HCV Landlords

Role of the Landlord

The role of the landlord in the voucher program is to provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing to a tenant at a reasonable rent. The dwelling unit must pass the program's housing quality standards and be maintained up to those standards as long as the owner receives housing assistance payments. In addition, the landlord is expected to provide the services agreed to as part of the lease signed with the tenant and the contract signed with HPHA.

Benefits of Being a Housing Choice Voucher Landlord

Guaranteed Rent

Hawai‘i Public Housing Authority pays a fixed amount of the rent to participant landlords each month. The tenant pays the difference between the subsidy and the total rent, in addition to any utilities not included in the rent.

Free Inspections

HPHA will inspect your unit to ensure that it is safe, decent, and in good repair. The inspections meet the requirements of the requirements of HUD regulations and City and County of Honolulu ordinances.

Free Listings

Participating landlords may list their rentals with HPHA.

Helping Others in Need

Landlords experience the satisfaction of providing a place to live for low-income families while receiving a dependable source of income.

Becoming an HCV 

If you have units on Oahu, you are welcome to participate. When a voucher holder contacts you, screen that person as you would any other tenant. When you are ready to rent to the tenant, fill out the Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA) and related forms the tenant gives you and send the forms to HPHA.

As a landlord in the Housing Choice Voucher Program, you will use the same lease for voucher-assisted tenants that you use for other renters, as long as the lease includes:
  • The names of the landlord and tenant
  • The address of the unit, including apartment number
  • The monthly rent paid to the landlord
  • A list of utilities and appliances supplied by the landlord
  • A list of utilities and appliances supplied by the tenant
  • An initial lease term of 12 months

How do I Lease a Unit?

Screen the tenant

Voucher-assisted tenants should be screened in the same way you would screen any other tenant before entering into a lease agreement.

Get the Request for Tenancy Approval (RTA) from the tenant.

When tenants are issued a voucher they receive six forms that should be given to you after you have screened the tenant and agreed to rent to them:

  • Request for Tenancy Approval (RTA)
  • Lead-Based Paint Disclosure (for buildings built before 1978)
  • Owner Information Sheet
  • W-9 (request for taxpayer identification)
  • IRS Form 1099-Misc
  • Direct Deposit

You should complete, sign and date the forms as soon as possible. The tenant will sign and date the Request for Tenancy Approval and Lead-Based Paint Disclosure forms as well. You will then return the completed forms to HPHA either by mail or in person during business hours to the address below.

Hawaii Public Housing Authority

Housing Choice Voucher Program

Attn: New Move-In

1002 N. School Street

Honolulu, HI 96817

Fax: 808.832.3461

Hawai’i Public Housing Authority reviews the documents and approves the proposed rent

Once the agency receives all required documents from you, they will be checked to make sure the information provided is complete and accurate. The proposed rent for the unit must also pass two tests.

  • The rent is affordable - during the first lease term, the tenant’s portion of rent and utilities cannot exceed 40 percent of the their monthly income. Side agreements requiring them to pay more than 40 percent of income are prohibited.
  • The rent is reasonable - the rent must be comparable to similar units in the same area. Hawaii Public Housing Authority decides if rent is "reasonable" based on an inspection of the unit and market data about rent levels on Oahu.

If the proposed rent does not pass both of these tests, you may be asked to negotiate a lower rent. You are never required to lower rent, but if you do not agree to a rent that meets both requirements noted above, the tenant will have to find another unit. Hawaii Public Housing Authority will usually call you to confirm information and answer questions within 10 days of the receipt of the RTA.

Prepare the unit for inspection

If the proposed rent is affordable and reasonable, Hawaii Public Housing Authority will contact you to schedule a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection of the unit. These inspections make sure that housing is decent, safe, and sanitary. Learn more about inspections. If you attend to all potential issues prior to the inspection appointment, the unit is more likely to pass and you will save the time and delay of a re-inspection.

Attend the inspection appointment

You or an authorized representative must attend the initial inspection. The inspector may find items that must be fixed before the unit is approved for the program. In that case, you will be given a reasonable amount of time to fix the problems, and the unit will be inspected again.

Return the lease and paperwork to Hawaii Public Housing Authority

After the inspection, Hawaii Public Housing Authority will send you the Housing Assistance Payment contract and Tenancy Addendum. You then sign the payment contract, sign the lease and the Tenancy Addendum with the tenant, and return a copy of all three signed documents to Hawaii Public Housing Authority at the same contact information as in Step 2.

Hawaii Public Housing Authority will send your first payment after all paperwork is received. Your first payment will be prorated to the date the unit passed inspection. Subsequent payments will arrive on the first of every month.

