlord's own selection criteria. Charging an application fee is acceptable as long as Section 8 participants are charged the same fee as non-Section 8 participants. As in all cases, Fair Housing is the law.
Submit a "Request For Tenancy Approval" (RFTA)
Once the landlord has agreed to rent a unit to a Section 8 participant, the landlord will be provided with an RFTA which must be completed. The information provided on the RFTA is used to determine if the family is eligible for the unit selected. The tenant will return the completed RFTA to the Housing Authority for processing.
Perform a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection
Upon receipt of an RFTA, an HQS inspection is scheduled and conducted to ensure that the unit is decent, safe, and sanitary and to determine whether the total monthly rent requested for the unit is acceptable. The rent is negotiable and must be comparable to other unassisted units in that area. All units must meet the HQS standards before payments will begin.
Negotiate the Rent
The Housing Authority will determine the "authorized rent" which is the maximum rent allowable for that unit. It is established through a process by which the Housing Authority obtains "rent comparable's" of other properties located in the same area as the unit selected. In making their determination, the Housing Authority will consider factors such as the condition and size of the unit (square footage), the unit type, amenities, age, and utilities paid. The Housing Authority uses a "payment standard" developed from small area fair market rents published by HUD to determine the maximum rent the Housing Authority will pay. The amount will vary from unit to unit and from community to community.
Sign the Lease and Contract
Once the unit passes inspection and the rent is determined, a lease will be signed by both the landlord and the tenant. The Housing Assistance Payments Contract will be signed by the landlord and a Housing Authority representative for each portion of the total rent payable. Lease and contracts may begin the day the unit passes inspection and the participant takes possession of the unit.
Want more details on how you can have a good place to live? Do you want to know more about what we look for when we inspect? Here is HUD's publication "A Good Place To Live!"