What Every Landlord Needs to Know
How do mobility programs attract landlords?
Families wanting to move to better neighborhoods need open units, so landlord participation is critical to a successful housing mobility program.
But often the market is so strong in those desirable areas that many landlords don’t see the need to rent to voucher clients, especially if they are worried about the financial risks of getting involved. Mobility programs reach out to those landlords and convince them to get on board.
The key is to educate the landlords on the benefits of participating. Program staffs keep lists of landlords in attractive areas, and then try to show those landlords that participation is easy and financially advantageous. Outreach can include direct mail, presentations at industry functions or one-on-one meetings. The program employees especially try to build relationships with landlords who don’t know about vouchers or have rejected them in the past, and then try to ease their fears.
What barriers exist to landlord participation?
Some landlords might not want to participate because they worry that clients won’t take care of their units. There might be security deposits that are too high for voucher holders to handle, or the voucher clients might be unable to pass credit checks that are necessary to get a lease.
In addition, some landlords might worry about the red tape and bureaucracy involved in working with a government program. For example, they may not want to wait a long time for an inspection needed to rent to voucher clients.
Mobility programs can help voucher clients pay for security deposits. They may partner with housing authorities to offer special services, such as expedited inspections, contract execution, direct deposit for payments and payment guarantees.
They may also offer to mediate between tenants and landlords to make it easier for both to navigate the voucher system.
How do mobility programs educate landlords?
The mobility program’s staff help landlords understand that voucher clients participate in the program because they want to help their families. The clients are screened by the housing authorities and are trained on how to be responsible tenants.
Mobility programs have employees who are devoted to landlord recruitment and assistance. And they host workshops and events devoted to teaching landlords about the programs.
Before accepting vouchers, most landlords will have to go through an orientation program through their housing authority. Those events can be used to highlight the benefits of mobility programs.
Benefits of Housing Mobility Programs for Landlords:
• Potential tenants who have been counseled and are well prepared to be good tenants and good neighbors
• Timely payment of monthly housing assistance payments
• Payment standards that may meet area market rents
• Security deposit assistance for families leasing in allowable areas
• Post-move counseling to tenants
• Experienced and customer-friendly staff who act as the landlord’s clearinghouse for program information