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FAQ: Landlords & Property Owners

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Frequently Asked Questions (Section 8 & Public Housing)
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Seminole County, FL Waiting List Status
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Information for new and existing landlords 

Q. How do I list my rental property with the housing authority?

A. You can list your property for free by going to

Q. How much may I ask for rent?

A. You may ask the market rate. We will check the rental amount for at least two comparable unassisted units in the same geographic area.  As long as you do not ask more than the highest comparable unit we find, your rent is considered reasonable.

Q. How long does the process take?

A. Tenants choose their own unit.  After they select a unit and the landlord agrees to rent to them, the tenant will give the prospective landlord paperwork to fill out.  After the completed paperwork is returned to us, we schedule an inspection within ten (10) working days.  After the unit passes inspection, the tenant may move into the unit.

Q. How much of the rent is paid by the tenant?

A. That depends on a number of factors including the income of the Section 8 family, the deductions to which the Section 8 participant is entitled, the number of people in the household which determines their voucher size, the applicable payment standard and the utility allowance for the chosen unit.  Generally speaking the tenant will pay between 30% and 40% of their monthly-adjusted income for their rent.

Q. When will I get paid?

A. The tenant should pay their portion as you specify in your lease.  The housing agency cannot begin paying until after the unit passes inspection and we have a signed contract.  After the unit passes inspection, the landlord will need to provide the housing agency with a signed lease.  The contract will be prepared within in five (5) working days of the housing assistant receiving a copy of the signed lease.  Generally speaking it takes two months to receive the first check which will include rent back to the date the tenant moved in after the unit passed inspection.  Thereafter, checks are mailed out the first working day of each month.

Q. How do I request an increase in rent?

A. The lease establishes the rental amount for the period covered by the lease.  To request an increase in rent, the landlord must request the increase in writing to both the tenant and housing agency sixty (60) days before the lease expires.  The housing agency will conduct another rent reasonable survey to see if the increase can be approved.  As long as the rent you are requesting is not above market value, the increase will be considered reasonable. Rent increases will only be approved if they are reasonable and if they are not above the annual adjustment factor provided by HUD.

Q. What if the tenant damages my unit?

A. You collect a security deposit for that purpose.  You may not charge a Section 8 tenant any more than you would charge a non-Section 8 tenant.  The housing agency does not pay the security deposit.  If the damages exceed the amount of the security deposit, you would need to go to court to get a court order for the remaining amount.

Inspection Checklist
Preparing Your Property to Qualify Under Section 8

HUD regulations require Seminole County Housing to inspect all Housing Choice Units prior to tenants moving into a unit and annually thereafter. This serves the purpose of ensuring the unit is "decent, safe and sanitary" according to federal Housing Quality Standards (HQS).  No unit can be leased unless these standards are met.

In evaluating a prospective unit for suitability, Seminole County Housing looks at the condition of the unit but also the condition of the property site and quality of the surrounding neighborhood.  Seminole County Housing encourages tenants to rent outside of low poverty, high crime areas.

Please note that the following is only a general checklist of HQS requirements.  All city, county and state codes must be followed.  Seminole County Housing will cite and require correction of observable mold and may reject units with lead, asbestos or handicapped accessibility issues.

Building Exterior

  • Roof, gutter, fascia, and foundation wall are all structurally sound and weather tight.
  • Walls are free of peeling paint.
  • Windows work properly, are weather tight and lockable.
  • Units without central air must have screens and the landlord maintains those screens.
  • Stairs with four or more steps have handrails in accordance with building codes.
  • Exterior doors have locks designed for exterior use and of sufficient quality to support the weight of the door.
  • If the building is designed to have gutters, it does, and they are clear of debris.
  • Lawn and storage areas are free of garbage and debris.
  • Lawn and shrubs are properly edged and trimmed on a regular basis.
  • Limited soil erosion.
  • Fencing, if any, is in good repair.


  • All utilities are on and operating safely.
  • Water heater is properly installed and operating.
  • Water heater is equipped with a correct temperature-pressure relief valve according to the manufacturer's specifications, and those specifications are posted near the heater so the inspector can verify them.  A discharge pipe is installed on the valve within six (6) inches of the ground.
  • Plumbing is properly installed, leak-free and vented in accordance with building codes.
  • Heating system is properly installed and operational.
  • Apartment buildings have properly marked fire exits that meet building codes.
  • No exposed wires or open electrical panels.
  • There must be an electrical outlet every twelve (12) feet throughout the dwelling. 
  • Pilot lights on gas stoves are in proper working order.

