Housing FAQs

 Applicants/Current Waitlist Openings FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions for Applicants/Current Waitlist Openings


1: What is the Housing Choice Voucher Program and how does it differ from Section 8?


The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program and Section 8 are two different names for the same program. This is a federal assistance program to help people with low income pay their rent.


2: What are the benefits of the Housing Choice Voucher Program for the participant?


  • The program promotes housing choice; a household awarded a voucher can look for a unit within the neighborhood of their choice, within the housing authority’s area
  • The program promotes quality housing; units are inspected annually to ensure standards of health and safety are met
  • The household contribution is approximately 30-40% of their monthly-adjusted income, with the balance paid by the housing authority (directly to the property owner)

3: Who is eligible for a voucher?


Households qualify for the program if their income is 80% or less of the area median income (AMI) for Boulder County or Broomfield (some programs are capped at 30% and 50% AMI). Eligible households include individuals or families with low income, including people on a fixed income, such as those who are elderly and/or have a disability.


4: Can I apply for a voucher, if so, when, and how?


Unfortunately, applications are not accepted unless and until the waitlist opens. Due to the high need and low turnover of vouchers, the waitlist opens rarely (often only 3-5 years, if that). If/when the waitlist re-opens, it will be advertised in the local newspaper(s) and the County website.


5: What information is requested on the application?


On the application, you will need to provide household information including income, assets, child care and medical expenses, as applicable.


6: I have already submitted an application for a voucher. When will I hear if I’m accepted?


If you have submitted an application for a voucher, you have been placed on the wait list. Applicants are prioritized based on certain criteria such as being elderly, having a disability, being a family with children, and being a County resident. If a voucher is available for you, you will be contacted by the Wait List Administrator to learn about your next steps. Please remember to contact BCHA in writing if your address changes; if not, you may lose your opportunity for a voucher.


7: If called up for a voucher, what documentation will I need to provide to BCHA for final approval?


You will need to provide copies of Social Security cards, birth certificates, and income and asset documentation for all household members. You will also be required to sign other forms as required by BCHA. Additionally, staff obtains background reports from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for all household members over age 18, which also may affect final approval.


8: What if my household size and income has changed since I first applied?


If you are approved for a voucher, the Wait List Administrator will ask you to update your application with your current household members, and provide the required documentation at your briefing appointment.


9: If I am approved, where can I use my voucher?


Vouchers may be used in Boulder County and Broomfield. Boulder County jurisdictions include Boulder, Erie (within Boulder County limits), Jamestown, Lafayette, Longmont, Louisville, Lyons, Nederland, Superior and Ward, and those in Unincorporated County include Allenspark, Caribou, Coal Creek (within Boulder County limits), Eldorado Springs, Gold Hill, Gunbarrel, Hygiene and Niwot. Note: while BCHA places residents with vouchers within Boulder (city) and Longmont through intergovernmental agreements allowing them to do so, residents of Boulder (city) and Longmont must contact their designated housing authority to seek a voucher.


10: What kind of rental unit qualifies for the program?


All existing rental housing may be eligible; single-family homes, condominiums, apartments, mobile homes, townhouses and duplexes. Each unit must be located within Boulder County or Broomfield, rent for below the program’s payment standards, and pass a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Inspection, among other requirements.


11: What if I receive a voucher and have special needs due to my disability?


If you have special needs to adapt to your unit or living situation, you may request a Reasonable Accommodation. Such requests may include the addition of a live-in aide, physical modifications to the unit (at your expense), the addition of a service animal, and the allowance of additional time to complete a request required of all tenants. Please note that requests are considered on a case-by-case basis, and if approved, it must also be approved by the landlord.


12: If/when I receive a voucher, how long will I have to find a unit?


After you fully approved for the assistance, you will have 60 days to find a place to live. If you do not find one within that time period, you will risk losing your voucher. Time extensions are granted for special circumstances.


13: What will be my rights and responsibilities as a tenant?


At their annual recertification, voucher-holders are given a list of Family Responsibilities to sign yearly, acknowledging an understanding of their responsibilities. Tenants have the right to:
  • Request a reasonable accommodation to accommodate special needs. Reasonable Accommodation requests are approved on a case-by-case basis. Tenants should contact their case manager for the appropriate paperwork.
  • File a complaint with HUD if you believe your Fair Housing rights have been violated on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, age, national origin and/or sexual orientation.
  • Privacy within the unit. A landlord must provide appropriate notice to their tenant if they wish to enter the unit during a reasonable time of day. In emergency cases, a landlord may enter the unit without notice to make necessary repairs.
  • Choose not to renew the lease at the end of the term or, in the case of a mutual agreement to rescind the lease, to move out of the unit during the lease term, provided a proper notice was given as outlined in the lease agreement.
  • Request a hearing for various staff decisions including termination of assistance or denial of a housing request.

Tenants have the following responsibilities. They must:

  • Allow your case manager and/or the inspector to inspect the unit at reasonable times and after reasonable notice.
  • Notify your case manager and landlord in writing before moving out of the unit or terminating the lease providing at least a 30-day notice.
  • Request approval from BCHA and your landlord to add a household member as an occupant to the unit.
  • Not commit fraud, bribery, drug-related, violent or any other corrupt or criminal act in connection with the program.
  • Not commit any serious or repeated lease violations.

14: How is income verified?


All income, benefits, and allowances must be documented from independent third-party sources. Households are required to report all income; unreported income may result in repayment of housing assistance, or termination of assistance.


15: How can a household find a landlord that accepts tenants with a voucher?


Some landlords seeking to rent to program participants note that in their rental advertisement. BCHA also maintains a landlord list noting landlords who accept rental assistance.


16: How much can a landlord charge for rent?


The rent amount for a tenant receiving housing assistance must be below the payment standard for that type of unit. This amount is based on local fair market rents, which are the average gross rents (rent plus utilities) being paid in the specific community for modest housing units of varying sizes.


17: How are utilities paid?


The landlord chooses which utilities, if any, they will provide as a part of the rent and which utilities are to be paid by the tenant. If a tenant pays a utility, BCHA will credit the household with a utility allowance, based on the average cost of utilities, size of the unit, and the location of the unit. The allowance is not based on the household’s actual energy consumption. The allowance will lower the tenant’s rent portion and leave them with funds to assist with the utility cost. If the tenant's portion is less than the utility allowance for the unit, the household will receive the difference in a utility check.


18: Who is responsible for paying the security deposit, and how much can a landlord collect?


The security deposit is paid by the tenant prior to taking possession of the unit. The amount must be fair and reasonable, usually one month’s rent amount, and in compliance with state and local laws. It must also be comparable to the deposits charged by the landlord to their other tenants.


19: What are (some of) landlords’ rights and responsibilities?


Landlords have the right to:
  • Terminate tenancy under conditions outlined in the Housing Authority Payment (HAP) Contract for such reasons as serious and repeated violations of the lease, criminal activity, destruction of property, and failure to pay the tenant portion of rent.
  • Refuse tenancy to an program participant as long as it is not a violation of Fair Housing laws
  • Collect an appropriate security deposit, used in accordance with local and state laws.
  • Raise rent at the end of the lease term provided the required notice is given to the case manager in the required timeframe, and the increased rent amount is considered “reasonable” based on program guidelines.
  • Choose not to renew a lease at the end of the lease term.

Landlords have the following responsibilities. They must:

  • Use their own lease.. BCHA may require and provide lease addendums. BCHA must receive a copy of the lease.
  • Sign and return, as requested, all required documentation to BCHA in a timely manner.
  • Sign, submit and provide updates for documentation and information as required, such as tax payer identification information, such as a W-9 form, change of address, change of name, and/or change of the building owner.
  • Contact the tenant’s case manager within 60 days of any anticipated rent increase to the tenant.
  • Provide copies of any eviction notices, if applicable, to the case manager at the time the notice is sent to the tenant.
  • Perform all necessary maintenance to ensure the unit meets HUD’s Housing Quality Standards.
  • Allow the unit to be inspected annually or in special circumstances, as needed, and correct all report failures within the specified time period. Failure to make repairs may result in either a halt of BCHA’s portion of the rent or termination of the Housing Authority Payment (HAP) Contract.
  • Comply with Fair Housing laws.

