The Most Northeastern City in the United States.

How to Lease a Unit

Caribou Municipal Building
25 High St
Caribou, Maine 04736
Lisa Plourde, Executive Director
Sue Ouellette, FSS/Homeownership
Phone: (207) 493-4234
Fax: (207) 376-0178
E-mail: housing@cariboumaine.org

Home

About Us

General Information

Applicant Information

New Voucher Holder Information

Voucher Briefing

Obligations of the Family

Voucher Term & Suspensions

How to Lease a Unit

Ways to Locate a Unit

Things to Consider When Choosing a Unit 

Renting from a Relative

Subsidy Standards

Security Deposit Information

Providing Tenant Information to Landlords

How to Submit Your Request for Tenancy Approval

Rent Reasonableness

40% Affordability Process

Housing Inspections

HAP Contract & Lease

Termination 

Hearings & Appeals

Participant Information

Landlord Information

Program Forms

Reasonable Accommodation

Report Fraud

Questions & Answers

Community Resources

 


Follow the Caribou Housing Agency on Facebook

facebook

Equal Housing Opportunity

 After you have been given a voucher, a Request for Tenancy Approval (RTA) form, and have been educated about how to use it, you can begin the seven-step leasing process.

  1. Find a suitable Unit

It is your responsibility to find a suitable unit and explain to the landlord that you have rental assistance through the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program.  To help you find housing, Caribou Housing Agency maintains lists of landlords in the Caribou area. You can find this landlord listing on this website or pick them up at the Housing Agency.

When you find a unit, the landlord will conduct a background check before entering into a lease agreement.  Landlords may ask the Housing Agency to supply the name and address of your current and previous landlords to help with the screening process.

Please note that vouchers can expire. You must begin the leasing process with a landlord within 60 days of receiving your voucher, unless given an extension.  The Housing Agency will only grant extensions upon written request from you, submitted before the voucher expiration date.

2.  Give the required documents to the landlord

When you are issued a voucher you will receive a packet of documents that need to be given to your landlord.   Give these forms to the landlord after they have screened and agreed to rent to you.

3.  The landlord completes the required documents and sends them to the Housing Agency

The landlord should complete, sign, and date the packet of forms as soon as possible.

The landlord may fax the completed forms to the Housing Agency at (207) 376-0178, or mail them to:

Caribou Housing Agency
25 High Street
Caribou ME  04736

4. Caribou Housing Agency reviews the documents and approves the proposed rent

Once the housing agency receives all required documents from the landlord, they will be checked to make sure the information provided is complete and accurate. The proposed rent for the unit must also pass two tests.

  • The rent is affordable—During the first lease term, your portion of rent and utilities cannot exceed 40 percent of the your monthly income. Side agreements requiring you to pay more than 40 percent of income are prohibited.
  • The rent is reasonable—The rent must be comparable to similar units in the same area. The Housing Agency decides if rent is “reasonable” based on an inspection of the unit and market data about rent levels in Caribou.

If the proposed rent does not pass both of these tests, the landlord will be asked to negotiate a lower rent.  Landlords are never required to lower rent, but if they do not agree to a rent that meets both requirements noted above, you will have to find another unit.

5. Housing Agency inspects the unit

If the proposed rent is affordable and reasonable, the Housing Agency contacts the landlord to schedule a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection of the unit.  These inspections make sure that housing is decent, safe, and sanitary.  The inspector may find items that must be fixed before the unit is approved for the program. In that case, the landlord will be given a reasonable amount of time to fix the problems, and the unit will be inspected again.

You should not move in before the unit passes inspection. If you do, you will be responsible for paying the entire rent amount due for that period.

6.  The unit passes inspection and the contract is mailed to the landlord

You may move into the unit when it passes inspection.

Caribou Housing Agency will then send the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Contract to the landlord. The contract is an agreement between the landlord and the Housing Agency, describing how the agency will make subsidy payments to the landlord on your behalf.  The Tenancy Addendum is required by HUD and should be attached to the landlord’s standard lease.

7.  You and the landlord sign the lease, the landlord signs the contract, and all forms are returned to the Housing Agency.

 After the landlord receives the HAP Contract, they sign the lease with you, sign the contract, and return a copy of both signed documents to the Housing Agency.

The landlord should keep a copy of the signed contract, and both you and the landlord should keep a copy of the signed lease and Addendum. Caribou Housing Agency accepts these forms by mail, fax, or in person at our Office: