Landlord FAQ's


How do I become a Section 8 Landlord?

Advertise your unit as accepting Section 8. You may also have your name and phone number listed on our Landlord Listing. This listing is handed to Section 8 tenants when they are looking for a unit. If you have a small number of units we do not advise putting your name on this list because you may be overwhelmed with calls when a new housing vouchers are issued to a large number of families.

How will I know that the prospective tenant has a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher?

If a person viewing your unit is a Section 8 recipient, they will have a paper entitled “Request for Tenancy Approval". If they desire to live in your unit and you select them for your unit, they will have you complete and return this form to them. They are responsible for returning the form to the Topeka Housing Authority.

Do I have the right to screen prospective Section 8 tenants?

Yes, we strongly encourage landlords to screen tenants. We only certify that the tenant is income eligible for Section 8. You may use whatever screening methods you use for any other tenants; however, if you have a screening service who charges you, you may not charge the prospective tenant any more than what it costs you for the service.

How are my rights as a landlord affected if I become a Section 8 landlord?

You have the same rights and responsibilities under Section 8 as you have as a landlord under Kansas law.

May I collect a security deposit? Who pays the security deposit?

You may collect a security deposit according to the limits set by Kansas law. The tenant is responsible for paying the security deposit.

Is the unit inspected?

The unit is scheduled for an inspection after we receive the “Request for Tenancy Approval” form. The inspection standard used is Housing Quality Standards (HQS).

This provides basic standards for a safe, sanitary, decent place to live. More information is available on the Doing Business with Topeka Housing Authority web page.

Can I have the unit pre-inspected?

No, we do not do pre-inspections.

How often is the unit inspected?

The unit has must be inspected at least once a year. Other inspections may take place if the tenant complains that the landlord is not keeping the unit or premises in good repair.

Is a lease required?

Yes, an initial 12 month lease is required. The landlord is responsible for providing the lease. The lease is between you and the tenant. THA is not a party to the lease.

A copy of the lease is must be sent to THA. Another requirement is that the Addendum for Violence & Drug Free Housing be attached to the lease (see Doing Business with Topeka Housing Authority web page).

What other documents are required?

The landlord is required to sign a Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract with THA prior to any payments being made (see Doing Business with Topeka Housing Authority web page). The tenant is not a party to this agreement. THA will prepare this agreement and forward it to the landlord for signature.

When do I get paid?

After the landlord returns the HAP contract with a copy of the lease, THA will process and mail a check to the landlord. Following the initial payment, checks are mailed no later than the 2nd day of the month depending on how weekends and holidays fall.

Who pays what?

THA makes a determination of the amount the tenant pays, based on the tenant’s income and the payment standard. This determination is made at least annually. This payment split is set out in the HAP contract. The landlord will receive a check from THA for the HAP portion. The landlord will collect the tenant's share directly from the tenant.

How much rent may I request for my unit?

The rental rate is determined by Rent Reasonableness. The landlord may initially request whatever they feel is reasonable for the unit being offered for rent. A determination will be made if that amount is reasonable by comparing the offered unit to other similar units. The payment standards for the different bedroom sizes are included in this packet of information.

When can the tenant move in?

The tenant may move in after the unit passes inspection; however, if the tenant is a current Section 8 tenant that is changing units, they are only allowed to move at the first of the month.

What are utility allowances?

Utility allowances are determined by the tables included in Allowances for Tenant Paid Utilities (see Doing Business with Topeka Housing Authority web page). The contract rent plus the utility allowance equals gross rent.