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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development
Residential Building Owners

Section 8 Information - Landlords

Starting November 4th 2013, the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) will be merging its HQS and Code Enforcement inspection teams in order to streamline communication and promote efficiency. Starting from this date, owners will get notice of Housing Maintenance Code (HMC)/Multiple Dwelling Law (MDL) violations and HQS Failures in one package and will be able to certify both at the same time. Additionally, owners in HPD’s Section 8 program will now be able to certify the correction of an HQS failure online using HPD’s eCertification application. 

Below are links to Frequently Asked Questions and information presented by the Division of Tenant Services and Division of Code Enforcement at the information sessions.

            > HQS Landlord Info Session Part 1 
            > HQS Landlord Info Session Part 2 

HPD Section 8 Partner Portal

HPD would like to introduce a new FREE resource for landlords; the Section 8 Partner Portal Web Site.

The Partner Portal web site provides up-to-date inspection schedules and results, subsidy payment history including abatement status, aEnrollment in the Portal is open to all landlords with HPD Section 8 assisted tenants. If you wish to receive an enrollment form, or if you have questions,  send an email to  DTRPartnerPortal@HPD.NYC.GOV. Please provide your payment address and the name of one of your ownership entities.

You may access the portal here: www.hpdnyc.org\s8landlord

            > HPD Section 8 Landlord Newsletter - Jan 2012

            > HPD Section 8 Landlord Newsletter - Jan 2011

            > HPD Section 8 Landlord Newsletter - Sept 2009

            > HPD Section 8 Landlord Newsletter -Jan 2009

HQS Inspections and Policy Changes effective July 14, 2008 (PDF) 

            > Quick Assistance for Owners Participating in the HPD Section 8 Program
            > How does an owner participate in the Section 8 program?
            > What benefits does HPD Section 8 offer to owners?
            > What are the Owner's Responsibilities under Section 8?
            > How should an Owner Apply for a Rent Increase?
            > What if an Owner has a Problem with an HPD Section 8 Subsidized Tenant?
            > What are Housing Quality Standards (HQS) under Section 8?
            > Housing Quality Standards FAQ (in PDF)
            > What Can I Do To Make Sure I Get Paid On A Timely Basis?
            > Section 8 Administrative Plan (in PDF)
            > HPD Section 8 Forms


Quick Assistance for Owners Participating in the HPD Section 8 Program:
Building owners and managers with questions or problems should call the HPD Section 8 Information Hotline at 917-286-4300 and follow the prompts to reach the Owner Services Unit.  Inquiries may also be submitted via email to S8landlords@hpd.nyc.gov.  Owners and property managers may also view information about the status of all HPD assisted households through the DTR Partner Portal.  

 How does an owner participate in the Section 8 program?
Property owners interested in leasing apartments to HPD Section 8 voucher clients may list available apartments at www.GoSection8.com.  The apartment listing maintained via this service is provided to all HPD clients that are seeking housing.  

 What benefits does HPD Section 8 offer to owners?

  • Guaranteed monthly rent payments at market rents
  • Low vacancy rates
  • Annual inspections by HPD at no cost to ensure maximum property upkeep

What are the Owner's Responsibilities under Section 8?

  • Tenant selection and leasing based on a family's tenancy history
  • Normal landlord functions during the lease term, e.g., maintenance, rent collection
  • Collecting amounts due from family under the lease (tenant rent, security deposit, other tenant charges for damage to the unit)
  • Compliance with equal opportunity requirements
  • Paying for owner-supplied utilities and services
  • Providing reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities
  • Notifying HPD of rent increases and when a tenant vacates an apartment

How should an Owner Apply for a Rent Increase?
Owners may apply to HPD to increase rents in accordance with New York housing laws and regulations. Rent increase requests should be sent to:

Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD)
Rent Approval Unit
100 Gold Street, Room 1-O
New York, NY 10038

Rents requested must be reasonable. Owners may not charge Section 8 tenants more rent than non-subsidized tenants. Rent increase requests must show that rents for Section 8 tenants are reasonable and do not exceed those of other similar unassisted apartments in the building or neighborhood.  Owners demonstrate the reasonableness of their proposed rent by completing the Rent Comparable section of the Rent Increase Request form available through the HPD Section 8 forms link above.

What if an Owner has a Problem with an HPD Section 8 Subsidized Tenant?
Owners have the same responsibilities for managing their leases and property with tenants subsidized under Section 8 as they do for non-subsidized tenants. Tenants may not damage the unit or otherwise violate their leases. Tenants must pay their portion of the rent in a timely fashion. Just as owners are responsible for enforcing the terms of their leases with non-subsidized tenants, owners must enforce the terms of their leases with Section 8 tenants.

If an owner has difficulty enforcing the terms of the lease with a subsidized tenant, for example, tenant-caused damage, housekeeping problems or non-payment, document the problem and provide that documentation to HPD. HPD will review the matter and, if necessary, warn tenants to uphold their responsibilities under the lease. Serious and repeated violations of an Owner's lease are grounds for termination of a tenant's Section 8 benefits.

Owners may NOT hold Section 8 tenants responsible for the HPD portion of the rent. If you have a payment problem with the HPD portion of the rent, do not attempt to collect it from the tenant. Instead, contact HPD at 917-286-4300.

Owners are not required to renew Housing Assistance Payment Contracts for tenants subsidized under the HPD Section 8 program, other than rent-regulated and conversion units. Owners are required to notify HPD 60 days prior to the end of lease term of their intention not to renew the HAP Contract. Tenants would then be given a voucher to move, or they may opt to stay and give up their subsidy.