20: I receive a voucher and then decide to move out of County/State can I take it with me?


After a year with BCHA, a participant may take their voucher with them if they choose move to another county or state. To do this, they will need to contact their case manager. The case manager will transfer their paperwork to BCHA’s Portability Specialist to complete the process, which includes providing documentation to the new housing authority.


21: What does the housing inspector look for during an annual inspection?


Each unit is inspected annually (or more, as needed) to ensure it meets HUD’s Minimum Housing Quality Standards. The tenant, or an alternate person over age 18, must be present for inspections. Inspected items include building structure and exterior; plumbing, heating and electrical systems; windows, exits and hallways; and all rooms to make sure the unit is safe, clean, and in good condition. The inspector must have access to the unit, the basement, and all common areas. If repairs are required, the landlord must correct deficiencies, within a certain time period, and pass a re-inspection. If repairs are not made within the timeframe, the housing assistance payments will be halted, and in certain situations impacting health and safety, the tenant will not be able to occupy the unit.


22: What is the Carbon Monoxide Detector Law and does it apply to a tenant?


Effective July 1, 2009, Colorado House Bill 1091 requires homeowners and owners of rental property (single-family homes, multi-family homes) to install carbon monoxide alarms near the bedrooms (or other room lawfully used for sleeping purposes) in every home that is heated with natural gas or propane, has a gas appliance, has a fireplace, or has an attached garage. This requirement applies to every home that is sold, remodeled, repaired, or leased to a new tenant after July 1, 2009, including landlords participating in the program. For more information, please read House Bill 1091.


23: What is the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and how does it affect a participant’s assistance?


The Violence against Women Act (VAWA) is a federal law, effective 2006, to protect individuals who are victims of domestic violence by prohibiting apartment firms from evicting the resident because of criminal activity committed by a member of the victim’s household.


24: What types of actions may lead to termination from the program?


The following are some actions that may lead to program termination: fraud (i.e., providing false information or documentation), non-compliance with program requirements, criminal or drug activity, unauthorized household members, non-compliance with a lease. If a program participant is terminated, they will receive a termination letter which informs them of their opportunity to present their case to the Housing Board for reinstatement. BCHA and HUD are stringent regarding program compliance and will take action as necessary.


25: How can I find out more information about participating in the program?


To learn more information about tenant participation, please refer to Frequently Asked Questions for Tenants.


26: How can I find out more information about landlord participation?


To learn more information about landlord participation, please refer to Frequently Asked Questions for Landlords.


27: What if I have questions that have not been answered?


If you have questions that have not been answered, please call BCHA at 303/441-3929.


 Landlords FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions For Landlords


1: How do I list my apartment with Section 8?


If you would like to rent to Section 8 tenants, notate in your rental advertisement that you are willing to accept Section 8. You may use the HUD Public Housing Agency listing on the HUD website to find your local housing agency address and telephone number: HUD Website


2: Does the housing agency screen Section 8 tenants?


The housing agency does not screen Section 8 tenants for you. The housing authority does conduct a criminal background check on all Section 8 applicants prior to issuing a voucher for Section 8 assistance. As a landlord, it imperative that you conduct your normal process, just as you would screen non-Section 8 tenants. You should ask for Social Security number, references, current and previous landlords, credit history, employment history, criminal record, etc., and check the information carefully.

There are many services available to help you screen tenants. These services can check to see if the prospective tenant has a criminal record, has been evicted, or has bad credit. When checking references, always contact the previous landlord as well as the current landlord, because the current landlord may want the tenants to move out. The housing agency's main requirement is checking that the applicant meets the income limits and other Section 8 eligibility requirements. Screening the tenant is the landlord's responsibility.


3: Who pays the security deposit?


If you want a security deposit, you must collect this from the tenant. The Section 8 program has no responsibility for damages, unpaid tenant rent, or other claims you might have against the tenant. The security deposit you may collect is usually one month's rent.


4: Do I sign a lease with the tenant?


You must sign a lease with the tenant for a minimum of one year. The lease should include:

  • Name of the landlord and tenant
  • Address of the rental unit
  • Term of the lease and how it will be renewed
  • Monthly rent amount
  • Which utilities are paid by the tenant
  • Which appliances must be provided by the tenant
  • Tenancy Addendum

You may include any other conditions that you normally include in your leases, as long as they do not violate any laws.


