Rights and Responsibilities

Section 8 Rights and Responsibilities

Tenant Rights

In New York City, Section 8 tenants have many rights and responsibilities relating to the maintenance and quality of their housing. It is important that tenants understand both their rights and responsibilities.

In addition to universal tenants' rights, Section 8 tenants are allowed the following:

Tenant Responsibilities

Section 8 tenants must comply with all rules and requirements of the Section 8 program as a condition of receiving subsidy. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Providing information necessary to administering the program (including Social Security numbers and income information)
  • Maintaining Housing Quality Standards
  • Paying your share of the rent on time
  • Complying with all the terms of your lease
  • Completing an annual recertification package
  • Reporting all changes in family composition and income within 30 days
  • Reporting any absence from the unit of 90 days or more
  • Notifying HPD before moving and obtain a move voucher.

For more information, see the Section 8 Administrative Plan, Section 8 Frequently Asked Questions, or Briefing Book or call the Section 8 Helpline at 917-286-4300.

In the video below, learn about your rights and responsibilities as a participant in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program:


For information about HPD’s Mainstream Voucher Program, please see Mainstream Vouchers: Frequently Asked Questions

Victims of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking

Victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking may be eligible for accommodations related to their housing assistance under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 2013. HPD’s Housing Choice Voucher Program Administrative Plan in Chapter 3 explains who may be eligible for a rental subsidy as an accommodation under VAWA. This includes participants and applicants with tenant based vouchers or residents in Project Based Voucher assisted developments which includes MOD Rehab and Continuum of Care programs (Shelter Plus Care or MOD SRO).

Please note, VAWA does not apply to NYC 15/15 participants, but NYC 15/15 participants can request a similar accommodation using the form below.

If you have questions about your subsidy type, please call Client Services: 917-286-4300

Property Owner Responsibilities

Owners that rent an apartment to a subsidized household will sign a Housing Assistance Payment Contract (HAP) which details the responsibilities of both parties, including but not limited to the following:

  • Tenant selection and leasing based on a family's tenancy history
  • Normal landlord functions during the lease term, e.g., maintenance, rent collection
  • Collecting amounts due from family under the lease (tenant rent, security deposit, other tenant charges for damage to the unit)
  • Compliance with equal opportunity requirements
  • Paying for owner-supplied utilities and services
  • Providing reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities
  • Notifying HPD of rent increases and when a tenant vacates an apartment

Owners are required to execute a lease with their tenants. Owners have the same responsibilities for managing their leases and property with tenants receiving rental subsidies as they do for non-subsidized tenants. Tenants may not damage the unit or otherwise violate their leases. Tenants must pay their portion of the rent in a timely fashion. Just as owners are responsible for enforcing the terms of their leases with non-subsidized tenants, owners must enforce the terms of their leases with subsidized tenants.

If an owner has difficulty enforcing the terms of the lease with a subsidized tenant, for example, tenant-caused damage, housekeeping problems or non-payment, provide documentation of the problem to the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). HPD will review the matter and, if necessary, warn tenants to uphold their responsibilities under the lease. Serious and repeated violations of an Owner's lease are grounds for termination of a tenant's rental subsidy assistance.

Owners may not hold assisted tenants responsible for the HPD portion of the rent. If you have a payment problem with the HPD portion of the rent, do not attempt to collect it from the tenant. Instead, contact HPD at 917-286-4300.