Section 8 Property Owner Guide

Key Takeaways

  • NYCHA’s HCV Program is the largest in the country, with over 25,000 property owners and 93,000 participants receiving housing subsidies
  • The process for becoming a Section 8 property owner is easy with the use of our user-friendly technology to help manage inspections, communications, and much more
  • There are clear Housing Quality Standards (HQS) guidelines for owners to follow that ensure their units/buildings are safe and remain up to code

Section 8 Property Owner Overview:

What is the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program, also known as Section 8, is a federally funded program that provides rental assistance to eligible low-income families so they can obtain affordable housing in the private rental market.

This brochure provides prospective and current owners with information on how to become a participating Section 8 property owner, as well as information on the HCV Program.

What are some of the benefits of becoming a Section 8 property owner?

Benefit Type
Guaranteed rental subsidy payments every month from the government

Increased likelihood of on-time payments from tenants 

Submit renewal rent increase requests online for faster processing
Free online property management tools via the Owner Extranet Portal to help you manage your entire Section 8 portfolio
Reduced risk of default in tenant rent payments because the tenant’s portion is generally based on 30% of adjusted gross household income
Increased likelihood of on-time and fast execution of your HAP contracts
Electronic payments to your bank account the first of every month
List your available apartments on the NYCHA Owner Extranet free of charge
Rental inspection appointments scheduled within five business days
Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspections help you maintain the quality of the unit
Access to potential tenants/voucher holders when you register your available Section 8 property online here
Key: Financial Impact Housing Advantage Technological Benefits Positive Tenant Relations

How can I become a Section 8 owner?

1. Fast Pass: 

  • Inspection appointment within 5 days

2. Fast Match:

  • Where owners and Tenants connect

3. Fast HAPs: 

  • Get paid fast. New, earlier, effective contract dates

Starts with east drop-off rental packets at our walk-in centers
Use NYCHA’s exclusive free listing service to match approved Section 8 Voucher Holders to your available units. NYCHA pays on time, every month by direct deposit – receive your initial payment faster with effective contract dates of the 1st or 15th.

The voucher holder will provide you with a list of documents that you must submit to NYCHA for review. You can submit these for review on the Owner Extranet via a PIN number. You can learn more about becoming a Section 8 owner here. Key documents include:

  • Original Lease Agreement signed by you and the voucher holder
  • Request for Tenancy Approval signed by you and the voucher holder
  • Disclosure of Information on Lead-Based Paint form signed by you and the voucher holder
  • W-9 tax form signed by you
  • Section 8 Property Owner Registration form filled out by you
  • If the Recorded Deed is unrecorded, you must also submit a letter from the closing attorney
  • Certificate of Occupancy. If NYCHA is unable to obtain one from the Department of Buildings, the owner must provide it
  • Buildings built after 1938 must have a Certificate of Occupancy. NYCHA will accept a "Letter of No Objection" from the Department of Buildings if no Certificate of Occupancy is available on record
  • Rent Stabilized Lease Agreement. If your unit is rent stabilized, you must provide a copy of the previous lease agreement. If your rent stabilized unit has never been rented, you must provide a copy of the Division of Housing & Community Renewal’s (HCR) initial apartment registration form
  • The HAP contract

What is the owner extranet portal?

The NYCHA Owner Extranet Portal is a free property management tool to help you manage your entire Section 8 portfolio 24/7. From this site you can:

  • Manage vendor payment profile information and review monthly EFT statements
  • Submit lease renewal requests
  • Submit inspection owner certifications for completed repairs (NE-2 certs)
  • List available units for rental
  • View and submit service requests & status updates
  • View tenant profile information, including authorized household members, and payment status
  • Update owner contact information
  • Visit Owner Extranet  to sign up

Managing Rent

How much can I charge?

The contract rent must be reasonable in comparison to rent for other comparable unassisted (i.e., unsubsidized) units in the area as determined by NYCHA pursuant to federal regulations. NYCHA conducts ongoing rent evaluations to determine whether the proposed contract rent is reasonable. In addition, the rent must comply with applicable state and local rent control and rent regulation limits. Selecting a family for participation in the HCV Program is not a representation by NYCHA to the owner about the family’s suitability for tenancy. Owners are encouraged to screen families on the basis of their tenant applications standards.

How does NYCHA determine whether the proposed scontract rent is reasonable?