5: What kind of inspection is done?


Your rental unit will be inspected to make sure that it meets the housing standards of the Section 8 program. The inspector will examine the exterior of the building, the plumbing and heating systems, the exits and hallways, and each room in the apartment to make sure the unit is safe, clean, and in good condition. The unit must be vacant at the time of the first inspection, and all utilities must be turned on. The inspector must have access to the unit itself, the basement, and all common areas.

The inspector uses a checklist form provided by HUD, the federal agency in charge of the Section 8 program. For each item on the list, the inspector marks if the unit passes or fails (or not sure). If repairs are needed, the inspector marks this on the form. A family will not be allowed to rent your unit until you have made any needed repairs and the unit passes the inspection. The rental unit will be re-inspected each year. If problems are found, you must make repairs within the time allotted or else Section 8 will stop payments.

You can view the inspection form under “Forms” in this section.


6: How much rent can I charge?


The rent you charge must be reasonable compared to other units of similar size in your community. The Section 8 office will compare your rent to their payment standards, which are based in part on the fair market rents in your city or town. The fair market rents are the average gross rents (rent plus utilities) being paid in your community for modest apartments of varying sizes.

If the gross rent (rent plus utilities) for your apartment is less than or equal to the payment standard, the tenants pay 30% of their monthly income for rent and Section 8 pays the rest. If the rent is higher, the tenants must make up the difference. However, they are not allowed to pay more than 40% of their income for rent when they first rent an apartment.

If you want to increase the rent when you renew the lease, you must get approval from Section 8. The rent must remain reasonable and within the family's ability to pay, or else Section 8 will not approve it.


7: How do I get paid?


Section 8 will directly deposit the housing authority portion of the rent on the 1st business day of each month. They will continue to do so as long as the tenant remains eligible for Section 8 and your apartment meets the Section 8 program standards.

You are responsible for collecting the tenant portion of the rent each month.


8: May I evict a Section 8 tenant?


You may evict a Section 8 tenant in the same way you would evict a non-Section 8 tenant. The same laws apply.


 Section 8 Participants FAQ

Section 8 Participant Frequently Asked Questions


1: What is Section 8 and how does it differ from the Housing Choice Voucher program?


The Section 8 program and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program are two different names for the same program. This is a federal assistance program, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), to help people with low income pay their rent. Residents with these vouchers find their own housing and pay a percentage of their income for rent, while the program pays the landlord the difference.


2: What are the benefits of the Section 8 Program?


  • The program promotes housing choice; a household awarded a voucher can look for a unit within the neighborhood of their choice within the housing authority’s area
  • The program promotes quality housing; rental units are inspected annually to ensure that standards of health and safety are met
  • The household contribution is approximately 30-40% of their monthly-adjusted income
  • The program makes quality housing affordable; a rental subsidy is paid by Boulder County directly to the landlord
  • Participants pay the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program

3: Who is eligible for a voucher?


Households qualify for the program if their incomes are 50% or less of the area median income for the Boulder County area (or Broomfield, if applicable). An eligible household can be a single person that is elderly or disabled, as well as households with two or more members.


4: Where can a tenant use their voucher?


The Housing Authority assists residents living in Boulder County and within the City and County of Broomfield. Boulder County jurisdictions include Boulder, Erie (within Boulder County limits), Jamestown, Lafayette, Longmont, Louisville, Lyons, Nederland, Superior and Ward, and those in Unincorporated Boulder County include Allenspark, Caribou, Coal Creek (within Boulder County limits), Eldorado Springs, Gold Hill, Gunbarrel, Hygiene and Niwot.

Please note that while Boulder County places their residents with Section 8 vouchers within Boulder (city) and Longmont through intergovernmental agreements allowing them to do so, residents of Boulder (city) and Longmont must contact their designated housing authority to seek a voucher.


5: What kind of rental unit qualifies for the program?


All existing rental housing may be eligible; single-family homes, condominiums, apartments, mobile homes, townhouses and duplexes. All rental units must pass a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Inspection and meet local code requirements.


