The Housing Choice Voucher Program, or commonly known as Section 8, is a federal housing assistance program for individuals that meet the income requirements. The program is federally administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
On the local level, the Section 8 program is administered by a local agency. The type of agency varies by county. To learn the specific details of your local Section 8 program, you should contact your local office. Use the following link to find your local office - www.affordablehousingonline.com/section8housing.asp. Most local offices hold informational meetings, and those meetings are great information and educational resources.
In order to rent to Section 8 renters and accept Section 8 vouchers, your home must be approved by your local Section 8 authority.
Your first step is to contact your local Section 8 authority and complete their application. Once your completed application is reviewed, the Section 8 authority will schedule a home inspection on your property. Once your home is inspected and approved you are ready to accept a tenant with a Section 8 voucher.
The approval process timeframe can vary drastically from one local authority to another. If the process takes longer than expected and stay positive (I know, sometimes easier said than done) and remain professional. You want to build a long term positive working relationship with your local Section 8 authority.
Some areas have multiple local Section 8 authorities, and your home needs to be on each agency’s approved list as they run different programs. Some areas have a combined list, some accept other agency’s approved homes and some require their own inspection. Once again, it varies, so talk with each of your local Section 8 authorities if there is more than one.
Advertising Your Property
As you wait for your home to be approved for Section 8 occupancy, simple insert “Will consider Section 8” into your rental advertisements.
We have found that once we have an approved Section 8 Voucher applicant and the applicant tells your local Section 8 authority he/she is approved to rent the home, the Section 8 authority will expedient the timeframe for the home inspection.
HUD and your local Section 8 authority have criteria your home must meet in order to be approved. Normally, their standards are in accordance with local code; however, they could have additional requirements. Your local Section 8 authority should be able to provide you with inspection criteria.
Section 8 Voucher tenants have an unfair stereotype of not taking care of a home. As a landlord, it is your responsibility to ensure your tenant takes care of your home. You do that through properly maintaining the home and selecting a qualified tenant.
If you do not maintain the home, you will be perceived as a “slumlord,” and your tenant, Section 8 or not, will not take care of your home. You must set the example, and you (aka the business owner) do that by offering and maintaining a quality home (aka quality product).
Next Monday’s, May 30, article will be “Renting to Section 8 Voucher Tenants.”
Re-Blogged 3 times:
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