WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO DO?
I would like to...
Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency
Providing Housing Resources With an Eagerness to Serve
Landlord meetings in 2020 are being rescheduled due to COVID-19.
Questions/Answers from previous Landlord Meetings
- If a landlord finds that a tenant is hoarding and rodents/pests appear, why is the landlord assigned the responsibility to correct the rodent issue?
If the unit has a shared wall (e.g., apartment, duplex, condominium) the landlord will be responsible. If the unit is a single family dwelling it would be a tenant responsibility.
- What actions can be taken when a landlord disagrees with an inspection deficiency?
Please contact Dodie Pool the Field Operations Supervisor at (405) 419-8230 to discuss and resolve an issue. Generally, if a deficiency is life threatening (e.g., security of unit) the landlord will be assigned responsibility.
- If a tenant removes a smoke detector after the initial lease, why is the landlord being assigned the responsibility at annual inspection?
If a removed smoke detector is visible, the tenant will be asked to return it to the place where it was initially installed to prevent it from being a deficiency as long as it is working. If it is not visible, the owner will be assigned to replace it. If the battery is the issue, it will be a tenant responsibility but if a detector is missing, it will be the landlord’s responsibility. Smoke detector issues may be addressed in the landlord’s lease and enforced.
- With the recent earthquakes, how are cracks in the exterior handled?
Cracks in exterior brick that do not appear to be jeopardizing the integrity of the building will have to be repaired with mortar and not just caulking.
- How long does it take an initial inspection to be scheduled on a unit that has never been on Section 8?
Generally, the appointment should be scheduled within two weeks of OHFA receiving a complete scheduling request. If a scheduling request is incomplete, OHFA will attempt to call and obtain the necessary information. If unable to contact the landlord and/or tenant, a letter will be sent.
- When a unit goes into abatement and the landlord calls for a reinspection, why does it take so long to get an appointment scheduled?
OHFA schedules most inspections about two weeks in advance. However, we will do our best to schedule the next appointment if a cancelation slot is available before the abatement time begins. OHFA would prefer that a unit not go into abatement.
- Can pictures be sent in to show life threatening items have been repaired to get a reinspection?
Normally, we do not conduct a reinspection for just life threatening items. The responsible party must correct and provide confirmation that the defect(s) have been corrected timely. This may include items such as a completed work order, repair invoice, receipt, or a confirmation statement. You may provide pictures in addition to the normal verification. However, if other non-life threatening items need correction, the life threatening item(s) may be reviewed as part of a reinspection.
- What actions can a landlord take when they find the tenant’s utilities are off?
Please notify OHFA if a tenant’s utilities are off so we can take further action.
- Sometimes the landlord is not aware of the utilities being off or the tenant vacating a unit until they get the termination letters and the Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) are taken back. Why are the landlords being penalized?
The HAP contract does not allow a payment to be made after the tenant has vacated the unit. If the landlord disagrees with the date, they can provide proof the tenant was still in the unit, such as, rent receipts, etc. for OHFA to review.
- If a unit goes into abatement and the appointment is canceled or the tenant is a no show, why is the landlord penalized?
Once a unit is in abatement and the appointment is canceled for some reason, the landlord can request the reinstatement day be reviewed by a supervisor but HAP cannot be paid until the unit is in compliance.
- If the lease has month-to-month fees, how can the rent be raised after the initial term of the lease?
Submit a rent increase request 60 days prior to the effective date of the requested increase. Once it is approved, then a new lease can be signed at the approved rent amount. A rent increase request form may be here.
- When a landlord does an inspection of the unit, how is damage to the unit handled?
Send the complaint in writing to OHFA. This is a lease issue and the landlord will have to enforce the lease. If a court ordered eviction or judgment is received, please provide a copy to OHFA for review and to document the family’s file.
- Can the reinspection letter be different from the first inspection letter since the landlord may not know if the previous inspection was canceled, a no show, etc.?
OHFA uses form letters for consistency and incorporates the most common situations by design. However, OHFA will review the letter and process but please be aware that future revisions must balance all steps including the landlord, database limitations, and internal procedures.
- When is OHFA going to start using email to communicate?
OHFA is planning a future implementation of electronic communication with our partners by the use of an online portal called AssistanceCheck. This software feature will enable landlords, applicants, and program participants to find answers and submit requests online.
- If the landlord has in his/her lease a no methamphetamine convictions requirement, can the landlord deny leasing to the tenant without affecting the OHFA assistance?
- What if the methamphetamine conviction was prior to tenant receiving assistance?
HUD requires assistance denial if any household member has ever been convicted of drug-related criminal activity for the manufacture or production of methamphetamine on the premises of federally assisted housing. OHFA reviews other methamphetamine charges/convictions during the preceding 10-year period.
- If a person is convicted of criminal activity and served five years and then gets released, can he/she receive assistance?
Yes, if they are otherwise eligible. OHFA reviews the previous three years, and if the conviction was outside that window then it is possible for a family to receive assistance.
- Several cities are passing nuisance ordinances where the landlord is receiving fines after a predetermined number of complaints. What can be done?
These should be handled on a case-by-case basis, and if they involve lease violation(s), the lease may be enforced. Please contact your legal counsel for guidance. Sometimes, federal law may override a local ordinance; however, each situation must be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
- What happens when the tenant requests a voucher to search?
Once the request is received and processed, the landlord will be sent a letter indicating the tenant has been issued a voucher. The letter indicates the tenant is still required to give notice as per the lease. When you receive this letter, it is always good to communicate with the tenant.
- Will municipalities have access to the new Uniform Physical Condition Standards for Vouchers (UPCS-V) data once uploaded?
This has not been determined at this time.
- In UPCS-V has there been a determination of how far away from the house bushes can extend?
- Can a landlord lease indicate a 60-day notice is required to vacate?
Yes. (A member in the audience stated that 30 days is stated in the Landlord Tenant Act but a review of Section 111.A indicates the landlord or tenant gives a written notice to the other at least 30 days before the effective date of termination).
- Sometimes the apartment manager/office does not know when Field Agents are on site. Can they notify the office when they arrive?
Field Agents should stop by the office to let you know they are on site. However, if you are out on the property or the office is not open, they can leave a door hanger to inform you they are on site.
- What causes delays in notifying the landlord of inspections fail items as sometimes it is over a week to be notified?
Fail letters are generated and sent the next business day after the inspection is completed. We have no control over the length of time it takes for the mail to arrive after it leaves our office.
- How does OHFA do its background screening?
OHFA reviews criminal activity for the last three years, and if it is methamphetamine-related the look back period is for the last 10 years. OHFA uses the following public websites for its reviews: Oklahoma State Courts Network (OSCN), Oklahoma Department of Corrections (ODOC), On Demand Court Records (ODCR), and the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW). If it is methamphetamine-related, we review Oklahoma’s Meth Registry website also.
- What can be done about a family that receives a voucher and moves from project-based assistance but does not notify the property of its move out?
OHFA can review the HUD database to identify families receiving project-based assistance, but it is the family’s responsibility to notify the property of a move out in accordance with their lease requirements. Unfortunately, there is not a solution or mechanism between Multifamily Housing and Public and Indian Housing that can resolve this issue.