Dwelling Unit

  • Walls are clean, painted and free from holes, peeling, chipping or loose paint.
  • Unit is free of any trash or debris.
  • All appliances  (e.g., stove, refrigerator) are clean, operable and in place at the time of inspection.
  • Each bedroom has an area of at least seven (7) feet x ten (10) feet.
  • Each bedroom has at least two electrical outlets or one electrical outlet and an overhead light.   
  • Each bedroom has at least one window that is designed to open far enough to allow a person to exit and the window must operate properly.
  • Stairs with four or more steps have handrails in accordance with building codes.
  • If the unit has two (2) or more bedrooms, the floor plan permits access to the bathrooms and commonly used rooms without passage through a bedroom.
  • Electrical outlets, switches, and light fixtures meet building codes.
  • Bathroom doors have functioning locks.
  • Interior bedroom and bathroom doors are installed throughout the unit.
  • Smoke alarms are installed on each level of the unit near the bedrooms and are operational.
  • Carpet and rugs are clean and free of tears/trip hazards.
  • Ceilings are free from large cracks or holes, severe bulging, and loose or falling surface material. 
  • Security bars, if provided, are a properly installed breakaway type.
  • Window and doors are operable and are not blocked, nailed shut or in any other condition that would prevent exit.
  • Unit is free of mold and mildew.
  • No propane, natural or methane gas odor is detectable.
  • No sewer odor is detectable.
  • No evidence of insect or vermin presence.

Landlord Benefits
It Makes Sense to be a Section 8 Landlord

  • Free advertisement of vacant units - Landlords are welcome to post their units on our website and printed lists of vacancies will be provided to tenants looking for good, affordable housing.
  • You choose your tenants - Landlords are encouraged to screen tenants. Upon written request, the housing agency will provide the name and address of the tenant's prior landlord and information regarding past inspections. A participating landlord is not required to rent to a family who does not meet their non-discriminatory eligibility requirements. 
  • Well-Maintained housing - Seminole County Housing conducts an initial property inspection, annual inspections and special inspections upon the request of the landlord or tenant. Along with the landlord's periodic checks, these inspections help insure that the property is well maintained.
  • Guaranteed rent - The portion of rent paid by the housing agency is mailed out the first working day of each month. Most Section 8 tenants have a financial safety net if they experience a loss of income.  In those instances, Seminole County Housing normally increases its portion of the rent subsidy.
  • Limited paperwork - Seminole County prepares all Housing Assistance Payment contracts.  Landlords fill out the Request for Tenancy Approval forms and the lease. The bulk of the paperwork is prepared by the housing agency.
  • Assistance in collecting for damages - If the landlord obtains a court ordered judgement against the tenant for damages or unpaid rent, Seminole County Housing will enforce the order unless the tenant has been terminated from the program. 
How to Become a Landlord

List your property with Seminole County Housing Authority by completing a "Property Listing" Form located in the forms section of this website.  Your property will be placed on a list of available units for thirty days.  It will be removed after thirty days unless you re-submit it. 

Inquiring Section 8 families will be provided a copy of this listing.  It is up to the tenant to locate the unit they wish to rent.  Listing your property with Seminole County Housing Authority does not guarantee a renter.

The landlord interviews, screens and selects a tenant. The landlord completes the Request for Tenancy Approval paperwork and returns it to either the family or to Seminole County Housing.

To avoid being a victim of identity theft, we offer this suggestion:

  • Guard your social security number or corporate ID number;
  • Return the paperwork yourself to Seminole County Housing rather than giving it to the tenant to return.

After Seminole County Housing receives the completed Request or Tenancy Approval paperwork from either the tenant or the landlord, an inspection is scheduled within ten (10) working days.

The tenant should not move into the unit until after it passes inspection, as Seminole County Housing may not pay any rent for a unit until it has passed an inspection.

After the unit is inspected, the inspector will conduct a rent-reasonable survey to determine if the requested rent amount is comparable to similar unassisted units in the same geographical area.  We cannot approve a rent that exceeds market rate.

Once the unit passes inspection, the rent is deemed "reasonable" and the move-in date is established, the landlord and tenant sign the lease and provides a copy to Seminole County Housing.

The Housing Assistance Payment contract will be prepared within five working days of Seminole County Housing receiving a copy of the lease.  Please note a payment may not be made until after both Seminole County and the landlord sign the contract.

The landlord and tenant will both be notified in writing regarding how much rent is to be paid by the tenant and how much will be paid by Seminole County.  Landlord manages and maintains the unit.  Landlord provides Seminole County with a copy of any lease amendment, addendum, renewal or eviction notice given to the tenant.

Written requests for rent increases must be given to both the tenant and Seminole County Housing sixty (60) days prior to raising the rent as provided by the lease.

Click here for HAP(Housing Assistance Payment) Contract

Click Here For: Florida Landlord Tenant Flyer