6: What if a tenant requires certain physical accommodations, such as those for a disability, to be able to live in their home?


A tenant may request a reasonable accommodation to assist in adapting with a disability so that they have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy their home. Such requests may include the addition of a live-in aide, physical modifications to the unit (at his/her own expense), the addition of a service animal, a parking space close to their unit, and the allowance of additional time to complete a request required of all tenants. The landlord must consider the request, but is not required to approve the request. In the event that the landlord does not accommodate the request, the tenant will need to move to place that will.


7: What are tenants’ rights and responsibilities?


At their annual recertification, households are given a Family Responsibilities form yearly to sign, acknowledging an understanding of all their responsibilities. Tenants have the right to:
  • Request a reasonable accommodation, to assist in adapting with a disability, so that they have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy their home. Such requests may include the addition of a live-in aide, physical modifications to the unit (at his/her own expense), the addition of a service animal, a parking space close to their unit, and the allowance of additional time to complete a request required of all tenants. The landlord must consider the request, but is not required to approve the request.
  • File a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) if the tenant believes the landlord was discriminatory on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, age, national origin and/or sexual orientation.
  • Privacy within the rental unit. The landlord must provide appropriate notice to the tenant if they wish to enter the unit during a reasonable time of day. However, in the case of an emergency, the landlord can enter the unit without notice to make necessary repairs.
  • Choose not to renew the lease at the end of the lease term or, in the case of a mutual agreement to rescind the lease, to move out of the unit during the lease term, provided a proper notice was given as outlined in the lease agreement
  • Request an appeal hearing for various staff decisions including termination of assistance or denial of a housing request (not considered a reasonable accommodation).

Tenants have the following responsibilities. They must:

  • Report all changes in income and household composition
  • Allow their case manager and/or the inspector to inspect the unit at reasonable times and after reasonable notice
  • Notify their case manager and their landlord in writing before moving out of the unit or terminating the lease providing a 30-day notice.
  • Request approval from Boulder County and their landlord to add a household member as an occupant to the unit
  • Not commit fraud, bribery or any other corrupt or criminal act in connection with the voucher program
  • Not engage in drug-related criminal activity or violent criminal activity
  • Not commit any serious or repeated lease violations

8: How is income verified, and how is it used to determine the tenant’s rent portion?


All income, benefits, and allowances must be documented. Boulder County staff must obtain written verification from independent third-party sources and document tenant files. In addition, staff receives employment information from an Enterprise Income Verification (EIV) report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). During the annual recertification, the case manager reviews the EIV report with the household and compares it with the verification documentation. Households are required to report all income; unreported income can result in repayment of housing assistance, or termination of assistance.


9: When are changes reported?


Any change in income or household composition must be reported to the Boulder County within 10 days of its occurrence. Households must contact their case manager or download the Verification of Earnings form, sign it, and submit it to their case manager with their employer’s name and fax number. Failure to report or under-reporting any changes could result in the household repaying any monies owed, or risk program termination.


10: What are annual recertification appointments, and why are they necessary?


Boulder County is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to review each household’s income, assets and household size, and to obtain signatures for required documentation at least one time per year. The purpose of the annual recertification appointment is to ensure that the correct amount of rent is being paid based on actual income and the home is the correct size for the household.


11: How is the recertification appointment scheduled, and what happens during that meeting?


Approximately three months prior the household’s annual recertification date, households are mailed a letter from Boulder County, listing the appointment date, time and location, and including a few authorization forms. The household is expected to attend the meeting, and on time, with all household members over age 18. To this appointment, they should bring the authorization forms and copies of all current income documentation and asset documentation (i.e., bank statements) from all household members. At this appointment, the household will be asked to review, complete and sign program documents and submit copies of income and asset documentation. This is also a good opportunity for the household to ask their case manager any questions they may have. At the end of the meeting, they will be provided with information regarding when they should plan to receive documentation regarding their new rent amount and any other follow-up information.


12: What if a household cannot make their scheduled recertification appointment?


