Read below for frequently asked questions by owner/landlords. Also, check out Important Facts for HCV Owner/Landlords.
1. Why do I have to mail in the direct deposit form? Why can’t I just fax or email it? The State of TN Department of Finance and Administration implemented receiving the ACH form through the mail to try to deter and prevent fraud. Receiving original signatures on the mailed forms can be inspected better for fraud on the original documents versus faxed or scanned documents that can be easily altered.
2. I am a new landlord. When should I expect to get paid? Getting paid depends on when the local field office and the State of TN finalize all your paperwork. This varies from customer to customer depending on the specifics of your individual case. The first payment should not be more than 60 days after all proper paperwork has been received by the local field office and the State of TN. After this, payment should be processed by the 5th working day of each month.
3. How do I get in contact with CGI?
CGI’s Phone number: 1-855-599-5867
CGI’s Fax number: 1-855 -251-1213
CGI’s Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
CGI’s Website: thda.cgihousing.com
CGI’s Address: CGI
1001 Lakeside Ave Suite 800
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
Landlords/owners are required to register on CGI's portal to receive real-time information. You will need to enter your unique lD number from the Self Certification letter and PIN and your billing zip code for online registration.
4. Why do we have to have direct deposit payments? We have direct deposit to help process payments quicker and more efficiently for our customers.
5. What is abatement? And what is the process of abatement? Abatement is required when an assisted unit fails the HQS (Housing Quality Standards) inspection and the owner fails to return the completed HQS Repair Certification to CGI (THDA's inspections contractor) within 30 days of the fail date. The owner's payment will be abated (stopped) and the owner will not be paid for each day the unit is out of HQS compliance. Any overpayment to the owner will be deducted from future payments or the owner will be required to reimburse THDA if they have no other tenants. An abatement for HQS violations cannot exceed 30 days and if so the contract with the owner will be terminated and the tenant must relocate to continue to receive assistance. The tenant is not responsible to pay the owner for rent deducted by THDA for HQS abatements.
6. What is the inspection process? There are two types of inspections: Initial Inspection and an Annual Inspection
A. Initial Inspections: A Request for Tenancy Approval is submitted to determine eligibility. Once THDA determines that the family is income eligible an inspection will be created and you will be contacted by CGI with an inspection appointment within 14 days. The home must pass Housing Quality Standards inspection within 30 days. CGI will mail a letter to the owner and tenant notifying both of the time and date of the inspection -this will also be followed up by a call from CGI for the date and time of the inspection. The inspector goes to the home and conducts the inspection and will notify the owner or representative at that time, if the home passes or fails the inspection. If the home fails, a letter will be mailed to the owner and tenant identifying the failed items. (Owner may view photos of the failed items through the CGI portal (as long as the owner has registered and has an account set up).
A second inspection is scheduled by CGI to return to the home and recheck the failed items. If all failed items are corrected and the home is considered passed inspection, at that time the owner and tenant are eligible to sign a new 12 month lease, please check with your local THDA office to get the date the tenant is eligible to start the new lease.
B. Annual Inspections: When the unit is due for inspection, notice of HQS inspection appointment will be mailed to you and the participant.
Note -Tenants are required to have an annual or bi-annual inspection. (Not all tenants will be inspection annually-some will be bi-annually.)
CGI will mail the owner and tenant a notice for annual inspection, including the date and time of the inspection. CGI will also follow with a courtesy call for the inspection date and time. The tenant or an adult over 18 must be at the home for the inspection. If the home passes inspection, both parties will receive a notice that the home passed inspection. If the home fails inspection, both parties will receive a notice of the failed items, included with the responsible parties for the repair. Owners may view photo so fall repairs thru the CGl portal as long as you are registered. If the home fails inspection a self-certification form is mailed to the owner and tenant, which will need to be returned within 30 days to avoid possible abatements to the owner and or termination to the tenant. The Self Certification form just declares that the repairs have been completed and both parties are required to sign the same form and return to CGl.
7. What is a HAP contract? The HAP Contract is the legal binding agreement between the owner and the THDA. This Contract outlines the owner’s responsibilities and ensures housing assistance payments on behalf of the tenant as long as both tenant and owner are in compliance. It is the responsibility of the owner to read the HAP contract.
8. What is a lease addendum? A Lease Addendum is a document signed by the landlord and tenant to ensure all HUD required information is included on an executed Lease. In the event the lease does not cover all HUD required information, the Lease Addendum steps in and includes all required information according to HUD guidelines.
9. Where do I get the lease? A landlord can obtain a lease in any of the following ways: can draft a leasing document themselves or have an attorney create one for them, download a copy from the Internet or purchase one from an office supply store.
10. I have tenants who are not currently on Section 8 but they need the assistance; how do they get the assistance? Anyone interested in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program may apply when a wait list is open (accepting applications). Visit the renters section for more information.
11. Do I have to do a new lease if I just want to do a rent increase? New leases are not required to request a rent increase. However, you will need to complete an Owners Request for Rent Increase form. You may obtain this form from your client’s caseworker or online.
12. When can I request a rent increase? An owner may request a rent increase at the one year anniversary of the owner's lease (the date of the owner's lease must agree with the Housing Assistance Payment Contract). Requests for an increase in rent are subject to a rent reasonableness test by THDA and must be accepted by the participant. Requests must be submitted to THDA 60 days before the anniversary date of the initial lease (anniversary date). The tenant must agree to the rent increase and if they do not agree they may be issued a relocation voucher.
13. Who do I contact when I have questions about my direct deposit? Contact the caseworker at the local field office to inform them of any changes to your direct deposit information and they will be able to guide you through the process. You can also contact the State of TN Supplier Information Department's email for inquiries and questions at email@example.com.