HAP Landlord Information
Note: all documents open in a new window and require Adobe Acrobat Reader. You can download a free version here.
What is the Voucher Program?
The Voucher Program provides assistance for low income families in the private rental market through the Housing Assistance Payments Program. (HAP)
Rental Voucher Holders select a unit from the private rental market. Rental assistance makes market rate housing affordable. Program participants normally pay no more than 30% of monthly adjusted income towards rent and utilities. The Housing Assistance Payment subsidizes the balance of the rent to the property owner.
What are the requirements for my unit to be rented to and assisted family?
- The unit must meet HUD Housing Quality Standards (HQS) The Unit must:
- Meet applicable building codes
- Have a working smoke detector
- Have a vent or window that opens in the bathroom
- Have doors and windows which lock
- Have private area for toilet
- Have cook stove or microwave and food prep area (except for special housing i.e. group residence, SRO, etc.)
- Have all utilities paid by resident metered separately
- Have no chipping, chalking, cracked or peeling paint in pre-1978 units (Lead-based regulation requirement)
- Have water, sewer and garbage paid by Landlord within Bismarck City limits
- The Unit must have reasonable rent:
- The rent must be approvable within HUD Payment Standards.
- The rent must be approvable in comparison to market rent for like units.
How do I make a unit available to voucher holders?
You may call the BCHA office to have the unit listed on our list of available units. You may also advertise in the newspaper with the phrase “HAP Welcome” Our program participants look for those listings.
What do I do when a voucher holder is interested in my unit?
Landloard screens resident
You must screen the prospective resident in accordance with your established screening policy. When one of our program participants contact you, we can certify to you their income eligibility for the program. We do not provide a reference as to their expected behavior as residents. You may use any or all of the following screening procedures:
- Credit Check
- Landlord References
- Criminal Check
- Home Visits
We encourage all of the above screening methods as long as you do not discriminate. Discrimination includes any resident selection based on race, color, religion, ancestry, sex, country of birth, handicap or familial status. The prohibition against discrimination based on familial status makes it illegal in most circumstances, to refuse to allow children to live in a residential unit.
Request for tenancy approval
When you have selected a resident, he/she will have a “Request for Tenancy Approval” form for you to complete. When the resident submits the form to our office, a housing representative will contact you to schedule an inspection.
Inspection and rent
The unit will be inspected to insure that it meets HUD Housing Quality Standards. You will also be mailed a copy of the inspection form.
Lease and contract
After the unit passes inspection and the rent has been approved, the landlord and resident enter into a lease for an initial term of one year. The HA and the landlord sign a Housing Assistance Payments contract through which the rent is assisted on behalf of the resident.
Can I collect a security deposit?
- The Voucher Program prohibits security deposits in excess of private practice, or in excess of amounts charged by the owner to unassisted residents.
- In accordance with state law.
What is the term of the lease and contract?
After one year, the lease is renewed for a specified time period, month to month. The resident may vacate with a 30-day written notice after the 1-year term of the lease expires. If the resident remains in the unit, the resident must be recertified for eligibility and the unit inspected for HQS annually, at which time the landlord may request an annual adjustment rent increase which must be approved by BCHA. This request must be submitted in writing to BCHA and resident sixty days prior to renewal.
What are my rights and responsibilities as a landloard?
- Maintain your property in good condition.
- Complete repairs within a reasonable amount of time upon request by the HA or resident, 24 hours for emergencies. The amount of time that is considered reasonable depends on the nature of the problem.
- Set reasonable rules about use of unit and common areas.
- Do not enter a unit without resident’s permission and proper notice except for emergencies or resident requested repairs.
- Collect appropriate security deposit as directed under the program and use it only as directed by state law.
- Comply with equal opportunity requirements.
- Enforce resident obligations under the lease.
- Notify HA in writing of all actions or notices to resident.
- Expect your resident to:
- Keep unit clean
- Avoid illegal activity
- Permit access for repairs
- Avoid damage to property
- Refrain from disturbing others
- Allow only those occupants on the lease to reside in the unit
- Pay rent on time
- Comply with terms and conditions of lease and HAP contract.
- Take action through District Court to evict when resident violates the lease.