Boulder County staff highly encourages the household to make this recertification appointment a priority in their schedule, even if it means rescheduling other priorities. This meeting, usually only held one time per year, is required for the household to continue receiving housing assistance. However, Boulder County staff understands that unavoidable issues such as illness, emergencies, or being out of town will require that the appointment be rescheduled. If and when a situation like this occurs, the household should contact their case manager as early as possible prior to the meeting to let them know that they are unable to make it. The case manager will contact the household at a later date to reschedule.


13: What if a household does not have transportation to meet their case manager at their office?


If a household is not able to make it to their appointment, they should contact their case manager to request that the meeting be conducted at their home. They may need to make this request every year, if needed.


14: How can a household find a landlord that accepts tenants with a Section 8 voucher?


Some landlords will note in their rental advertisement that they accept residents with a voucher. Additionally, Boulder County keeps a landlord list of some landlords throughout Boulder County and Broomfield (mainly of apartment buildings) that accept Section 8 rental assistance.


15: Are landlords required to rent to Section 8 participants?


No, a landlord may choose if/when to rent to tenants receiving housing assistance.


16: Can Boulder County provide information about a Section 8 participant’s rental history?


Staff reserves the right to release tenancy histories to an owner, as requested, with respect to such factors as payment of rent and utility bills; caring for a unit and premises; respecting the rights of others to the peaceful enjoyment of their housing; drug-related criminal activity or other criminal activity including drug trafficking; compliance with conditions of tenancy; and names, addresses and phone numbers of current and prior landlords.


17: Can a program participant rent a unit from a relative?


The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulations prohibit Boulder County from allowing a program participant to rent a unit from a relative. The only exception is for Boulder County to determine that such a situation would provide a reasonable accommodation for a household member who is a person with disabilities. These decisions are addressed on a case-by-case basis.


18: Can a household pay extra rent to make up the amount the landlord wants for the unit?


No, the household may only pay the full amount for rent and the utilities they are responsible for, as outlined in their lease. The owner may not, under any circumstance, charge or accept additional payments from any member of the household, other than that which has been approved by Boulder County.


19: Does Boulder County provide a specific lease for their program participants?


Boulder County does not provide leases for their participants; each landlord must provide their own lease between them and their landlord. (Lease templates can be found online and downloaded.) Boulder County may provide various supplements to leases for program participants, such as a Drug-Free Lease Addendum, required by the program and/or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The program requires that the initial lease be for a one-year term, with the option to rent for a month-to-month basis after that. The lease should include information such as names of the landlord and tenant, address of the rental unit, term of the lease and how it will be renewed, monthly rent amount, which utilities are paid by the tenant and which are paid by the landlord, and which appliances are provided by each party. A landlord may include any other conditions that they normally include in their leases, as long as laws are not violated.


20: How much can a landlord charge for rent?


The rent amount must be reasonable compared to other units of similar size in the community. Staff will compare the rent to the Boulder County and Broomfield Payment Standard, which are based in part on the local fair market rents. The fair market rents are the average gross rents (rent plus utilities) being paid in the specific community for modest housing units of varying sizes.

If the gross rent (rent plus utilities) for the unit is less than or equal to the payment standard, the tenants pay 30% of their monthly income for rent and Boulder County pays the rest. If the rent is higher than the payment standard, the tenant(s) must make up the difference. However, they are not allowed to pay more than 40% of their income for rent when they first rent a unit.


21: Can a landlord request a rent increase?


Yes, a landlord can request a rent increase. Each year, approx. three months prior to the lease end date, a landlord is given an opportunity, through a landlord questionnaire mailed to them, to let the program know whether they want to sign a new lease with their tenant(s), and if so, whether the rent amount will change and by how much.

If the landlord requests a rent increase after the initial term of the lease and within the current lease period, the landlord must provide at least 60 days written notice of an upcoming increase to their tenant’s case manager, as outlined in the Housing Authority Payment Contract (HAP). The proposed increase should not exceed the program’s payment standards for the type of unit and location, and may not exceed the rent for unassisted rental units of the same size and type owned by them. Boulder County reserves the right to deny any rent increase found to be unreasonable based on market conditions at the time or to delay the start of increases when proper notice has not been given.


22: How does the landlord get paid their rent?


