Become a


Steps to Becoming
a Landlord

To navigate through the steps, select a step tab to see more content.

  • 1. Find a Tenant

    List your property free of charge on *Listing your property does not obligate you to rent to families with vouchers; it simply provides you the opportunity to advertise to them.

  • 2. Approve the Tenant

    Screen and select a tenant based on your screening criteria. The family is responsible for paying application fees and deposits.

    *The Housing Authority of the City of Austin’s admission of a family to participate in the program is not a representation by HACA about the family’s expected behavior or the family’s suitability for tenancy. Upon written request, HACA may provide a future tenant’s current and prior address as shown on HACA records and the name and address, if known, of a past landlord of this tenant.

  • 3. Agree to Enter Lease

    Collect the appropriate fees and deposits and complete the Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA) packet that will be provided to you by the prospective tenant. The packet includes a Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA), W-9, Tax ID, Direct Deposit, Lead Based Paint, and HAP email forms. Return packet to HACA.

  • 4. Affordability

    The Housing Eligibility Specialist will determine if the unit is affordable for the family. If the family is moving into a new unit, they may not pay more than 40 percent of their adjusted monthly income toward rent and utilities. At voucher issuance, each family is given a rent estimate indicating the maximum contract rent they are able to afford. You can request to see this estimate from the family to verify their affordability to rent the unit before completing the owner packet.

  • 5. Determining Rent Amount

    Rent Reasonableness certifications will be completed to determine if the requested rent is reasonable as compared to an unassisted unit when considering the location, quality, size, type, age, amenities, housing services, maintenance and utilities to be provided.

    A Rent Reasonableness certification are conducted for initial inspections; prior to approving a rent increase requested by the owner or manager and when there is a five percent decrease in the published FMR.  At least one of the following is used to verify that the rent is reasonable: a copy of a rent roll; a copy of one lease for an unassisted unit; a Go Section 8 rent reasonable valuation form or  a printed comparable unit from the Multiple Listing System. Any comparable used must be no more than 12 months old from the rent reasonableness certification date.

  • 6. Unit Inspection

    If the unit meets the affordability of the family a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection will be requested. The inspection should be completed within five to seven business days after receipt of the completed RTA. An HQS inspector will contact the owner by phone to schedule the inspection. All utilities must be connected and the unit must be vacant before an initial inspection can be conducted. See the HQS Checklist for more details about the inspection.

  • 7. Sign the Housing Assistance Payment Contract (HAP)

    After the unit passes an HQS inspection and the rent amount is approved, the rent portions will be calculated and the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract will be prepared. It will take an average of five to ten days after the unit passes inspection to prepare this paperwork. The contract will be emailed to the owner for signature along with a request for a copy of the signed lease. A notice will be sent to both the owner and tenant. The notice will indicate the approved rent amount, effective date, the family’s rent portion and the housing assistance payment amount. Housing Assistance Payments will not begin until the Housing Assistance Payment Contract is signed and a signed lease is received.

  • 8. Lease requirements under the HCV Program

    • The lease between tenant and owner must be in a standard form used by the owner and generally used for other unassisted tenants in the premises or locality.
    • The terms and conditions of the lease must be consistent with state and local law.
    • The lease must specify utilities and appliances supplied by the owner and utilities and appliances supplied by the family.
    • The lease must include the HUD required tenancy addendum. (The housing authority will provide.) The terms of the tenancy addendum prevail over any other provisions of the lease.
    • The rent requested must be reasonable as compared to similar unassisted units and approved by the housing authority,
    • The lease effective date and approved rent amount must match the Housing Assistance Payment Contract.
    • A copy of the signed lease must be submitted for release of payment.
  • 9. Receiving the Housing Assistance Payment

    The effective date of the first Housing Assistance Payment starts the day the unit passes inspection and the tenant moves into the unit. The tenant is responsible for any payments due prior to the contract effective date. The owner can expect to receive the first Housing Assistance Payment 30 to 45 days after the unit passes inspection. Payments thereafter will be direct deposited the first week of the month.

  • 10. Other Information Required From Owner/Manager

    In order to ensure we are paying the legal owner of any property, we must verify proof of ownership by means of a Recorded Deed. If a professional management firm represents the owner, we require a fully executed management agreement verifying this arrangement. We also need a Tax ID number or Social Security number for tax purposes. No Housing Assistance Payment will be made prior to our receiving these important documents.

  • 11. Adjustments to Family's Rent Portion

    During the term of the lease, if the family has a change in income or family composition they are required to report it within ten days of occurrence. Rent portions will be adjusted according to the family’s adjusted income. A Rent Change Notice will be mailed to the family and owner to reflect any changes in rent portions.

  • 12. Annual Review of Family Income and Composition

    Federal regulations require housing authorities to review a family’s income and composition annually. The rent portions will be re-calculated and a Rent Change Notice will be mailed to the owner and the family.

  • 13. Annual Housing Quality Standards Inspections and Complaint Inspections

    The housing authority is required to inspect the unit annually. The housing authority may also perform a complaint inspection if it is determined an owner or tenant is not maintaining the unit. Any deficiencies will be noted and a notice mailed indicating a repair deadline. The owner or property manager is required to repair any failed items within 30 days or 24 hours for life-threatening deficiencies. The family is responsible for any tenant-caused damages beyond normal wear and tear.

  • 14. If the Family Vacates the Unit Before the End of the Lease Term

    The property owner or manager must notify the housing authority if the family moves out of the unit before the end of the lease term. Housing Assistance Payments can only be made while the family lives in the unit. Families who leave the unit without notifying the housing authority or owner may be terminated from the Housing Choice Voucher Program.

  • 15. Procedures to Complete an Owner/Management Change

    The current owner/manager needs to provide a letter requesting the housing authority’s consent to re-assign the HAP Contract to the new owner/management company. The new owner must provide a letter agreeing to comply with the HAP Contract and complete a W-9 and Tax ID form in order for us to transfer payments.

    The following forms for landlords and property managers will help you get started to post your unit on our listings and to help you become familiar in participating as a property owner/manager with the Housing Choice Voucher Program. If you are in need of a form that is not posted on the Web site, please email

    Please return by fax or email any Tax ID, W-9, direct deposit and owner/address change forms to the attention of the Landlord Outreach Specialist, at fax number (512) 494-0686, email: