Being a landlord means so much more than just owning properties and possibly renting them out. The property business comes with a lot of responsibilities and equal risks.
Landlords who are usually familiar with the responsibilities of running a rented property often realize it is not just about making profits but also about assisting people to get shelter over their heads.
In the United States, many low-income families are afforded housing assistance, which Section 8 is a type of housing program administrated by the federal government.
To become a Section 8 landlord, property owners must be familiar with the Section 8 program and understand what it entails mainly for tenants. The Section 8 housing program is used to assist low-income tenants to find affordable housing around them.
This type of low income housing program is established and coordinated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The Section 8 housing voucher allows tenants to pay a percentage of the agreed rental fee required by the landlord, which is then subsidized by the housing program, thereby making it affordable for low-income families.
How to get into the Section 8 housing program as a landlord
To become a landlord in the Section 8 housing program, there are a few steps that must be followed to have your property approved and payments deposited into your account.
The Section 8 program usually matches landlords with tenants, but the final screening and selection of tenants depends mainly on the landlord. Follow the below steps to get involved in the Section 8 housing program as a landlord.
- Advertise your property: Section 8 tenants can only rent your home if it is listed and advertised on their website or by the public housing authority. You can post and upload pictures with other specific details such as unit capacity, monthly rent, address, parking lot, etc., of your property on the section 8 websites.
- Prospective tenants must be screened: It is the landlord’s duty to select tenants provided by the public housing authority for the property. Then, when tenants begin to contact you, start the screening process, including background checks, to select the tenants for your property. The prospective tenants must go through the Local Public Housing Authority before contacting the landlord of their desired property.
- Inspection: After selecting the tenants for the property, there may be a scheduled inspection between the tenant and the landlord to check through the property before moving into it. The rental substitute, which will be taken care of by the public housing authorities, will start to be effective if the property has passed the inspection stage usually conducted by the public housing authority. In a case where the tenant moves into the property before the inspection is conducted or property approved, the tenant becomes responsible for the full rent payments for the unit.
Section 8 Landlord Application
Landlords are given the freedom to accept or reject the Section 8 choice voucher from tenants in most states in the US, except in states such as Washington and Oregon. If you as a landlord are ready to accept this type of housing voucher, you may need to fill out an application with the Local Public Housing Agency (PHA) in your area. To get started, you can follow the brief steps below to get your property listed.
- Get in touch with your local housing authority: Visit your local housing authority and fill out an application form which would enable you to include details about your property, personal information, and address. This application form is usually used by the housing authority for inspection purposes.
- Complete an inspection of your rental property: a public housing authority staff member is usually assigned to visit your property, which you intend to list for the Section 8 program. It is important that your rental property passes certain requirements like electricity, water supply, sanitary facilities, and so on.
- Signing of documents: immediately after your rental property passes the inspection and is ready to be included in the Section 8 housing program, you will need to submit and exchange documents with the public housing authority, which will also be signed, and then the voucher monthly payments can be made possible once tenants are available.
- Stay in touch with the public housing authority: once your property has been approved and listed and a Section 8 tenant has been selected, it is the task of the landlord to stay in contact with the public housing authority. This is important should there be an issue between the landlord and tenant, or an intent to raise the rent, and so on. The landlord would need to consult the public housing authority first.
As a property owner, you may wonder if Section 8 is good for landlords and what the possible benefits are to be obtained by participating in the housing program.
The advantages of being a Section 8 landlord are the fact that you enjoy free advertising of your property to potential tenants in the housing market.
There is also little chance of deliquescence, since tenants are thoroughly screened by the public housing authority and also by the landlord before moving into the property.
Another perk of being a Section 8 landlord is that you receive monthly rental income which would be paid by the housing authority and the tenants. Should the tenants run late in payment, there is a guarantee that a steady monthly payment would be made into your account courtesy of the public housing authority.
Some of the setbacks which a Section 8 landlord can come across may be that the program requires the property to go through some home inspections in order to get approved. Also, for landlords of high-valued properties, they may not get as much in rental fees as a Section 8 landlord.
Above all, the benefits usually outweigh the setbacks of the Section 8 program, and it is equally enjoyed by both the landlord and the tenant. If you have properties which are qualified for this section 8 housing program, it is definitely a program worth giving a trial as a landlord.