MISSISSIPPI REGIONAL HOUSING AUTHORITY IV
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Leasing
Leasing
As a landlord in the Housing Choice Voucher Program, you can 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

How to lease a unit

When accepting Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) the owner is certifying that the Section 8 tenant is still living  there and the unit passes Housing Quality Standards (HQS) including having all utilities on.

Leasing a unit to a voucher-assisted tenant is a six-step process.
1. 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.

2. Get the required documents from the tenant
When tenants are issued a voucher they receive documents that should be given to you after you have screen the tenant and agreed to rent to them: a Request for Tenancy Approval form, a Lead-Based Paint Disclosure form (for buildings built before 1978), and a sample copy of the Housing Assistance Payments Contract.

You should complete, sign, and date the three 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 or tenant must mail the completed forms :
Mississippi Regional Housing Authority IV
P.O. Box 1051
Columbus, MS 39703

3. MRHA IV 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. MRHA IV decides if rent is "reasonable" based on an inspection of the unit and market data about rent levels in our coverage areas.
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.

4. Prepare the unit for inspection
If the proposed rent is affordable and reasonable, MRHA IV will contact you to schedule a Housing Quality Standards 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.

5. Attend the inspection appointment
It is not required that you or an authorized representative attend the initial inspection, however, you can leave the unit open for inspection, once inspected the unit will be locked. 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.

6. Return the lease and paperwork to MRHA IV
After the inspection, MRHA IV will send you the Housing Assistance Payment contract and Tenancy Addendum. This usually happens within 10 days. 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 MRHA IV. These forms are accepted by mail :

MRHA IV will mail your first check usually the following month, after all paperwork is received and the file is completed. Your first payment will be prorated to the date the unit passed inspection. Subsequent checks will arrive on the first of every month.