The tenant is responsible for paying their rent each month and on time. If the tenant’s portion of the rent is late or unpaid, then the landlord has the right to enforce the lease. The program will directly deposit Boulder County’s portion of the rent on the 1st business day of each month. (If there is a delay in Boulder County’s payment, the landlord may not penalize the tenant.)


23: How are utilities paid?


The landlord decides which utilities, if any, they will provide as a part of the rent and which utilities the tenant(s) will be responsible for. If a tenant is responsible for paying a utility, Boulder County generally will credit the household with a utility allowance, which is based on the average cost of utilities, size of the unit, and the location of the unit; not on the household’s actual energy consumption. The utility allowance will lower the tenant’s rental share and leave them with the necessary money to assist with utility cost. If the tenant's portion is less than the utility allowance for the unit, the household will receive the difference in a utility check.


24:Who is responsible for paying the security deposit, and how much can a landlord collect?


The security deposit is to be paid by the tenant, prior to taking possession of the unit. The amount must be fair and reasonable, usually one month’s rent amount, and in compliance with state and local laws. The amount also must be comparable to the security deposit charged by the landlord to their other tenants.


25: What if a tenant has a problem with their landlord?


If a tenant has a disagreement or conflict with their landlord, they are encouraged to first speak directly to their landlord about it with the intention of resolving the issue. If they find that they need their case manager to get involved, they should contact her/him to see if they can get some guidance in working out the issues. It is important to note that the case manager may not always get involved on the tenant’s behalf, but will guide the tenant as to how to resolve the situation. Additionally, local resources are available to help provide information and mediation for tenant-landlord issues, such as the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office at 303-441-3700.


26:Can a landlord contact Boulder County about a lease situation between them and their tenant(s)?


Landlords participating in the program should interact with their tenant(s) as they would with their tenant(s) who are not receiving a housing assistance. The only difference is that the tenant’s case manager should be notified in certain circumstances such as unpaid rent, additional household members not listed on the lease, the use, sale or manufacturing of illegal drugs, or situations involving violence and/or domestic abuse. The landlord should work directly with the tenant on other lease issues such as property maintenance, noise issues, pet concerns, parking issues, and property entrance agreements. If a landlord is uncertain about which issues should be brought to the attention of Boulder County, please contact the tenant’s case manager.


27: Can a tenant who is a program participant be evicted?


Yes, a tenant who is a program participant may be evicted for any lease violations. Often, and dependent on the lease terms, the landlord will send warning letters to the tenant prior to eviction, making them aware of the violation. If and when a warning letter is received by the tenant, they should notify their case manager so she/he can work with them to try to remedy the situation in an effort to avoid an eviction. A landlord may not, however, evict a Section 8 tenant for non-payment of the housing assistance payment by Boulder County.


28: What are (some of) landlords’ rights and responsibilities?


Landlords have the right to:
  • Terminate tenancy under conditions outlined in the Housing Authority Payment (HAP) Contract for such reasons as serious and repeated violations of the lease, criminal activity, destruction of property, and failure to pay the tenant portion of rent
  • Refuse tenancy to an applicant as long as it is not a violation of Fair Housing laws
  • Collect an appropriate security deposit, used in accordance with local and state laws
  • Raise rent at the end of the lease term provided the required notice is given to the case manager in the required timeframe, and the increased rent amount is considered “reasonable” based on program guidelines
  • Choose not to renew a lease at the end of the lease term

Landlords have the following responsibilities. They must:

  • Use their own lease, as they would when renting to an unassisted household. Boulder County may require an addendum, which it will provide. The landlord must submit a copy of the lease to the tenant’s case manager.
  • Sign and return, as requested, all required documentation in a timely manner
  • Sign, submit and provide updates for documentation/information as required, such as a W-9 form, change of address, change of name, and/or change of building owner
  • Contact the tenant’s case manager to inform them of any situation that may affect their tenant’s housing assistance such as non-payment of rent, unauthorized household members, etc.
  • Provide copies of all eviction notices to the tenant’s case manager at the time the notice is sent to the tenant
  • Perform all necessary maintenance to ensure the unit meets the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Housing Quality Standards
  • Allow the unit to be inspected at least annually and must correct all report failures within the specified time period. Failure to make repairs may result in either a halt of Boulder County’s portion of the rent or termination of the Housing Authority Payment (HAP) Contract.
  • Comply with Fair Housing laws

29: Can a household take their voucher with them if they want to move to another county/state?


