Harrison Housing Authority offers assistance to property owners.
Section 8 participation offers landlords some advantages.
Section 8 is the federal government program that helps low income families afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. Participants find their own housing. Participants can choose any housing that meets the requirements of the program, including single-family homes, apartments, and townhouses. It is not limited to units in subsidized housing projects.
The Harrison Housing Authority administers the Section 8 in Harrison and the surrounding area. The Housing Authority receives federal funds from HUD (Housing & Urban Development) to administer Section 8. Clients approved for Section 8 need to find suitable housing where the Landlord agrees to rent under the program's guidelines. The units must meet minimum health and safety standards. The Authority pays a housing subsidy check directly to the landlord, and the family pays the remainder of the rent.
Note: The Landlord never gets involved in the process of establishing the eligibility of tenants. That’s the Housing Authority’s responsiblity.
Frequently Asked Questions From Landlords About The Section 8 Program:
Just call, write or stop in to the Harrison Housing Authority offices. You can send us an email from this website. Give us the basic information about the property and let us know who to contact about renting it. Once the property goes on our list, we will share it with families looking for rental property. Every so often, we purge the property list.
Be sure to let us know when the property is rented, so we don’t keep having people call you.
2. How much rent can I expect from my property?
The asking price is up to you. The housing authority can only work with the property if the rent is comparable to other units of similar location, quality, size, type, and age. If the rent is not comparable, we may ask you to lower it to accommodate our client. We have to review and approve rent increases on Section 8 housing units. We have to consider price comparability, the HUD-determined local payment standard, and how much of the rent our tenants can afford.
3. How much can I ask for a security deposit?
The following conditions apply to security deposits on properties in the State of Arkansas:
- A security deposit cannot exceed two months’ rent. For example, if the rent is $200 a month, you can’t require a security deposit of more than $400.
- When the tenant moves out, you have to return the security deposit within 60 days. You may deduct from the security deposit any damages made to the dwelling or any past due rent.
- If you deduct money from the security deposit to cover damages or unpaid rent, you must give the tenant a written, itemized list of the charges withheld within 30 days of the time the tenant vacates.
- A landlord may withhold the entire amount of the security deposit for damages or unpaid rent. He must give you a written, itemized list of the charges withheld within thirty (30) days of the time you vacate.
- You cannot legally ask more in security deposit from a Section 8 applicant than you would ask of any other applicant. Once you have collected a security deposit, you will have to place the money in an interest-bearing account.
4. How is the breakdown in rent calculated?
The housing agency will pay a check to the landlord for the difference between the jurisdiction's payment standard and tenant's total payment. Both the tenant and the housing agency pay their portions of the rent at the beginning of each month.
5. Can I refuse to rent to an individual?
You have the right to select the tenant you want for your unit using whatever criteria you determine. However, you must not discriminate against an individual because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, familial status, or disability.
6. Who pays for damages to the property during occupancy?
The tenant is responsible for paying any damages beyond normal wear and tear. Your lease should contain a standard practice for the tenant to pay for damages. When the tenant moves out, you may take compensation for damages beyond normal wear and tear from the security deposit.
7. What if I have problems with the tenant?
Section 8 participation doesn’t take away any of your rights to take necessary legal action against a tenant. The Arkansas Attorney General has published a good guide to landlord-tenant relations. Be sure you get good legal advice, and be sure you stay within the law in dealing with problem tenants. When you send the tenant a warning letter or a notice to vacate, be sure to send a copy to the housing authority.
8. What is the housing agency inspector looking for in the inspection?
The housing agency will inspect the property before a tenant can move into it. The inspector is insuring that the home meets HUD Housing Quality Standards – that’s a basic measure of whether the house is fit to be lived in. The housing authority may ask you to make some repairs before it can pass inspection. They won’t pay any rent until it does pass.