Trying to figure out the different Fair Housing Laws can be difficult for anyone. Hiring a property management company is one of the best ways to ensure you are able to maintain your income source, and keep happy tenants. Understanding what Section 8 means, and how it could impact your investment is vital to managing your property correctly.

What is Section 8?

Section 8 is part of the Housing Act of 1937 created by the Housing Choice Voucher Program. What this means is Section 8 tenants have their rent paid by assistance from the program. Section 8 allows participants to pay up to 30 perfect of their adjusted income to put toward rent and Section 8 covers the rest of the rent.

Some landlords have determined that Section 8 is a great way to have guaranteed on-time rental payments. However, other landlords are less than thrilled when they deal with Section 8 as there are some bureaucracy hoops to jump through.

Section 8 will send a housing authority inspector to the unit to make sure it meets code and safety requirements if the tenant has chosen that particular unit. For landlords, having the housing authority on the property can be stressful as they do inspect a number of things and can give you a list of things to improve, change or fix prior to the tenant moving in. HUD will look for the following:
– Alternative fire exits
– Working locks on all doors and windows
– Updated, safe wiring
– Properly working plumbing
– Working fire alarms

Section 8 Housing Rental Requirements

Fair Housing Laws require individuals or families to meet certain eligibility requirements in order to be given vouchers. There are four important criteria areas that need to be met in order to qualify for Section 8 housing:
Family Status
Income Level
Eviction History

Is it Required to Accept Section 8 Housing?

Under the Fair Housing Act, landlords are not required to accept Section 8 housing, but they must treat applicants the same. It is recommended to work with a property management company if you are concerned about screening applicants.

The Pros of Section 8 Housing Tenants

Renting to Section 8 tenants can provide consistent payments each month. All tenants that come through Section 8 will have tenants that are pre-screened, which helps to reduce the stress on landlords to try and find quality tenants when they have a vacancy. Working with HUD to have Section 8 tenants does provide a consistent tenant base.

The Cons of Section 8 Housing Tenants

There are some areas of Section 8 that do make it difficult on landlords, and can cause some to consider not accepting Section 8 due to some of the following:
– Rental price regulations
– Section 8 tenant restrictions
– No voucher payments until the tenant moves in
– No security deposit from HUD
– Difficulty to evict tenants

Keyrenter Property Management Provo, UT, provides answers pertaining to Section 8 applicants. Contact our office for more information and tips on managing your property.