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Landlord Letter from DBHA, August 1, 2019

Dear Property Owner/Manager:

We appreciate your participation in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. This program issues over $7,000,000 to private property owners in the Daytona Beach area. The HCV program provides critical housing opportunities for low income persons, seniors and disabled persons in our community. Its significant financial distribution impacts middle and upper income property owners and business in the community.

The Housing Choice Voucher department is undergoing considerable reorganization designed to ultimately provide a better customer service experience for our participating property owners and participants. During this transition a team has been assembled to manage outstanding issues with payments, HAP contract, leases, RFTAs and Inspections. A number of issues have been reported and resolved or are being researched. Please notify us immediately if you have an outstanding issue that has not received our attention. We are requesting that you send an email, include in the subject line a brief description of the issue, example: HAP Contract, Payment, Move-Out etc. We expect to appoint a single point of contact for landlords in the next 30-60 days to streamline the amount of time that you must spend in contacting DBHA.

Some of the issues that we are researching are resulting from decisions or actions that are not in line with the HAP Contract or other program rules. We are preparing to host an owner workshop during the last quarter of this year to help to support participating landlords in successfully navigating the program. Here are a few things that you can do to help us ensure timely payments and responses to your requests:

HAP Contract

Utilities and Appliances - This section is completed by the owner and indicates what utilities or appliances the owner provides and what is provided by your tenant. There should be no changes to the utility or appliance indications during the first year of the term of the lease. Changes after the first term should be in the form of a lease addendum signed by you and your tenant, or an offer of a new lease. If the tenant is responsible for paying for utilities, they should receive a bill from the utility company in their name, reflect use and cost. Several owners are send statements from third party companies, or splitting utility bills amount several tenants. In cases where there is not a separate dedicated meter or a dedicated sub meter which is only applicable to the tenant, you should indicate that this is an owner paid utility. Tenants cannot be asked to pay any portion of common area maintenance or service associated with your HOA. If you are currently in an arrangement where the tenant does not receive an individual bill based on a meter or sub-meter tied exclusively to their unit, please notify us via email. We will request that you submit a revision to the existing lease and will process an adjustment providing you with a 60 day notice of any change. If this is the case we must receive your request within 30 days of the date of this notice.

Rent Increase Requests: (Section 15 of Tenancy Addendum)
The tenant and the owner may not make any change in the tenancy addendum. However if the tenant and the owner agree to any other changes in the lease, such changes must be in writing, and the owner must immediately give the PHA a copy of such changes.

In the following cases, tenant-based assistance shall not be continued unless the PHA has approved a new tenancy in accordance with program requirements and has executed a new HAP contract with the owner: (1) If there are any changes in lease requirements governing tenant or owner responsibilities for utilities or appliances; (2) If there are any changes in lease provisions governing the term of the lease; (3) If the family moves to a new unit, even if the unit is in the same building or complex.

The DBHA acknowledges that we must respond to your requests promptly and provide accurate information.

Any changes, including changes in rent must be submitted in writing to both the DBHA and the tenant at least 60-90 days in advance of the anticipated change, please note that the owner and tenant must agree to the change. A request for an increase in rent must identify the reason for the change. For example, increase in taxes or insurance, improvements to the property etc.

The owner may not move the tenant from one unit to another without a new RFTA, inspection and HAP contract.

DBHA is not a party to your lease. We encourage you to consider occasional visits to your units to ensure that they meet housing quality standards. Owners whose units pass during the first inspection will become eligible for bi-annual (every two years) inspections.

The owner must maintain the contract unit and premises in accordance with the housing quality standards (HQS).

HQS will be covered during the upcoming owner workshop. The HQS protocol is available on our website at www.dbhafl.org (housing programs, housing choice voucher, inspections).

Most importantly, we wish to again thank you for being a vehicle for economic and social contributions to the Daytona Beach community. Please share your thoughts, concerns or other matters with us via email.

Sincerely,
Terril Bates, CEO