Landlords’ guide to understanding Nevada’s Housing Choice Voucher program.

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If you’re a landlord in Nevada, this information will help you avoid potential legal consequences. Today, I will explain what the Housing Choice Voucher Program, formerly called Section 8, means and how landlords should navigate it.

 

The HCV program is a federally funded program that helps low-income families, seniors, and people with disabilities afford quality housing in the private market. Beneficiaries of this program can find apartments, townhomes, or single-family home rentals and the program pays a percentage of the rent.

 

Over the weekend, a social media account shared an experience with a potential renter. The landlord had listed his property for $1,850, but the potential renter asked if he could lower the rent to $1,700 because her housing voucher only covered that amount. The landlord refused, thinking the renter could just pay the extra $150 to stay in a nice place. This sparked a heated debate online where some people argued that $150 wasn't a significant amount, while others suggested that landlords should be more accommodating.

 

"Understanding the HCV policies and guidelines that you agree to when you sign the agreement is crucial to avoid potential legal troubles."

 

But what people don’t know is the Housing Choice Voucher program outlines strict guidelines on side payments with costly consequences if you fail to abide. When you accept tenants under the HCV program, there will be three contracts involved. Apart from the lease between the landlord and tenant, the HCV program will also have a separate contract with the tenant and another contract with the landlord.

 

The housing assistance program specifically forbids landlords from charging additional rent that’s not approved by the program. To do so constitutes fraud and will have costly consequences. At a minimum, the landlord and tenant may get blacklisted from the HCV. In Nevada, a legal aid attorney brought federal fraud charges against three major landlords a few years ago. These landlords were found guilty and faced fines of $100,000 for each instance of overcharging. This means that for every month they charged extra, they incurred an additional $100,000 fine. One landlord was fined around $1 million. This means that fully understanding the HCV policies and guidelines that you agree to when you sign the agreement is crucial to avoid potential legal troubles.

 

Navigating these agreements can be complex, but my team and I at Guardian Realty have extensive experience working with the HCV or Section 8. So, if you have any questions about this, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 725-220-GRIP or email danielle@griplv.com. I look forward to hearing from you!