If you wish to "convert" your home to a HUD rental, you are likely aiming for inclusion in the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program. Through Section 8, HUD provides low-income renters with a subsidy that covers the share of their private market rent that exceeds 30 to 40 percent of their income. At the outset, you do nothing out of the ordinary to make your rental available to Section 8 voucher holders.
List your vacancy in the newspaper, online and through other forms of advertisement. You can also publish your listing at the Go Section 8 website, which deals exclusively in Section 8 rentals. Be sure to note that you accept Section 8 applicants. As the Code of Federal Regulations makes clear, Section 8 voucher holders can seek housing from landlords willing to accept a Section 8 tenancy. At this point, you, as a property owner, does nothing other than conduct a search for tenants.
Agree in principle with a Section 8 voucher holder. You are not obligated to accept Section 8 renters. If you do, however, you must wait before signing a lease. The renter forwards a request for tenancy approval form and your proposed lease to the public housing agency that issued them their voucher. The PHA reviews these documents.
Schedule an inspection of your property with your PHA. The PHA will contact you after they review the lease and request for tenancy approval form. At the inspection, the PHA will make sure that your unit and premises meets HUD's Housing Quality Standards. While the HQS gets quite detailed, the general concern is that you provide your renters with a safe and sanitary place to live, complete with properly functioning electrical, plumbing and heating systems and adequate facilities for preparing food and disposing of refuse.
Sign the lease with your tenant after the PHA approves your home for inclusion in the Section 8 rental program. You will also sign a Housing Assistance Payment agreement with the PHA. This form governs the terms of the Section 8 tenancy, outlining each party's responsibilities—the PHA, tenant and landlord. For instance, your PHA agrees to forward you their share of the tenant's rent promptly each month. The tenant must abide by the terms of the lease he signed with you. You must obey applicable rental laws for your area.
As a writer since 2002, Rocco Pendola has published numerous academic and popular articles in addition to working as a freelance grant writer and researcher. His work has appeared on SFGate and Planetizen and in the journals "Environment & Behavior" and "Health and Place." Pendola has a Bachelor of Arts in urban studies from San Francisco State University.