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    Property Owners and Landlords Questions

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    Question Answer
    Am I required to rent to people with disabilities? The same rules apply to renting to persons with disabilities on the Section 8 program as they do to all other renters with disabilities. The Fair Housing Act provides that it is unlawful to discriminate in any aspect of selling or renting housing, to deny a dwelling to a buyer or renter because of the disability of that individual or an individual associated with the buyer or renter. The Fair Housing Act requires owners of housing facilities to make reasonable exceptions in their policies and operations to afford people with disabilities equal housing opportunities. For example, a landlord with a "no pets" policy may be required to grant an exception to this ruling and allow an individual who is blind to keep a guide dog in the residence. The Fair Housing Act also requires landlords to allow tenants with disabilities to make reasonable access-related modifications to their private living space, as well as to common use spaces. (The landlord is not required to pay for the changes). The Act further requires that new multifamily housing with four or more units be designed and built to allow access for persons with disabilities. This includes accessible common use areas, doors that are wide enough for wheelchairs, kitchens and bathrooms that allow a person using a wheelchair to maneuver, and other adaptable feats within the units.
    Does TCHAO help me with an eviction? No. The lease is a contract between the tenant and the landlord.
    How can I terminate the lease and evict the tenant? Owners have the same rights for evicting assisted families as they do for private market tenants. This information should be spelled out in the lease and carried out in accordance with state law. Evictions are carried out by court action. It is recommended that you consult with an attorney. Landlords are required to provide a copy of the eviction notice to TCHAO at the same time it is served upon the tenant.
    How do I become a Section 8 landlord?

    We are always seeking new landlords to participate in the program.  Before a Tarrant County Housing client is allowed to move into a unit, the landlord must have attended a landlord briefing and provided required ownership documentation.

    Landlords must provide:

    1.  Proof of ownership in the form of a Deed of Trust
    2.  State or Federal issued Photo ID
    3.  IRS form W-9
    4.  Affidavit of Ownership

    Other documentation may be required if an owner chooses to use an agent or property manager, or if an owner purchases a property that is already occupied and under a Housing Payments Contract.  Tarrant County Housing Assistance Office will advise owners of all documentation required.

    Landlord briefings are typically held the first Monday of every month.  All briefings are held at 9 a.m. in the Conference Center, located at 2100 Circle Drive, Fort Worth, TX 76119.  To reserve your spot at the next briefing, contact our office at 817- 531-7640 or e-mail your reservation to dmlopez@tarrantcounty.com.

    How do I list my property for rent by Section 8 tenants?

    The Housing Authority has partnered with www.Gosection8.com, which provides an enhanced program to list rental properties on line. Listings are available to potential Housing Choice Voucher tenants seeking apartment units, duplexes, single-family homes or townhomes in the private market.

    Please note that all properties listed with the Tarrant County Housing Assistance Office before February 1, 2010,  must be re-listed and property owners must re-register each property in order to begin listing rental units on the new GoSection8 system.

    How do I sign-up for direct deposit? At this time direct deposit is not a service that we have available.
    How does the owner select the family? Families who are searching for housing will contact owners to apply. Families must follow the owner's standard application process. It is the owners responsibility to screen Section 8 tenants and follow the same practices and procedures as they do with all others. Owners should be familiar with federal, state and local fair housing laws to ensure against discriminatory practices.
    How long can I rent to a Section 8 family? After the first year, your lease can be renewed, provided the family wishes to stay, and provided they remain on the program and are in compliance with their family obligations.
    If a tenant moves out and leaves damages, who is responsible? The tenant is responsible per the terms of the lease.
    If I haven't received a payment, how can I check the status of a payment or report that a check is missing? Contact TCHAO via telephone or letter immediately.
    What happens if the tenant does not pay their portion of the rent? Contact the tenant regarding why they are not paying their portion. If you have no results, you have the right to serve the tenant with an eviction notice and file eviction proceedings in accordance with the lease and state law. Send a copy of the notice to our office.
    What happens if the tenant vacates the unit in violation of the lease? Housing payments will stop and the tenant will be terminated from the program. Additionally, the HAP will be terminated at the end of the month that the tenant vacated.
    When can I raise the rent? Requests for rent increases can only be made once within a 12-month period. The request should be submitted in writing to our office 120 days prior to the anniversary date of the lease. Rent increases cannot be requested to be effective prior to the initial 12 months of the initial lease.
    When do I receive a check for the housing agency portion of the rent? Checks are usually mailed on or about the first of each month.
    When does the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract begin and what documents am I responsible to submit to ensure payment? The HAP begins within 60 days following the return of the executed contract and the receipt by TCHAO of all required documents, i.e.: the fully executed lease, Affidavit of Ownership, current W-9, RTA and HAP contract. Initial payments will be prorated, based upon the effective date of the executed lease and contract.
    Will I continue to receive housing assistance payments through the eviction process?

    You are entitled to rent as long as:

    1. the tenant legally resides in the unit;
    2. TCHAO has not terminated the family from the program; and
    3. the landlord is in compliance with the Housing Assistance Program contract.

    Payments will continue through the date of the Sheriff's lockout or the date the family vacates the unit, whichever comes first.