Lease Considerations for Housing Choice Voucher Programs (Section 8)
Landlords and Property Managers have several considerations to weigh when choosing a future tenant. Certain considerations are simply off the table. Pursuant to C.R.S. § 24-34-502, a person cannot be discriminated against for housing based upon their source of income. Essentially, this statute is designed to prohibit owners from declining to consider, or discriminating against, tenants who receive public housing subsidies.
In practice, abiding by the statute can be difficult to implement because the landlord wants to ensure that rent will be paid monthly by the tenant. The Housing Choice Voucher Program is a federally funded assistance program that helps potential tenants that are low-income supplement rent. The Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) often raises questions for both landlords and property. Essentially, the tenant finds housing and is still responsible for a portion of the rent while the Housing Choice Voucher Program pays the remainder directly to the landlord. This creates a three-way partnership between the tenant, the landlord and the housing authority. To qualify, there are a couple of additional requirements that the subject rental property must satisfy, such as passing an inspection and undergoing a lease review prior to being approved as a potential property. The Housing Authority and the landlord enter into a Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Contract. The HAP Contract governs the relationship between the landlord and the housing authority. The Housing authority and the tenant also have their own document outlining their relationship.
Because the lease governs the relationship between the tenant and the landlord, it is essential that the lease contemplate potential situations. For example, the lease should address what happens in the event the Housing Choice Voucher Program terminates its relationship with the tenant. When addressing these concerns, the landlord and property manager must be cognizant of the statute mentioned above as well as other housing laws. Our firm’s residential lease contemplates how to address potential circumstances surrounding the Housing Choice Voucher Program and can also be customized for your needs. For questions or assistance updating your lease agreement or navigating Housing Choice Voucher Programs, please contact Caroline Young.