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Frequently Asks Questions (FAQs)

Working with tenants that receive rental assistance can be beneficial to owners and tenants alike.

How can a landlord work with LSS?

LSS has a long history of partnering with landlords. We work with the tenants you find to help them be successful. Contact housing@lssmn.org to learn more and get started.

How does an owner get involved with LSS rental assistance program?

An owner becomes involved with receiving rental assistance from LSS through a prospective tenant who will inform the property owner if they receive a rental assistance through LSS. The prospective tenant will ask if the property owner is willing to participate in the program.

I have worked with other tenants that receive rental assistance before, but not LSS. What kind of guarantees does LSS make to protect the owner?

LSS is not able to make any guarantees. LSS is the subsidy administrator. The owner is protected under their lease and it’s important that a property owner enforce their lease with a tenant.

Does LSS screen tenants?

No. LSS recommends owners do their own background checks and follow their standard rental criteria.

How long does it take to have a tenant move in to my unit?

The time required to complete the signing and processing of lease and rental assistance paperwork varies. Typically this process takes three-to-six weeks.

Does LSS co-sign the lease with tenant?

No. LSS is the subsidy administrator and the lease is between the property owner and the tenant.

Are there limits on the amount I can charge for rent to receive a rental assistance?

Yes. Rent limits, also called payment standards or Fair Market Rents, are determined by the local housing authority and HUD. Rent limits for each type of rental property are based on various factors, including average fair market rental rate for location, utilities, number of bedrooms, etc.

What is a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection?

HQS is a federally mandated inspection requirement designed for all types of housing throughout the nation. HQS was developed to ensure that housing receiving rental assistance is decent, safe and sanitary. HQS inspections may require compliance with additional local housing codes.

My unit has already passed a Section 8 inspection and/or a city inspection, do I need to have another inspection by LSS?

Yes. LSS is required to conduct their own HQS inspection on a unit that is receiving a rental assistance through LSS.

How often are HQS inspections completed?

Units are inspected at initial move-in, annually and as needed or requested by a program participant or property owner. Any requested inspections are approved on a case-by-case basis. Owner and/or tenants are required to be present for the inspections.

When does the rent assistance start on a unit once a tenant is approved?

Regardless of the date the tenant signs the lease, moves in or the unit is available, the owner will start receiving assistance payments on the date specified in the subsidy agreement signed by the owner and LSS.

Will LSS provide retroactive rental assistance payments?

No. Rental assistance payments start once all criteria has been met, the unit passes the inspection, all rental assistance paperwork is signed with LSS and the lease is signed with the tenant.

What happens if the tenant receiving rental assistance violates the lease?

It is the property owner’s responsibility to enforce the lease. Any issues, concerns or lease violations need to be resolved directly with the tenant. The property owner needs to notify the tenant in writing and send a copy of the notice to LSS.

How and when does an owner notify LSS of a rent change?

The owner may adjust the rent by providing LSS and the tenant with 60 days written notice. LSS will determine whether the rent increase can be approved to receive rental assistance payments according to rental assistance payment standards. The owner may contact housing@lssmn.org prior to implementing the rent change to determine any impact the change may have on rental assistance payments.

Who is responsible if my unit fails an HQS inspection based on damages caused by a tenant?

Owners are responsible for making sure the unit meets HQS requirements. If the owner determines repairs required are due to damages caused by a tenant, it is the owner’s responsibility to charge the tenant for repairing the damage. Providing a list of damages to LSS with allow us to assist the landlord by providing tenant education regarding their responsibilities.

When does LSS mail out rent assistance payments?

Most rental assistance payments are made electronically at the beginning of the month. For those receiving payments by mail, rental assistance payments are processed on the first business day of each month. Please note, initial rental assistance payments are processed once all rental assistance paperwork has been completed. If you have questions or concerns about rental assistance payments, please contact housing@lssmn.org

What happens if a tenant vacates a unit before the lease ends?

Rental assistance payments can only be made when a tenant is living at the property. Tenants who vacate a unit in violation of their lease can potentially lose their rental assistance.

I have a tenant that lives in one of my properties that is not receiving a rental assistance and can no longer afford to pay for rent. How does the tenant get a rental assistance?

Tenants that receive rental assistance through LSS are referred through Coordinated Entry. You may suggest your tenant contact Coordinated Entry in their county of residence.

I want to renew the lease for a tenant that receives rental assistance through LSS. What steps do I need to take and whom do I contact regarding a lease renewal?

You must provide proper written notice to the tenant with your intent to renew the lease and send a copy of the notice to housing@lssmn.org

What can I do if a tenant is not paying their utility bills?

It is the property owner’s responsibility to enforce the lease. If the tenant is in violation of the lease, the property owner needs to notify the tenant in writing and send a copy of the notice to LSS.

I recently purchased a property that has a tenant receiving a rental assistance through LSS. Who do I contact to start receiving rental payments?

You can contact housing@lssmn.org to determine what steps you need to take to start receiving rental assistance on behalf of the tenant.

If the annual recertification isn’t completed and the tenant is living in the unit, will I still receive rental assistance payments?

No. The funders that oversee rental assistance require annual recertification, including an annual inspection to ensure the unit continues to meet Housing Quality Standards (HQS) and that rental assistance paperwork be completed by the tenant. If the unit doesn’t pass the annual inspection, rental assistance payments cannot be processed until the specified repairs or defects are corrected by the property owner and the unit has passed the re-inspection. Once the unit passes the HQS inspection, rental assistance will be reinstated and pro-rated from the date the unit passes inspection.




Housing Services - Minneapolis