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Section 8 Landlord – How to Accept Section 8
HUD is the department of Housing and Urban Development. They are the government agency that allocates funds to housing authorities nation wide. Just about every large city has it’s own housing authority.
Each housing authority uses funds from HUD to administer housing programs locally, such as Section 8 or Public Housing. Your local housing authority (also referred to as a PHA – Public Housing Agency), is the agency you will work with in order to rent to a Section 8 tenant or complete a Section 8 application.
These are the steps you will need to complete in order to rent to a Section 8 Tenant and accept the Section 8 voucher.
1. Find a potential tenant that has a Section 8 voucher allotted for your number of bedrooms and the amount of rent you are going to charge.
You can list as many properties that you have on our site from now on. We have a lot of clients that have vouchers and are trying to find landlords in their area that can accept them.
2. Screen your tenant yourself. You will create a lease for no less than one year for those to fill out a Section 8 apartment application. You and your tenant will agree to this lease. The housing authority will view this lease to make sure it is legal.
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3. Contact your local housing authority and have them inspect your property (find this link farther down the page).
The purpose of the inspection is to ensure that a Section 8 tenant will have decent and safe housing provided by the Section 8 landlord. Your property must be vacant at the time of the first inspection. All utilities must be turned on.
The inspector must have access to all rooms, including the basement. The inspector will need to be able to observe the entire exterior as well.
Here is a very general check list the inspector will be adhering to:
No lead based paint.
Electrical outlets must be secure and functioning.
No exposed wires.
HUDAll ceilings must be sturdy and insulated properly.
All windows should open only from the inside. No broken windows or windows not properly installed.
Sturdy flooring. Pertaining to the quality of all floors, such as pealing tile or water damage.
All fixtures such as stoves, refrigerators, sinks and tubs should be present and properly installed.
Kitchen and bathroom cabinets should be in good condition.
Your plumbing stack should be functioning properly. All tubs and sinks should drain, and toilets can be flushed without clogging.
The exterior of the building should be properly tuck pointed (if a brick exterior). Exterior siding should be intact without exposures.
If there appears to be any water damage to your ceiling, you may be required to fix your roof.
4. Make the required improvements to your property if necessary.
5. Sign the HAP – Housing Assistance Payment contract with the Housing Authority for Section 8 housing.
6. You, your tenant and the housing authority must agree to the lease you have created that will be no less than one year.
7. You will request a rental amount that is within market value for that area. Your tenant moves in and pays their portion of the rent (about 30% of their monthly income toward rent). Their Section 8 voucher will pay the rest.
Landlords that refuse to rent to a tenant just because they have a Section 8 application, or any reasons regarding race, gender or disabilities are in violation of the Fair Housing Act, which Section8programs.com is an advocate of.
What are some advantages of renting to a Section 8 tenant?
Some of these advantages are as follows: guaranteed rent each month from the Section 8 office, renting above certain market values, having your property occupied for at least one year.
The request for Tenancy Approval is submitted to the Section 8 office after the landlord agrees to rent to the tenant. An Inspection Form is used to determine if the apartment meets the Section 8 standards the Tenancy Addendum must be attached to the lease.
Find the housing authority closest to where your property is located. Please read this entire page before contacting your housing authority. Note: Section8programs.com and Hiram Lewis are in no way affiliated with Sectin 8 housing, your local housing authority, HUD or the government.
Contact your local housing authority
Ask them to inspect your property to get started if you want to become a Section 8 landlord.
Who pays the security deposit with Section 8?
If you want a security deposit, you must collect this from the tenant. The Section 8 program has no responsibility for damages, unpaid tenant rent, or other claims you might have against the tenant. The maximum security deposit you may collect is one month’s rent. You may not collect the last month’s rent.
Do I sign a lease with the tenant?
You must sign a lease with the tenant for a minimum of one year. The lease should contain: the names of the Section 8 landlord and tenant, the address of the rental property, term of lease and how it will be renewed, monthly rent amount, which utilities are paid by the tenant, appliances that must be provided by the tenant, Tenancy Addendum You must include the Tenancy Addendum exactly as it appears on the HUD web site: Tenancy Addendum (requires Adobe Reader)
Other conditions may be included as long as they do not violate any laws.
What does the inspection entail?
Your property will be inspected to make sure that it meets the housing standards of the Section 8 housing or Public housing program. An inspector will examine the outside of the building, the plumbing and heating systems, the exits and hallways, and each room to make sure that it is safe, clean, and in good condition.
The property must be vacant during the first inspection, and all utilities must be turned on. The inspector must have access to all areas of the building.
A family will not be allowed to rent your apartment until the necessary repairs have been made to pass inspection.
The apartment will be re-inspected every year. If problems are found, you must make repairs within the time allotted or else Section 8 will stop payments.
How much rent can I charge?
The rent you charge must be reasonable compared to other units of similar size in that area. The Section 8 office compares your rent to their payment standards based in part on the fair market rents.
If you want to increase the rent with a new lease, you must get approval from Section 8. The rent must remain reasonable and within the family’s ability to pay, or else it won’t be approved by Section 8.
How do I get paid?
Section 8 sends you a check for their portion of the rent each month. You will continue to receive rent checks as long as the tenant remains eligible for Section 8 and your unit meets the Section 8 program standards.
The landlord is responsible for collecting the tenants portion of the rent each month.
What’s the eviction process?
The eviction laws are the same for a Section 8 tenant as a non Section 8 tenant.
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