Landlord Resources

Housing Quality Standards (HQS)

What is the purpose of Housing Quality Standards?

The goal of the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program is to provide “decent, safe and sanitary” housing at an affordable cost to low-income families. Housing Quality Standards help HUD and local Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) accomplish that goal by defining “standard housing” and establishing the minimum quality criteria necessary for the health and safety of program participants. All HCV housing units must meet these housing quality standards in order to participate in the HCV program.

13 Key Aspects:

  • Sanitary facilities
  • Food preparation and refuse disposal
  • Space and security
  • Thermal environment
  • Illumination and electricity
  • Structure and materials
  • Interior air quality
  • Water supply
  • Lead-based paint
  • Access
  • Site and neighborhood
  • Sanitary condition
  • Smoke Detectors
How are Housing Quality Standards enforced?

HQS inspections are conducted by PHA staff and contractors to ensure that potential and current HCV housing units meet the minimum performance and acceptability criteria for each of the 13 key housing quality aspects.

How do HQS inspections occur?

HQS inspections come in three different varieties. Initial Inspections occur when a voucher holder indicates to their PHA that they desire to lease a specific housing unit. The unit must pass the initial inspection before the execution of the assisted lease and housing assistance payments (HAP) contract and the initiation of payments. Annual Inspections occur once a year on housing units that are currently under lease by an HCV participant family. Annual inspections ensure that HCV housing units continue to meet HQS throughout the tenancy of the HCV participant family. Special Inspections may be complaint inspections or quality control inspections. Complaint inspections occur when a tenant, owner, or member of the public complains about the condition of an HCV housing unit. Quality control inspections examine a sample of housing units within a give PHA’s jurisdiction each year and occur throughout the year.

Initial Inspection Flow Chart

Biennial Inspection Flow Chart

Learn More

Fair Market Rents

Who determines the Fair Market Rents?

The PHA determines a payment standard that is between 90 percent and 110 percent of the Fair Market Rents (FMRs). FMRs regularly published by HUD, represent the cost to rent a moderately-priced dwelling unit in the local housing market. The housing voucher tenant must pay 30 percent of its monthly adjusted gross income for rent and utilities, and if the unit rent is greater than the payment standard, the tenant is required to pay the additional amount.

Find your FMR here

How are Small Area Fair Market Rents calculated?

Small Area Fair Market Rents (SAFMRs) are FMRs calculated for ZIP Codes within metropolitan areas. In areas designated by HUD, PHAs are required to use SAMRs to set Housing Choice Voucher payment standards. Other Housing Agencies operating in non-designated metropolitan areas may opt-in to the use of SAFMRs. Furthermore, SAFMRs may be used as the basis for setting Exception Payment Standards – PHAs may set exception payment standards up to 110 percent of the SAFMR. PHAs administering Public Housing units may use SAFMRs as an alternative to metropolitan area-wide FMRs when calculating Flat Rents.

Find your SAFMR here

Learn More

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a list of Section 8 landlords you can send to me in the mainland?

Listings of Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher landlords is provided to only valid local voucher holders.

I have a complaint with my current Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher landlord. Who can I contact?

As a tenant, your lease is with your landlord or an owner of the property. HPHA is not a party to your lease. You and your landlord should try and work out any problems you may have. You are covered under the Residential Landlord - Tenant Code. For other Residential Landlord - Tenant Code related information, you can call 808-586-2634.

You can go to hawaii.gov/dcca for more detail information on the code.

What do I need to do to have a home offered to a Section 8 family?

You should call the Section 8 Office at 808-832-6040 or email hphas8office@hawaii.gov. Your ad will be posted in the Application Office for the residents viewing.

Will my property have to meet certain physical requirements?

Yes. Your property will be inspected by a HPHA housing inspector to ensure that your home meets HUD's Housing Quality Standards.

For more detail information on the standards, refer to the HSQ section under the Landlord Resources by clicking here.

Who do I call if I have problems with a tenant?

As a landlord or an owner of the property, the lease you have with your tenant is between you and your tenant. HPHA is not a party to your lease. However, you may contact the Section 8 staff for assistance at 808-832-6040 or email hphas8office@hawaii.gov.

Does Chapter 521 Residential Landlord - Tenant Code of the Hawai‘i Revised Statutes apply to Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher rentals in terms of eviction of a tenant?

Yes. For other residential tenant - landlord code related information, you can call 808-586-2634 or email hphas8office@hawaii.gov.

You can go to hawaii.gov/dcca/ for more detail information on the code.

For more detail information on the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, you can click here for more detailed information.