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires all public housing agencies to perform a rent reasonableness check before entering into a HAP contract or approving a contract rent increase. NYCHA uses a third-party vendor,, for this process.

Rents charged for similar unassisted (i.e., unsubsidized) units (known as rent comparables) are compared to the proposed contract rent. If the comparable rent is equal to or higher than the proposed contract rent, NYCHA will issue the owner a letter of approval. If the comparable rent is less, NYCHA will notify the owner of their options, which include modifying the proposed contract rent to the same amount as the comparable rent.

NYCHA will not approve a newly proposed rent or rent increase if the comparable rent is less than the contract rent requested.

What are Voucher Payment Standards and Utility Standards?

Voucher Payment Standards (VPS) are the maximum amount of subsidy NYCHA will pay to the owner on behalf of a voucher holder. NYCHA's payment standard schedule is based on the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for each unit size established by HUD. These standards can be set between 90 percent and 110 percent of the published FMR. Utility Allowances are an amount determined by NYCHA based on the type of utility the tenant is responsible for paying. Please view VPS and Utility Allowance Schedules for the most up-to-date information.

Can I collect a security deposit from my Section 8 tenant?

Yes. You have the right to collect a security deposit from a Section 8 tenant. However, you must not collect a higher security deposit than is charged to tenants who are not participants in the Section 8 program.

May I increase the rent?

Owners may request an increase in the contract rent to take effect upon a new lease term. NYCHA will conduct a rent reasonableness evaluation to determine if the rent increase can be approved. To ensure your increase coincides with your new lease’s effective date, you must submit a completed Contract Rent Change request, with attachments to NYCHA, no later than 60 calendar days before the new lease’s effective date. You must receive NYCHA’s approval before the new contact rent can go into effect.

How can I support a request for rent increase?

If NYCHA determines that the contract rent is not reasonable, you will be given an opportunity to upload rent comparables directly to NYCHA will notify you if your requested rent cannot be approved so that you can upload comparables online directly to OR implement a preferential rent, which will require an amended lease with the tenant’s initials. You must advise NYCHA of the option you will choose by emailing If no response is received within 30 calendar days, NYCHA will cancel the original request.

Please note that the submission of new rent comparables to the website does not guarantee that NYCHA will find the contract rent reasonable. determines rent reasonableness using the most comparable units to the contract unit. If you opt to submit rent comparables, NYCHA will conduct another rent reasonableness evaluation and will notify you of the outcome.

Tenants' Rights and Responsibilities

When can the voucher holder move in?

You must receive authorization from NYCHA before issuing keys to the voucher holder. Once NYCHA reviews and approves all required documents, and the unit passes Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection, the tenant receives a conditional move-in letter (this letter does not allow them to move into a unit), and the owner is provided with a copy of the HAP contract. The final move-in letter is issued to the tenant after NYCHA receives the HAP contract and lease from the owner and NYCHA countersigns the HAP contract.

NYCHA’s approval is required for any tenant move, including temporary relocation units.

You will also receive a copy of the HAP contract, which is the agreement between you and NYCHA. You must sign and return the HAP contract to NYCHA within 15 calendar days. NYCHA will not be able to make any subsidy payments until the HAP contract is fully executed.

How are the NYCHA share and the tenant share of the rent determined?

You will receive two rental payments: one from NYCHA in the form of a HAP subsidy and another from the voucher holder. NYCHA determines the share the tenant will pay you based on various factors, including the family’s total household income.

How will I receive my Housing Assistance Payments (HAP)?

NYCHA pays all HAP subsidies via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). You must enroll in direct deposit by completing the Section 8 Property Owner Registration form. NYCHA does not issue paper checks.

How do I advertise my available Section 8 units?

You can list your available units for rental, free of charge, on the NYCHA Owner Extranet.

When can I start court eviction proceedings against my Section 8 tenant?

You may decide to commence eviction proceedings against your Section 8 tenant for serious or repeated violation of the lease, violation of law that imposes obligations on the tenant in connection with the occupancy or use of the unit or the premises, certain criminal activity and alcohol abuse, or other good cause. You may not initiate a proceeding against a tenant for NYCHA’s subsidy portion of the rent.