Yes, after a year of participation in Boulder County’s program, they may take their voucher with them if they choose move to another county or state. To do this, they will need to talk to their case manager, who will then connect them with Boulder County’s Portability specialist to complete the required paperwork. Wherever they choose to live, their new housing will need to comply with the same requirements as with Boulder County’s program, such as passing a housing inspection, and ensuring that the rent is fair and below the maximum payment standard for the new county/state agency.


30: What if a household wants to move within Boulder County (or Broomfield), and wants to use their rental assistance for another unit?


After the tenant verifies through their lease and/or their landlord that they may end their existing lease, the tenant should complete a Notice to Vacate form with all required signatures, stating their intention to move, and provide a copy to their case manager. Their case manager will inform the tenant of the guidelines, including maximum allowable rent amount, and to obtain the necessary paperwork for the prospective landlord in order to receive approval for the new housing unit. A program participant has 60 days from the end date of the previous lease to find a place to live. If they are not in a lease by the end of that period, they risk losing their voucher.


31: When is the housing inspection scheduled?


Approximately three months before the household’s annual recertification date, households are mailed a letter from Boulder County, listing their inspection appointment date and time. A household member over age 18 is expected to be present at the inspection.

Boulder County staff highly encourages the household to make this inspection appointment a priority in their schedule, even if it means rescheduling other priorities. This meeting, usually only held one time per year, is required for the household to continue receiving housing assistance.

Staff understands, however, that unavoidable issues such as illness, emergencies, or being out of town will require that the inspection appointment be rescheduled. If and when situations like these occur, the household should contact their case manager as early as possible prior to the inspection to let them know that they are unable to make it. The case manager will contact the household at a later date to reschedule the appointment.


32: What does the housing inspector look for during an annual inspection?


Each rental unit in the program is inspected to make sure that it meets the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Housing Quality Standards. The inspector uses an Inspection Checklist provided by HUD. Some items include the exterior of the building, plumbing, heating and electrical systems, windows, exits and hallways, and each room in the property to make sure the unit is safe, clean, and in good condition. The unit must be vacant at the time of the first inspection, and all utilities must be turned on. The inspector must have access to the unit, the basement, and all common areas.

The housing unit is inspected each year. For each item on the list, the inspector marks if the unit passes or fails (or not sure). If repairs are needed, the tenant will not be allowed to rent the unit unless/until the required repairs have been made and the unit passes inspection. In this situation, the landlord must make repairs within the time allotted or else Boulder County will stop their rent payments.


33: What is the Carbon Monoxide Detector Law and does it apply to a tenant?


Effective July 1, 2009, Colorado House Bill 1091 requires homeowners and owners of rental property (single-family homes, multi-family homes) to install carbon monoxide alarms near the bedrooms (or other room lawfully used for sleeping purposes) in every home that is heated with natural gas or propane, has a gas appliance, has a fireplace, or has an attached garage. This requirement applies to every home that is sold, remodeled, repaired, or leased to a new tenant after July 1, 2009, including landlords participating in the program. For more information, please read House Bill 1091.


34: What is The Violence against Women Act (VAWA) and how does it affect a participant’s assistance?


The Violence against Women Act (VAWA) is a federal law, effective 2006, to protect individuals who are victims of domestic violence by prohibiting apartment firms from evicting the resident because of criminal activity committed by a member of the victim’s household. In order to claim protection under VAWA, a resident is required to complete a HUD-approved form certifying that they are a victim of domestic violence.


35: How can I find out more information about landlord participation?


To learn more information about landlord participation, please refer to Frequently-Asked Questions for Landlords.


36: How can I find out more information about the Section 8 waitlist to obtain a voucher?


To learn more information about the Section 8 waitlist to obtain a voucher, please refer to Frequently-Asked Questions for Interested Participants.


37: What if I have questions that have not been answered?


If you have questions that have not been answered, please contact your case manager at 303/441-3929.


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Contacts

Housing & Human Services

Phone: 303-441-1000
Fax: 303-441-1523
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P.O. Box 471
Boulder, CO 80306

Boulder

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