Here's all you need to know about renting out to section 8 tenants and becoming a section 8 landlord.
Many of us aren't aware of the section 8 tenant program. It's a governmental initiative whose goal is to improve the low-income community's living standards and find affordable homes. Due to this, tenants earning low income can rent out better homes with Landlords that have already participated in this Housing Choice Voucher Program. Among the many benefits of this program, there is the benefit of getting a steady flow of income for the landlord as well as affordable homes for the low-income groups.
According to the program, the government will cover the rent price of the tenant's apartment when they can't pay it. As a low-income citizen, you can try and get financing from the government.
However, to qualify for the program, the tenant will need to prove that the quoted rent price of the region he is renting into exceeds 30% of his monthly income. The system is rigid, and the tenant needs to go through inspections to qualify for the program.
Ever since the introduction of this program, people have been lining up to get into the program and qualify for it. The list in every state grew so long that they had to close it. In fact, LA closed the list back in 2004.
Section 8 Vouchers:
Section 8 is a voucher program, and there are a couple of types available, they are:
- Tenant-Based Voucher
- Project-Based Voucher
Tenants based voucher stays with the tenant through and through; even if he leaves one property, he can take the voucher with him to the other. However, since the list is too long, the tenant has to be very careful with his actions, or the government can take the voucher from him as there are many worthy candidates lined up for tenant-based vouchers.
Similarly, there is a voucher that comes attached to the property. Once the tenant moves out, he loses the voucher, and the next tenant that comes in can avail the voucher. Project-Based Vouchers are pretty popular as well. To get these for the property, the landlord has to pass many inspections as well as work with HUD directly. These tests and inspections require time, patience, as well as hard work on the part of the landlord. But there is gold at the end of this rainbow as after acquiring this voucher, the landlord doesn't have to worry about the vacancy rate anymore.
Once you understand what the two kinds are and how they work, you will also need to know the benefits as well as drawbacks of Section 8 Tenants.
Advantages of Renting to Section 8 Tenants:
There are definite advantages to being a Section 8 landlord.
Scheduled Rent Payments Are Guaranteed:
Here's the best thing about becoming a Section 8 landlord; the government pays part of your rent. This means that you will have a steady income coming into your bank account on the same date without any delays. You don't need to chase your tenant; you don't need to knock on doors; you get the money on time every time.
The Huge Waiting List For Tenants:
Since there is a huge waiting list, you will never run short of tenants. When one leaves, you will have another ready to take the first one's place. Your only headache is choosing the best one from all the available ones.
Here's the thing, you don't need to think, pay or make any kind of effort for marketing your property. Many websites run Section 8 property ads, and that too free of costs. So, your property will always be out there for the tenants to see. Get the spotlight without paying a penny.
All Tenants Are Verified:
Tenant screening is a long process that demands a lot of effort, as well as time and attention. Well, once you become a Section 8 landlord, there will be no need to screen and verify the tenant. All section 8 tenants are pre-screened as the government is outing up money for them, and the government isn't likely to hand out money just for anybody. A thorough background check is done on all tenants before qualifying them for the section 8 voucher.
There are also a few drawbacks of choosing to become a Section 8 landlord.
Inspections and Exams:
As a landlord, you will have to go through a lot of inspections. Moreover, there are more than a dozen specific guidelines that, as a Section 8 landlord, you will have to follow and pass. The whole process takes a lot of time.
Capped Rent Rate:
Your rental income means a lot when you are running this as a full-time career. However, the authorities will calculate the average rent price that low-income tenants are looking for and pay you. So, you do get a lot of tenants and a steady income, but you also get less amount of money for your rental property.
Eviction Procedure can be a huge headache:
You can evict your tenants, but you will have to do that by following the particular HUD procedure. And that procedure isn't an easy one to follow. The paperwork can become a nightmare.
Steps for Becoming a Section 8 Landlord:
The steps are easy, they may be long and require a lot of effort, but they are easy to comprehend.
- Apply via your local HUD authority in your local area. Gather all the information and details they require and send your application in
- Get your property inspected
- Follow up on the feedback you receive from the inspector regarding the repair and maintenance of your property
- Ready your property for final inspection; of all goes good, you will get approval, and you can finally start advertising your property
Like every other landlord, a Section 8 landlord also has ups and downs. However, everyone has their own reasons for trying out the Section 8 landlord/tenant voucher.