Lease-Up Procedures for Landlords

Step 1

List Available Rental Unit With GeorgiaHousingSearch.org

You may place an advertisement by going to the website GeorgiaHousingSearch.org or by calling the toll free number 877-428-8844.

By listing your available rental unit with Georgia Housing Search, you are making your property available to tenants participating in the Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments Program with the following understanding:

  1. This is a free, affordable rental housing listing and locator service which may help you to fill vacancies.
  2. Once your property is listed, participants will contact you directly with inquiries.
  3. The MHA is referring you to this organization as a service to our clients but by no means accepts any responsibility in locating a tenant for your listed unit. Therefore, housing assistance for your unit cannot be guaranteed.

Step 2

Screen Prospective Tenants

If desired, you may contact the MHA Owner Liaison to verify the prospective tenant’s rental history. You will be provided with unit addresses and landlord names/telephone of all units occupied by the family while under Section 8 assistance.

Step 3

Verify Family’s Assistance

Ask to see their “Voucher” and “Shopping Estimate”. These forms are issued by the MHA to families who have been determined to be eligible to receive housing assistance and include important information for prospective landlords. Make sure that:

  1. The family’s Voucher has not expired.
  2. The family’s MHA determined family size matches the bedroom size of your unit.
  3. Your requested contract rent is not greater than the “Maximum contract rent” listed on the family’s shopping estimate.

The Voucher program places a limit on a family’s “rent burden” at the time of initial lease-up. A family cannot pay more than 40% of their monthly-adjusted income toward their share of rent and estimated cost of tenant-provided utilities and appliances. Each family will have a different maximum contract rent amount, depending on their family composition and income. THIS “MAXIMUM CONTRACT RENT” AMOUNT IS MEANT ONLY AS A GUIDELINE TO HELP THE FAMILY FIND A RENTAL UNIT WHOSE CONTRACT RENT FALLS WITHIN THEIR RENT RANGE. It will assure that the family’s portion of rent (if any) will be affordable. It is not to be confused with the amount of Housing Assistance Payments that will be made on their behalf.

Step 4

Complete The “Inspection Request Form”

After choosing the family you wish to rent to, complete their Inspection Request form. The family is responsible for returning it promptly to the MHA offices.

Step 5

Unit Inspection

You will receive a letter from MHA confirming receipt of the Inspection Request Form. The letter will also indicate the inspector’s name and telephone number who has been assigned to perform the inspection.

Please contact the inspector to schedule an appointment only when you have the unit in “rent ready condition” – clean, all repairs completed including any deteriorated paint surfaces inside/outside, light bulbs installed in all ceiling fixtures, any landlord-furnished appliances in place and in working condition, ALL UTILITIES ON, AND ANY PILOT LIGHTS LIT. You are expected to prepare your unit so it passes at the time of the initial inspection. “Work write-ups” will not be conducted and, most important: an inspection will not be performed until all utilities (electric, water and gas) are turned on. Allow sufficient time for this to be accomplished – it is not uncommon for a 7-10 business day wait time, especially for gas service.

It is critical that you maintain communication with your prospective tenant and let him/her know when the inspection has been scheduled. If the inspector does not hear from you within 30 days from receipt of the Inspection Request Form, the Inspection Request Form will be cancelled by MHA.

Step 6

Approval Of Requested Contract Rent

As a second part of the inspection process, the MHA is required to make a determination as to the “reasonableness” of the requested contract rent in relation to comparables units in the private, un-assisted rental market. Comparable refers to units which are similar in location, physical features, and amenities.

The approved contract rent is the maximum you can collect as rent from the family and the MHA combined. No additional money may be paid to you by the tenant.

Step 7

If Unit Fails Initial Inspection

If fail items are found, you will receive a written report indicating the items that need to be corrected or repaired. The report will also indicate the approved contract rent. If for any reason it is less than the requested rent and/or you do not wish to make repairs, you may cancel the Inspection Request Form and your prospective tenant will be instructed to locate another unit.

You will need to see that all “fail” items are repaired as soon as possible, but by no later than thirty (30) days from the date of the inspection letter; otherwise the Inspection Request Form will be cancelled by the MHA and the tenant will be instructed to locate another unit. When the MHA has been notified that all repairs have been made, a re-inspection of the unit will be conducted.

Step 8

If Unit Passes Initial Inspection Or Re-Inspection

Final approval to enter into a lease will be granted IN WRITING only when all “fail” items are repaired and then approved by a MHA re-inspection of the unit and the contract rent has been approved or negotiated and accepted.

Caution: If you allow a family to move into your unit prior to the written approval of the unit by MHA, you are doing so at your own risk. The Macon Housing Authority will not be obligated to make a payment to the Landlord during this period.

Step 9

Enter Into Lease

When the unit passes the inspection (or re-inspection), MHA will send you and your tenant letters that confirm the unit’s pass status, approved contract rent, and tenant rent portion (if any). A “Section 8 Lease” will be included with the landlord’s letter. The tenant will be instructed to contact the landlord to sign the lease.

It is important that you and your tenant execute the “Section 8 Lease”. All of the HUD required provisions, as well as the HUD Lease Addendum, have been incorporated into this lease. If for any reason you execute your own additional lease with your tenant, please be aware that the “Section 8 Lease” is the controlling lease.

Step 10

Sign Housing Assistance Payments Contract

MHA cannot initiate HAP payments until the lease between the tenant and landlord is signed and received. Also, MHA cannot initiate HAP payments until the HAP contract between the landlord and MHA is executed and returned. The file will then be put in line for housing assistance payments. The HAP Contract MUST be executed by no later than 30 days from the start date of the assisted lease or no Housing Assistance payments can be made.