Before you commence a court proceeding against the tenant, you must submit NYCHA Form 059.518 (Certification of Basis for Eviction) to NYCHA (along with proof you also mailed this form to the tenant) if the reasons for the eviction are either:

  1. Nonpayment of the tenant portion of the rent; or
  2. Termination or suspension of subsidy resulting in a contemplated holdover action by the owner

You can submit or obtain the required eviction certification on the Owner Extranet. If NYCHA objects to the proceeding, you may continue in Housing Court but must also name NYCHA as a co-defendant.

Who is responsible for any unpaid tenant share of the rent and the tenant-caused damage?

The tenant is responsible for any unpaid tenant share of the rent and for tenant-caused damages. To remain a participant in the Section 8 program, the family must meet its responsibilities and obligations. If the tenant does not pay their portion of the rent and/or repair any tenant-caused damages in the unit, you can proceed with legal action against the family and NYCHA may terminate the tenant’s participation in the Section 8 program.

What should I do if my tenant vacated the unit but left their possessions?

You should seek legal advice on how to properly gain possession of your apartment if items are left behind by the tenant without returning the keys.

HQS Inspections

What are Housing Quality Standards?

Housing Quality Standards (HQS) are minimum inspection standards established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for all units receiving housing assistance under the HCV Section 8 Program.

To certify that any unit rented by a Section 8 voucher holder meets HQS standards, an inspection is conducted by NYCHA. Here are the types of inspections conducted:

  • Rental (Initial) and Transfer Inspections are conducted prior to the voucher holder moving into the unit. NYCHA contacts the owner to schedule an inspection once the rental packet is accepted. If necessary, the owner may contact the Customer Contact Center (CCC) to reschedule
  • Biennial Inspections ensure continued compliance with HQS standards. These inspections are automatically scheduled by NYCHA
  • Special Inspections are requested by the voucher holder as a result of outstanding hazardous conditions not repaired by the landlord
  • Quality Control Inspections are conducted to ensure that HQS standards are enforced. These inspections are scheduled by a NYCHA supervisor

Below is a general list of inspection standards, intended to be used as a guide only. For complete details on HQS standards, please refer to regulations at 24 CFR Part 982.401 or Chapter 10 of the Housing Choice Voucher Program Guidebook.

Rooms (General):

  • The unit must have a living room, kitchen, bathroom, and one living/sleeping room for every two family members
  • The sleeping area must be at least 80 square feet
  • The living room can be used as a sleeping room
  • Ceilings, walls, windows, and floors must be in good condition and have adequate heat

Electrical Outlets and Light Fixtures:

  • Each bedroom must have either two electrical outlets or one outlet and one permanent light fixture

Kitchen and Bathroom:

  • Must have a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlet installed within 6 feet of a water source in the bathroom if the building was built or renovated after 1986. For kitchens, a GFCI outlet must be installed if the building was built or renovated after 1996
  • Bathrooms require a permanent light fixture but an outlet is not required
  • The kitchen requires a permanent outlet but a permanent light fixture is not required

Smoke Detectors:

  • All units must have at least one working smoke detector that is battery operated, hardwired, or hardwired with a back-up battery on each level of the unit
  • Must be installed on a ceiling or wall 4 to 12 inches from the ceiling
  • If a tenant is hearing impaired, the alarm must be designed for hearing-impaired persons

Carbon Monoxide Detectors:

  • All units must have a working carbon monoxide detector that is battery operated, hardwired, or hard­wired with a back-up battery
  • Must be installed in the unit within 15 feet of any sleeping area. This device cannot be installed in a bathroom or kitchen or within 5 feet of gas cooking appliances
  • If a tenant is hearing impaired, the alarm must be designed for hearing-impaired persons

Windows and Window Guards:

  • There must be a least one window that opens and closes in each room used for sleeping to provide ventilation and illumination. A skylight is acceptable if it can be opened
  • Windows must also have permanently attached and adequate locks
  • New York City Law requires that owners of multiple dwellings where children 10 years of age or younger reside to install and maintain window guards in the units where those children will reside, and the public spaces

Heat and Hot Water:

  • Each unit must have an adequate source of heat and hot water, and hot water sources must meet established local building code minimum/maximum temperatures

When does NYCHA conduct HQS inspections?

NYCHA will conduct an initial inspection of the unit, public space, and exterior areas before entering into a HAP contract with you. NYCHA also conducts regularly scheduled and special inspections.

For new rentals, NYCHA will inspect the unit immediately after the rental packet is accepted. To reschedule you must call the Customer Contact Center (CCC). A person 18 years of age or older must be present.