What are Housing Quality Standards (HQS) under Section 8?
Units are inspected by HPD prior to lease up and re-inspected on an annual basis to ensure compliance with federal Housing Quality Standards (HQS). These standards establish a minimum basis for habitability and must be maintained in order for the owner to receive monthly Housing Assistance Payments. There are 13 performance standards for HQS, in addition to local requirements. The following list includes the performance areas for HQS, and an example of the standards that must be met. The list below illustrates examples of Housing Quality Standards. To see a complete list of Housing Quality Standards, please go to the HUD website at http://www.hud.gov

HQS Performance Area Example of Performance Standard
Sanitary Facilities Toilets must be operable
Food preparation and refuse disposal Appliances for food preparation, stove and refrigerator, must be proper operating condition
Space and security Exterior doors must be lockable
Thermal Environment Unit must have adequate heat
Illumination and electricity Electrical fixtures and wiring must not pose a fire hazard
Structure and Materials The building and unit must be structurally sound
Indoor Air Quality Unit must be free of air pollutant levels that threaten occupant health
Water Supply The water supply must be operable and free of contaminants
Lead-Based Paint The unit must conform to laws and regulations regarding lead-based paint and occupancy by children
Access The building must provide alternate means of exit in case of fire
Site and Neighborhood The site must be free of danger to the health and safety of the occupants, e.g. flooding and landslides
Sanitary Condition The unit must be free of vermin and rodent infestation
Smoke Detectors The unit must have operable smoke detectors sufficient to comply with National Fire Protection Association Standards 74
Local Requirements

The unit must have Window Guards if inhabited by children ages 10 years and younger

Carbon Monoxide Detector
The unit must have operable carbon monoxide detectors to comply with the New York City Charter and the New York City Carbon Monoxide Detecting Device Act of 2004 (Local Law # 7 of 2004)

If a unit fails an HQS inspection, the owner will be notified of what specific violations were found, and whether the violations are the responsibility of the owner or the tenant. A re-inspection is automatically scheduled for the 30th day from the date of the violation. The responsible party must correct the deficiencies within that 30 day period. If additional time is required to correct the problem, an extension of the deadline must be requested from the HQS Unit in writing.

If an owner fails to correct HQS violations within the 30 day period or any HPD approved extension, HPD MUST abate the Housing Assistance Payment until the violations are corrected. Chronic or serious HQS violations may result in the termination, suspension or reduction of Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) or the termination of the HAP contract. The owner is not responsible for tenant-caused breaches of HQS.

Tenants are responsible for maintaining HQS and HPD will hold them responsible for damage or violations that cause a unit to fail inspection. HPD generally holds tenants responsible for the following HQS violations:

  • Nonfunctioning smoke detectors (battery-operated, battery dead)
  • Nonfunctioning smoke detectors (electric, tenant pays electrical utilities)
  • Missing smoke detectors (smoke detector was present on initial or last annual inspection)
  • No electricity (tenant pays electrical utilities)
  • No gas (tenant pays gas utilities)
  • Double cylinder lock on exit door
  • Illegal gates on fire escape windows
  • Debris that blocks access to exit doors or fire escape windows
  • Kitchen grease that constitutes a fire hazard
  • Damage caused by tenant or tenant's guest
  • Nonfunctioning carbon monoxide detector (battery-operated, battery dead)
  • Nonfunctioning carbon monoxide detector (electric, tenant pays electrical utilities)

What Can Owners Do To Get Paid On A Timely Basis?
One of HPD's primary responsibilities is to ensure that monthly Housing Assistance Payment checks are issued accurately and on time each month. In order to assist HPD in this role, owners should be aware of the following important information.

First, in order for checks to be issued, the owner must submit a copy of the deed for that property. If a managing agent is authorized to conduct business on the landlord's behalf, a copy of the agreement between the owner of record and the agent must be presented. Deeds should be forwarded promptly to the return address on the HPD letter in which the deed was requested. Any questions or concerns regarding the submission of a deed should be directed to the Owner Registration Unit at (917) 286-4300.

Second, checks cannot be issued without a special "Substitute W9 form" (see below) which calls for a valid Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). This form must be completed by the owner of record and cannot contain the TIN for another party, e.g., the manager. In addition, each TIN must be associated with only one taxpayer name and one taxpayer address, otherwise, the City's system will not allow a check to be processed. Substitute W-9 forms should be forwarded promptly to the return address on the HPD letter in which this was requested. If you are providing an Employee Identification Number (EIN) please provide a copy of the Tax Affirmation Letter or other correspondence from the Internal Revenue Service with your 9-digit EIN. If you are providing your Social security number, please provide a clear copy of your Social Security Card. Any questions or concerns regarding Substitute W-9 form should be directed to the Owner Registration Unit at (917) 286-4300.

Rent subsidy payments are issued by the New York City Comptroller's Office on behalf of HPD. Payments will not be issued to owners who have an outstanding lien with any division of the City of New York, e.g., tax liens, parking fines, etc. Owners with questions about an outstanding lien may call the NYC Department of Finance Taxpayers Assistance unit at (718) 935-9500.

Building owners and managers with questions or problems should call the HPD Section 8 Information Hotline at 917-286-4300 and follow the prompts to reach the Owner Services Unit.  Inquiries may also be submitted via email to S8landlords@hpd.nyc.gov.  Owners and property managers may also view information about the status of all HPD assisted households through the DTR Partner Portal.




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