Millions of United States residents live in Section 8 housing. The Housing Act of 1937 gives low-income families and individuals access to affordable housing.
Section 8, or the Housing Choice Voucher, pays landlords up to 70% of a tenant's rent (including some utilities). The funds come from your local Public Housing Agency (PHA) to give people the chance to rent homes in the private housing market.
Continue reading to learn what landlords must do before accepting Section 8 tenants.
Contact the Local Public Housing Agency
To become a Section 8 landlord, you have to fill out an application. You can do this by contacting your local public housing agency where you fill out the Section 8 paperwork.
The application will ask for general information including your personal information and the address of your rental property. It will also inquire about your monthly rental rates, the lease start and end date, and what utilities are included in your rent.
If your rental rate is too high, the PHA will ask that you lower that amount to meet the Fair Market Rent Standards set forth by HUD.
Undergo a Rental Property Inspection
Before your rental property is accepted, someone from the PHA will perform an inspection. They have to make sure that the rental property is safe for humans to live in. Some of the things they might look for are:
- Functioning (and locking) windows and doors
- Working appliances such as fridges and stoves
- Light switches and outlets with covers on them
- Running water and plumbing fixtures
In addition to that initial inspection performed by the PHA, the inspector will come out every year to ensure that landlords continue to comply with the housing requirements.
Market to Section 8 Tenants
By opening your rental property up to tenants using Section 8, you widen the pool of prospective tenants available to you. The PHA can even list your property on their website so that you don't have to find new tenants on your own.
The PHA will screen tenants on a state and federal level before allowing them in the Section 8 programs, but you should still perform the usual tenant screening process. You must take care to make sure that your future tenants aren't taking part in illegal activity.
It's important that during the screening process, you avoid discriminating against protected classes. You can learn more about these individuals in the Fair Housing Act.
Ready to Become a Section 8 Landlord?
There are a ton of low-income families waiting to find affordable housing in the neighborhoods where you currently have a vacant rental property. By becoming a landlord that accepts Section 8, you are giving them hope for a better life.
Section 8 landlords are more likely to have their tenants pay rent on time. They also have a wider pool of tenants to choose from to fill their rental properties.
Contact HomeRiver Group Hawaii today for more information. We look forward to helping you with any of your property management and housing needs.