NYCHA may also schedule a follow-up Quality Control inspection to ensure HQS standards were properly applied.

What steps can I take to ensure my unit/building passes the HQS inspection?

As a Section 8 property owner, you should plan ahead by assessing the condition of the unit, the building’s exterior, and public space areas prior to the scheduled inspection. Repairing all violations prior to an inspection helps to prevent delays in renting your Section 8 unit and continue subsidy payments throughout the tenancy.

Look out for common HQS failures:

  • Electrical hazards: improperly installed or missing GFCI outlets, exposed wires, loose or broken light fixtures, missing fuses/knock-out panels in breaker boxes
  • Window conditions: improperly installed or missing window guards
  • Ceiling conditions: severely cracked/ damaged ceiling, missing/damaged ceiling tiles
  • Floor conditions: missing/broken tiles, exposed sub floor, uneven floor, tripping hazards, etc.
  • Smoke/carbon monoxide detectors: missing batteries, missing detector, installed in the wrong location, etc.
  • NOTE: Life-threatening violations must be repaired within 24 hours (i.e., fire damage, gas leak, exposed wiring, structural hazard, etc.)

What should I do if the unit and/or building fails inspection?

NYCHA will notify you of the outcome of the failed HQS inspection via regular mail. For registered owners on the Owner Extranet, an email notification will be sent as well. If your unit or the premises (exterior or public space areas) fails the inspection, NYCHA will send you a notification detailing the violation(s) that caused the failure.

For new rental or 24-hour violations, units must be re-inspected. Window guard violations must be repaired within 21 calendar days, and all other violations must be repaired within 30 calendar days. For all other failed inspections, owners may self-certify by completing the NE-2 Certification of Completed Repairs online or by mail.

Failure to correct HQS violations within the required timeframes will result in suspension of the subsidy payment to the owner.

If the unit/building fails for a rental or transfer HQS inspection, the tenant cannot be authorized for the move and the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract will not be executed. It is imperative to have the building and unit pass HQS inspection to execute a HAP contract.

What happens if the unit fails an HQS inspection for tenant-caused damages?

NYCHA has set criteria for determining damages caused by a tenant. If during the inspection the Inspector notes that the failure conditions were caused by the tenant, the tenant and owner are notified of the failure via the Notification of Failed Inspection Due to Tenant Negligence letter.

If the repairs are not made within 30 calendar days, NYCHA will initiate termination action against the tenant. If the only HQS violation is tenant-caused, the monthly subsidy to the owner will not be suspended. NYCHA does not reimburse you for any repairs. It is your responsibility to maintain the unit, building, and/or house in accordance with HQS, including performance of ordinary and extraordinary maintenance.

How do I report that an HQS violation has been addressed?

Owner certification:

Owners may submit the signed Certification of Completed Repairs (NE-2) or the Certification of Completed Building Repairs as proof that the repairs were completed. Only 21-day and 30-day violations can be self-certified. Twenty-four-hour violations require a re-inspection. Owners may submit certifications online (via the Owner Extranet) or by mail.

  • If NYCHA staff does not accept the certification, the owner must call to schedule a re-inspection
  • Owner certifications will NOT be accepted for the following reasons:
  • Inspection failure for a 24-hour life-threatening condition
  • Certification of Completed Repairs (NE-2) missing signatures from the owner and/or tenant (note: NYCHA will accept completed work orders or paid invoices in lieu of a tenant’s signature on a certification if the work order or paid invoice indicates the date and that the cited issue(s) were corrected)
  • Certification of Completed Building Repairs missing the owner’s signature and/or date
  • Fraudulent tenant signatures

What are Housing Quality Standards?

Reinstatement of the unit or building:

  • When the Certification of Completed Repairs is accepted or the unit passes re-inspection, the owner’s subsidy will be reinstated with retro if determined by NYCHA
  • Owners must notify NYCHA within 30 days of the failed inspection of any “tenant no access” by submitting a certified letter sent to the tenant

HCV Program Details

Can an owner select which tenants they want/do not want?

It is illegal for owners of the following property types to refuse a voucher or public rental assistance:

  • Apartment building or multiple family dwelling
  • Co-op
  • Condominium
  • Government-assisted housing
  • Residential hotel*
    • *SRO (Single Room Occupancy) and hotels may be considered public accommodations

How do ownership changes occur?

