Section 8 has gotten a bad rap but in most recent years the Housing Authorities have worked hard to clean up this program. In the past, you could count on a Section 8 home to be a dilapidated, run-down home with messy tenants in areas you wouldn’t dare go near.
Today, I think Section 8 is a wonderful program for landlords with lower end properties. Operated by city and county governments, Section 8 has a whole new set of rules that have helped make th
is program a very attractive rental alternative. Here’s how it works in general (but does vary from program to program).
A tenant must apply and qualify for Section 8 and once accepted, the tenant begins a home search. In some locales, the landlord must attend a class before he can participate in the program. Once the tenant identifies a homes and the landlord is willing to participate, the Housing Authority will inspect the home to ensure it meets code. Should there be issues, the landlord will have to repair/update before the tenant can move in.
The landlord is allowed to treat this tenant as he would any other tenant and require an application to be completed and perform tenant screening (credit, background, rental history, etc). The landlord may reject the tenant based on his normal tenancy requirements and move on to the next tenant.
If a home passes inspection, it does not “stay” on the Section 8 list and is re-inspected each time a Section 8 tenant and landlord agree to permit Section 8.
When a tenant is accepted and the home passes inspection, the landlord writes up a regular lease and manages the home normally. The Section 8 tenant is required to adhere to the lease and if an eviction occurs due to a lease violation, the tenant can be expelled from the program.
There is an annual inspection of the home and the landlord must make repairs or the home is not renewed for occupancy by the housing authority and the tenant must find a new home. The inspection not only looks at the home, itself, but the tenant is required to keep the home in good condition and may not live in squalor.
Section 8 will pay all or some of the monthly rent. Based on the tenant’s income, familial situation and a few other criteria, the tenant may be required to make partial rental payments due as indicated by the lease. Non-payment can be grounds for dismissal from the program. The Housing Authorities’ portion will be electrical deposited as per your lease.
Due to the great changes made to this program, Section 8 is a wonderful program to consider. Not only is your asset protected and the rent payments come on time, but Section 8 tenants are usually long term tenants.