How to Become a Landlord

Section 8 Information for Property Owners and Managers

The Section 8 Rental Process


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The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program provides rental subsidies to lower-income families that meet federally established income guidelines. Program participants find their own rental housing and use the vouchers they receive from the Rockford Housing Authority (RHA) to help pay the rent. Funds for the program are provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

When a family finds a suitable rental unit and the property owner agrees to participate in the Section 8 program, the family submits the following to RHA:

  • A Request for Tenancy Approval: signed by the property owner and the family.
  • A copy of the proposed lease. The lease must include, word for word, all provisions of the Tenancy Addendum required by HUD.

After RHA receives the Request for Tenancy Approval and the proposed lease, our staff inspects the rental unit to ensure that it meets HUD Housing Quality Standards using the HUD HQS Checklist.  There is no charge to the property owner or the tenant for this inspection. For a better understanding of the HQS inspection, please check The Guidebook. Additional tips for passing an HQS inspection can be found on our Pre-Inspection Checklist.

If RHA approves the unit and the lease, we will notify the family and the property owner, and we will furnish a HUD Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) contract to the owner. The owner must sign the HAP contract and return it to the RHA.

Rental property owners who participate in the RHA’s Section 8 program must…


  • Screen and select tenants.
  • Provide a lease that conforms to all state and local laws as well as to the Section 8 program’s HAP contract.
  • Maintain the rental unit in compliance with HUD Housing Quality Standards.
  • Collect the tenant’s portion of the rent. RHA pays the subsidized portion of the monthly rent directly to the owner—generally this is the difference between a predetermined payment standard and 30 percent of the tenant’s adjusted monthly household income.
  • Comply with all requirements of the HAP contract and lease. The terms of a lease cannot be changed without the RHA’s written acknowledgement.

Per federal requirements, property rented to Section 8 tenants is reinspected annually by RHA.  For units that have been inspected and have minor fails, the following Self Certification form can be completed and submitted to RHA Owner HQS Self Certification.

It is illegal for property owners to discriminate based on prospective tenants’ age, race, sex, religion, disability or national origin. It is also illegal to deny tenancy based on the fact that a household has a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher subsidy.

For more information about Section 8:
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Direct Deposit of Housing Assistance Payments (HAP)

RHA offers direct deposit of Housing Assistance Payments. Download Direct Deposit Form to get a PDF version of the form.

Check Status of HAP Payments

RHA offers online HAP “Payment Access for Landlords” through HAB Housing Software Solutions. Click Housing Assistance Payments Information to securely check your most recent payment, look up your payment history, or turn on email notifications of payments.

RHA Landlord Update February 2014

Call toll-free: 877-428-8844 for immediate assistance.

For further information regarding the program you may contact the Housing Choice Voucher Program office at (815) 489-8506 to obtain an owners packet.

Listing Section 8 Rental Property

Rockford Housing Authority offers a service that lets property owners list Section 8 rental units free of charge in a searchable database. To list your property, click Illinois Housing Search.




*DISCLAIMER: The Housing Commission is pleased to offer the convenience of links to organizations that provide a variety of housing and emergency services. Please note that the linked sites are external to RHA’s website. RHA cannot attest to the accuracy of information provided by linked sites. RHA disclaims all responsibility for the contents and results provided through linked websites.