NYCHA will process a change of ownership only if the request is accompanied by proper documents of ownership (copy of the deed or title) and proper documentation of the sale agreement. All documents must be submitted within 60 calendar days of the closing. NYCHA will begin Section 8 payments to the new owner once all documents have been reviewed and approved by NYCHA. The following documents must be submitted to process a change of ownership:

Based on the type of unit(s) you own, NYCHA may require additional documents to process the change of ownership. Below is a list of additional documents that may be required:

  • Buildings under receivership and 7A administrators must provide the court order appointing the receiver or 7A administrator
  • Condominium owners must provide unit deeds
  • Cooperative owners must provide proprietary leases and the share certificate
  • When the owner is an estate, letters of testamentary (court documents) are required

You must notify the tenant in advance of changing ownership. The new property owner must initiate the ownership change process.

How do I report a chance of address or other contact information?

You can change your contact information in the Owner Extranet. Under the Service Request menu tab, in the New Service Request drop down, select Mailing Address Change. This option will also allow you to change your telephone number, email address, and office contact person.

You may also call the Customer Contact Center at 718-707-7771, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., to request NYCHA Form 059.082A (Owner Change of Address Form) by mail.

How do I report a change of managing agent?

If the new managing agent is also the payee for the Housing Assistance Payments, submit NYCHA Form 059.122 (Section 8 Property Owner Registration Form).

If the managing agent is NOT the payee, submit NYCHA Form 059.082A (Owner Change of Address Form).

Call the Customer Contact Center at 718-707-7771, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., to request a form by mail.

What is fraud and how do I report it?

Committing fraud is a violation of the Section 8 program's rules and responsibilities. NYCHA will take swift appropriate action against applicants, program participants, and owners who commit fraud, bribery, or other corrupt or criminal acts. Program participants who commit fraud could be required to repay all overpaid rental assistance, arrested, fined and/or imprisoned, or have their Section 8 assistance terminated. In some cases, participants and landlords could be permanently banned from the Section 8 program.

If you know someone who commits fraud, bribery, or other corrupt or criminal acts, please make an anonymous complaint by calling NYCHA's Inspector General's Office at 212-306-3355, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Section 8 eligibility and selection - tenant screening

Tenant eligibility and selection is based on:

  1. Definition of family and household members
  2. Income
  3. Citizenship/eligible immigration status
  4. Mandatory Social Security number

What is an annual recertification?

NYCHA conducts recertifications of income and household composition annually. Participants are required to complete annual recertifications, which includes submitting their income, assets, expenses, and family composition information in addition to other required documents. To ensure timely completion of annual recertifications, participants will receive notification to submit the required information for the recertification 150 days in advance of their annual recertification due date.


For all transfers, the HCV Program participant must submit a completed and signed transfer request form. NYCHA then determines if the participant is eligible to receive a transfer voucher. Transfer requests are reviewed and prioritized as an “emergency” or “non-emergency.”

A participant will receive a non-emergency transfer for any voluntary move. The transfer voucher is valid for 120 days. Voucher extensions require NYCHA approval.

A transfer is prioritized as an “emergency” if it falls into one of the following categories:

  1. Twenty-four hours failed HQS inspection: Failed inspections can include issues such as gas leaks or fires
  2. Natural disaster: Natural disasters include things such as hurricanes or earthquakes
  3. Court action: Holdover proceeding in Housing Court based on a landlord’s choice not to renew a lease
  4. Foreclosure action and order to vacate: Owner fails to be financially responsible for the property
  5. Reasonable accommodation: Participant or household member qualifies as disabled, and the disability requires a change in housing
  6. Violence Against Women Act (VAWA): A Section 8 participant, including the head of household, a household member, or an affiliated individual, meets the definition of a VAWA victim
  7. Intimidated Victim: The participant is the victim of a violent crime or a threat of a violent crime and such crime was committed in a non-random manner as a result of a relationship between the victim and the perpetrator and the participant or their immediate household has suffered actual physical injury or threat of injury and will continue to suffer by continuing to live in the current residence
  8. Intimidated Witness: The participant cooperates with a law enforcement agency in the arrest and prosecution of an individual who committed a crime and then the participant or their immediate family suffered actual physical injury or threat of injury

I have more questions; Where do I go?

For additional information, you may call the Customer Contact Center at 718-707-7771, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or visit our Section 8 webpage.