Landlords in the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Section 8 program have to follow the department's rules to continue to rent to tenants who receive the housing benefit. Under Section 8, eligible tenants have part of their rent paid for by the local housing authority responsible for handling the program in their area.
HUD has many rules and requirements for Section 8 landlords, including how and when they may ask for a rent increase. Failure to follow these rules could get the landlord removed from the program.
Frequency of Rental Increases
A landlord may request a rent increase once a year under Section 8 rules. He must put the request notice in writing and send it out at least 60 days before the current lease expires. The notice is addressed to the tenant, but the housing authority administrating the Section 8 benefit has to receive a copy at the same time.
The rent increase notice must comply with HUD's regulations. It must show the current tenant or head of household as the addressee and the full property address, including any assigned apartment number. The landlord also includes the new rent amount, dates the notice and signs it. An agent authorized to act on her behalf, such as a property manager, may sign the notice in her place. Any state laws regarding rent increase notices still apply, so the landlord may have to send another notice besides the HUD one.
Once the landlord delivers the notice and other forms required by the housing authority to ask for a rent hike, he has to wait for approval from the authority. The authority reviews the request to determine if it meets HUD's "reasonable rent" standards by comparing rents for similiar units in the same area.
The landlord has to comply with requests for information about the rental and rent prices in the same area from the authority during the review period. The authority will notify the landlord of its decision to approve or deny the increase request in writing. The landlord may be able to modify his request if the authority rejects it.
Landlords in the Section 8 programs can't institute rent hikes without approval from the housing authority. It's a violation of federal law for a landlord to collect rent from the Section 8 tenant outside of the program. A landlord can't ask for a rent increase during the initial lease period with a new tenant, which is usually one year. If the market values in the area go down after a rent increase is approved, the housing authority may review the rent to see if it meets the reasonable requirement.
- Housing Authority of Fulton County: Rental Increase Informational Notice for Section 8 Landlords
- Delaware State Housing Authority: Can I Request Rent Increases?
- Landlord Station: What Are the Laws for a Section 8 Rent Increase
- HUD: Exhibit 7-6: **Sample** Model Form of Notification of Rent Increase Resulting from Recertification Processing
Anna Assad began writing professionally in 1999 and has published several legal articles for various websites. She has an extensive real estate and criminal legal background. She also tutored in English for nearly eight years, attended Buffalo State College for paralegal studies and accounting, and minored in English literature, receiving a Bachelor of Arts.