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How To Allow For Section 8 In Your Rental Building

Section 8 is a federally funded program that helps provide housing opportunities for low to moderate income families, elderly and disabled individuals. A portion of the tenant’s monthly rent is subsidized and paid directly to the landlord and the tenant is expected to cover the rest. If a family is approved for the program, they are required to sign a lease for one year and after the first year, the landlord has the option to continue leasing on a month-to-month basis. The landlord is also required to sign a contract with the housing authority.

Why Should you Allow Section 8 in Your Rentals?

There are several benefits to being a qualified section 8 landlord. Payments are generally more reliable because the Public Housing Authority (PHA)’s portion of the loan is always covered, while the tenant has the incentive to fulfill their portion to continue receiving funding. Although landlords under section 8 are entitled to conduct pre-screening themselves, housing authorities already screen tenants during the voucher application process and are required to provide this information to the landlord. This information includes things like records of previous addresses, current and previous landlords, and the type of screening conducted by the PHA.

Vacancy is often filled faster when accepting section 8 recipients due to an increased number of individuals seeking affordable housing opportunities. Section 8 waiting lists are usually full and include hundreds of individuals, which leaves your rental unit in high demand to a large pool of tenants. This is a factor to consider if you have found yourself struggling to fill vacancies in the past. The HUD website also provides information about qualified low-income housing opportunities which ultimately supplies a greater visibility for your unit.

How Do You Become a Section 8 Landlord?

To qualify and begin the section 8 landlord process, you must first call your local PHA and complete an application. Some information that you should have ready during the application is your property location, asking rent, and personal identification. Once the application is submitted and approved, an inspection is required by the housing authority to ensure that the property meets housing quality standards (HQS). The official list of requirements can be found on the Electric Code of Federal Regulations website. Examples of things that the inspector will check for include working plumbing, sanitary facilities, smoke detectors, security locks on all windows and doors, and that the overall stability of the unit is safe and secure.

Before inspection, it is important to note that these regulations vary from state-to-state. To ensure that your property meets the criteria, you can call your local PHA for clarification. The inspector will come into the rental unit and will mark each item as either failed, passed, or inconclusive. If an item is marked as inconclusive, the landlord may be required to provide more information for that particular item in question.

Can You Evict Residents In Section 8 Housing?

If you find that a tenant has violated terms within the lease agreement, you are granted the right to evict. However, this often calls for more serious or repeated offenses. After the first year of the lease, if the tenant refuses to comply with revisions of the lease, you are authorized to evict them. When evicting a tenant, it is important to understand the terms and laws within your state when carrying out this action. There are PHA guidelines to recognize as well. General requirements include giving a formal written notice that an eviction will take place and it must be by court action.

Becoming a section 8 landlord comes with a variety of benefits. Although there are many factors to consider, it is important to understand the laws and regulations to see if this qualification best suits your interests.


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