Q. What is the difference between Section 8 and CMHA?
A. The Section 8 program is a program where the Government pays some of the tenant's rent. This program is operated by many housing authorities across the country. Here in the Cleveland market the house authority that operates the majority of the Section 8 program is the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA)
Q. Are there other Housing Authorities besides CMHA that I can work with?
A. Sometimes. The Housing Authority that Holton-Wise works with will be based upon the municipality in which the property in question is located.
Q. Is the process for working with other Housing Authorities different than working with CMHA?
A. The process of working with other Housing Authorities may vary slightly from the process of working with CMHA. However the occurrence of a different Housing Authority is rare and the differences are very minimal, as such the fee structure, timelines and information in the FAQ are all basically the same.
Q. What are the advantages of renting out my property to tenants who are on the section 8 program?
A. The benefits of renting out your property to Tenants who are on the Section 8 program are as follows
Q. What are the disadvantages of renting out my property to tenants who are on the Section 8 program?
A. At Holton-Wise we believe that some properties, especially those that are located in neighborhoods on the lower end of the income spectrum are much more profitable when being operated on the Section 8 program. However it should be noted that there are some disadvantages and additional red tape that come with operating a rental property on the Section 8 program.
Q. What if my property fails a Section 8 inspection?
A. If after the initial inspection CMHA deems it necessary for Holton-Wise to make additional repairs to the property before a tenant can be placed a list of items that need repair will be provided to Holton-Wise along with a time period in which the repairs must be completed and a second inspection scheduled. If after a second failed inspection, the entire process would have to be started again from the beginning.
Q. Are there any additional costs involved if I decide to rent out my property to tenants who are on the Section 8 program?
A. Yes. In order for Holton-Wise to take on the additional workload that Section 8 program creates Holton-Wise charges a fee of $995 per rental unit per vacancy. In addition to that $995 fee Holton-Wise normal leasing fees including but not limited to Unit Leasing Fees, Service Call and Hourly Rate fees for any out of office activities along with any Property Management Fees will still apply in addition to any bid fees that may be incurred when Holton-Wise needs to create bids to repair any and all potential Section 8 violations.
Q. I already have Section 8 tenants in my property(s) and I want Holton-Wise to take over the management of my rental property portfolio. Are there any additional costs involved because my
current tenants are on Section 8?
A. Yes and No. While Holton-Wise would not charge you an additional fee for on-boarding Section 8 tenants instead of cash paying tenants Holton-Wise will still charge the additional $995 fee per rental unit per vacancy if you want Holton-Wise to rent your vacant rental property(s) to new tenants on the Section 8 program once your current tenants move out of your property(s). In addition to that $995 fee Holton-Wise normal leasing fees including but not limited to Unit Leasing Fees, Service Call and Hourly Rate fees for any out of office activities along with any Property Management Fees will still apply in addition to any bid fees that may be incurred when Holton-Wise needs to create bids to repair any and all potential Section 8 violations.
Q. How do I start the process of renting my property to tenants who are on the Section 8 program?
A. If you are an active Property Management client of Holton-Wise who would like to have your property placed on the Section 8 program send an email to PropertyManagement@HoltonWise.com and will begin processing your request. If you are brand new to working with Holton-Wise you can also send an email to PropertyManagement@HoltonWise.com and we will reach out to you with a singable copy of our Property Management agreement, collect your escrow deposit and begin the process of on-boarding your property(s) into our rental property portfolio.
Q. How is my property advertised as a section 8 property?
A. In addition to your property being advertised by Holton-Wise in the same way that Holton-Wise advertises all of our other rental properties it will include information regarding the fact that Section 8 vouchers are accepted as well as being listed on gosection8.com
Q. How are section 8 tenants screened?
A. Any tenant applying for your rental property with a Section 8 housing voucher will be screened the same way Holton-Wise screens all other applicants. We run a full credit, criminal and eviction history background check. However, the income requirements are slightly different for a section 8 applicant and will be screened according to the regulations put in place by whichever Housing Authority issued the Section 8 to the applicant. More often than not that will be CMHA. CMHA requires Section 8 voucher applicants to pay 30%-40% of the monthly rental payments while CMHA covers the other 60%-70%. CMHA also requires the tenant's total monthly rental amount to fall within an acceptable percentage of their gross monthly earnings. A rent affordability calculator will be used for all CMHA applicants to ensure they are within the guidelines set in place by CHMA.
Q. What timeline and sequence of events can I expect if a Section 8 voucher applicant is accepted by Holton-Wise to be a tenant at my property(s)?
A. As there are many variables affecting the move in timeline, there is no way for Holton-Wise to anticipate the exact move in date. However placing a Section 8 tenant into a property typical takes 30-60 days under normal circumstances. Under normal circumstances the sequence of events is as follows.
Q. In an effort to reduce vacancy can Holton-Wise start the Section 8 approval process with a tenant as soon as the property becomes vacant or before all of the rental property turnover work is completed?
A. No. This process cannot be initiated any earlier than when Holton-Wise typically advertises all of our other rental properties for rent. In addition to the reasons we don’t show unfinished rental properties to non-Section 8 tenants if a rental property is inspected prior to the turnover work being completed, there will be failed items and only one additional inspection is allowable by CMHA.
Q. What is a RFTA Packet?
A. The RFTA packet is short for Request for Tenancy Approval Packet and it contains all the necessary information about the tenant, property, and landlord (you) in order to get the Section 8 tenancy process started.
Q. What is a HAP Contract?
A. The HAP Contract is short for Housing Assistance Payment Contract and is the agreement entered into between CMHA and the you (the property owner) on behalf of the tenant(s).
Q. What day of the month does the Housing Authority pay the tenant's rent?
A. Rental payments are typically paid out by CMHA on the 3rd of the month and take some time to be processed. Rent payments should be reflected in your owner portal around the 5th of every month and owner disbursements will continue on your normal disbursement and accounting schedule.
Q. What is required of me (the property owner) to remain in compliance with the Section 8 program?
A. Once your tenant has successfully moved into your property, annual inspections will be required by CMHA to maintain compliance on the Section 8 program. As your property manager Holton-Wise will coordinate these inspections with CMHA on your behalf and notify you if any new violations need to be repaired.
Q. Where can I find more information on CMHA and the Section 8 program?
A. More information on CMHA and the Section 8 program can be found here https://www.cmha.net/hcvp/becomehcvplandlord