More than five million low-income households in the United States pay their rent through Section 8 housing vouchers.
So many people get waitlisted for public housing each year as there just aren't enough properties available. As a landlord in a low-income neighborhood, you have the option to provide people with Section 8 housing through a private sector. Once authorized, you can accept a housing voucher in place of rent and get a guaranteed rent payment every month.
Continue reading to learn how to get your rental property approved as a Section 8 property.
Understanding Section 8 Housing
Section 8 is a government program meant to help low-income families find affordable housing. Generally, this housing is outside of a public housing facility. The program is only for those who meet a certain requirement as stated by HUD. Tenants with a housing voucher are only responsible for paying a certain percentage of their rent while the government covers the remaining balance.
As a Section 8 Landlord, you will notice that you will get rent guaranteed because the government is paying a percentage of the cost (and tenants aren't worried about coming up with the total amount).
You may also notice that you have fewer vacancy issues because those on a fixed income are less likely to move due to limited cash flow. As long as there are no problems between tenant and landlord, they will be willing to stay. In fact, your average tenant will stay for two to four years. A Section 8 program helps tenants stay for an average of six and a half years.
The potential tenants renting through Section 8 have been screened by the Public Housing Authority (PHA). While this doesn't mean that you and the tenant will be 100% compatible, it reduces the chance that they won't pay rent on time or miss payments. You can also hire us to perform tenant screening for each potential tenant to make sure you're compatible.
Getting Approved for Section 8 As a Landlord
Once you get an inquiry about Section 8 from a potential tenant, you can apply to get your property approved for Section 8. However, you don't have to wait for that tenant to appear to get started. If you are interested in applying to become a Section 8 landlord, you can visit your local PHA.
The Public Housing Authority in your neighborhood will determine if your property fits the requirement to accept Section 8. The PHA will perform an inspection that makes sure that the property is clean and has water/electricity.
Once the property passes the inspection, you and the PHA will sign and exchange the proper documentation that states you can accept vouchers for the monthly rent payments.
After you've gotten your approval, you can start looking for tenants to fill the vacancy. It'll be relatively easy because the PHA will promote your property for you. They'll also make sure that your potential tenants meet the criteria to live in a private sector of Section 8 housing.
Are You Ready to Become a Section 8 Landlord?
If your rental property is in a low-income neighborhood, you might thrive as a Section 8 landlord. You are one step closer to helping a low-income family get the housing they need to feel safe and secure.
Contact HomeRiver Group in Virginia to learn more about Section 8 and tenant screenings. We look forward to working with you.