You must be willing to rent your unit to a program participant and comply with the program regulations. The rent must be within the program limits and be comparable to other rents in the area. The unit must also pass the Housing Quality Standard (HQS) Inspection. Owners of the property must also attest to the following:
You may advertise the unit in our local papers or list your available unit on gosection8.com. The website is a resourceful tool for families to search for affordable housing. You may also call the LHA office and request a form to have your unit listed on our informational board.
The LHA will approve a rent by taking the following factors into consideration:
The rent must be affordable. It cannot be more than 40% of the family’s monthly adjusted income. The LHA may negotiate with the owner to reduce the rent for the family so it is in compliance with HUD guidelines.
No. It is a violation of the program. The contract rent must be approved by LHA. Side deals between the family and the landlord may trigger the following:
You may not ask for a rent increase during the initial term of the lease. You are allowed to ask for one rent increase per year as long as the request is received in writing by the LHA at least 60 days before the lease renewal date. The LHA will not approve a rent request unless it meets the rent reasonableness and HUD requirements.
Once you sign the Housing Assisting Payment (HAP) contract, the LHA will begin to issue payments for the unit. HAP may be directly deposited into your bank account. If requested, the LHA may also issue HAP via a check.
The initial term is one year.
Utility responsibilities must be outlined in the lease and contract. You must decide who will be responsible for the payment of specific utilities.
There are seven types of inspections the LHA will perform:
A. Initial Inspection – An inspection to ensure the unit passes HQS before assistance can begin.
B. Annual Inspection – An inspection to determine the unit continues to meet HQS.
C. Complaint Inspection – An inspection due to a complaint made to the LHA by anyone.
D. Special Inspection – An inspection caused by a third party, perhaps HUD, needing to view the unit.
E. Emergency – An inspection that takes place in the event of a perceived emergency. These will take precedence over all other inspections.
G. Quality Control Inspection – Supervisory inspections on at least 5% of the total number of units that were under lease during the LHA’s previous fiscal year.
Using this system, you will be able to register and access information regarding your monthly Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) for all your current tenants. Landlords can use HMS PAL™ regardless of whether you receive Direct Deposit or payments by check, but by choosing to sign up for Direct Deposit, you can help Lawrence Housing Authority reduce environmental waste, use less paper, and help us become more efficient.
Please visit the website and familiarize yourself with the system. There are instructions provided to assist you in accessing your information. Each landlord will be required to register at HMS PAL™ and set up a user account. After successful registration, you can log in and check your payment history and print out individual payment information.
353 Elm Street, Lawrence, MA 01841
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