Federal Housing Quality Standards Criteria

The Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) Assistance Payments program is the first federal housing program offered to low to moderate income families in which the traditional role of the owner and tenant are unchanged.

Program Purpose
The Housing Choice Voucher program is designed to assist eligible families with rent so that residents are provided with a decent, safe and sanitary home. It is the landlord’s responsibility to collect the tenant’s share of the rent and enforce the lease.

What’s involved?
You enter into a lease agreement with the tenant and a Housing Assistance Payment Contract with the HACF. There is a HUD required Tenancy Addendum that must be attached and made a part of all voucher program participants lease agreement. You sign a contract assuring that a portion of your rent will be paid by the HACF. Your property must be inspected and meet certain federal Housing Quality Standards (HQS), essentially ensuring the home is safe and sanitary.

What’s in it for the owner?
A portion of the rent is guaranteed by HUD and paid directly to you by the HACF. Then the tenant pays 30% of their monthly adjusted income for rent and utilities. Fair Market Rents is the amount needed to rent a moderately-priced unit in the Frederick market. This is set and approved by HUD and are adjusted annually. You have the option to directly select (and screen) any family issued a voucher by the HACF as your tenant. You may also post your vacancies at the HACF and save on advertising costs.

How to list your property?

To list your property with the Housing Authority for free, please submit an Available Property Form. This list of available properties will be given to incoming and existing Housing Choice Voucher Participants. If they are interested in your property the tenant will contact you for more information. The Housing Authority DOES NOT place a voucher participant for you or pre-screen applicants to ensure they are acceptable renters. To start the process, the voucher participant will give you their paperwork if they are interested in renting your property.

You may also list your property for free on the MD Housing Search website, or on the GO Section 8 website.

Owner’s Rights
Your rights are the same as they are in the private market. You have the right to evict the tenant in accordance with state law. In addition, you deal directly with the tenant for any tenant-caused damages.

Owner’s Responsibilities
Basically, these are the same as they are in the private market:

  • You must screen families who apply to determine if they will be good renters
  • You must meet the obligation of the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP Contract and the lease).
  • You have the responsibility for maintaining your unit.
  • You pay the utilities and service unless specified in the lease as the tenant’s responsibility.
  • You collect the tenant’s portion of the rent.
  • You must comply with the Fair Housing Act.

The Housing Authority offers a FREE Landlord information book for anyone interested in becoming a Housing Choice Voucher landlord participant. These books are available for pick-up at our main office at 209 Madison Street, Frederick MD 21701.

To list your property with the Housing Authority for free please submit an Available Property Form.


For more information, please contact the HACF Voucher Program at (301) 662-8173 ext.1115.