Section 8 tenants are renters with government vouchers for housing assistance. A percentage of their monthly income is designated for their landlords, and the area Public Housing Agency covers the remaining rent. Many landlords hesitate to take Section 8 vouchers, often because of bureaucracy. The Department of Housing and Urban Development sets quality standards for approved accommodations and for the rents you may charge on them. Other landlords, however, see Section 8 residents as a boon to their business.
Reserves of Ready Renters
Any landlord’s primary concern is keeping their properties occupied and making money. Owners who open their doors to Section 8 tenants will likely find a long line of applicants scrambling for the space. Housing agencies in many metropolitan areas are notoriously backlogged, with hundreds or more households frequently waiting years for a voucher, which itself may expire as soon as 60 days after issuance. Suffice it to say that Section 8 tenants are as keen to lease your property as you are to fill your vacancies. Provided your property passes muster, arrangements may be mutually beneficial for both sides.
It’s a common belief in the rental industry that low-income renters in general make the most delinquent tenants. Whether or not this is true, occupants involved in Section 8 programs have strong incentives to keep their houses in order and pay rents in a timely manner. HUD criteria verifies recipients’ current income. Landlords are encouraged to perform background checks through a reputable service for information on prospects’ financial, criminal, and past rental histories, just as they would applicants in the open market.
For their part, tenants are required to follow their program’s rules, known as “family obligations.” Along with HUD-SPECIFIC regulations, these include honoring the terms of the lease agreement, paying regular rent and keeping the property in decent shape. Failure to meet the requirements gives landlords just cause to issue an eviction notice.
Regardless of a Section 8 resident’s rent status, the local housing authority is contractually obligated to ensure that a landlord receives at least its portion of the rent each month. Depending on the tenant, that may be the lion’s share anyway. As for occupants, HUD has measures for dealing with reported delinquents. Landlords still reserve the right to evict Section 8 tenants for chronic nonpayment. Those tenants in turn can have their assistance revoked. Baring this in mind, diligent Section 8 renters will make every effort to pay up promptly.
Housing assistance programs prevent homelessness for millions of Americans, particularly among our most vulnerable citizens. You can choose to help your business and society at once.