Hi, this is Tanya with Envy Property Management. Trying to figure out the different Fair Housing Laws can be a challenge to completely understand and understanding what Section 8 Housing actually is and how it works could impact how your investment property is managed. Of course, hiring a property management company is one of the best ways to ensure you are not breaking the law while being able to maintain your income source and keep happy tenants. So today I’m going to answer a lot of questions landlords may have about Section 8 Housing. Including, what is Section 8 Housing, whether landlords are required to accept Section 8 Housing tenants, what the landlord requirements are, what the tenant requirements, and the pros and cons of offering this as an option at your investment property.
#1: What is Section 8 Housing?
Section 8 is part of the Housing Act of 1937 created by the Housing Choice Voucher Program. This is a federally funded rent subsidy program designed to supplement the rent payments of low-income households. This program allows families to pay 30-40% of their monthly income in rent. The voucher also specifies the applicable Fair Market Rent (FMR) for the unit size appropriate for the family.
In some areas in Northern Utah, landlords have determined that Section 8 is a great way to have guaranteed on-time rental payments. However, other landlords may be less likely to want to deal with Section 8, as there are some red tape requirements you must be willing to abide by.
#2: Are Northern Utah Landlords Required to Accept Section 8 Housing?
Under the Fair Housing Act, landlords are not required to accept Section 8 housing, but landlords must treat all applicants the same. You cannot accept Section 8 for one applicant and not the other, this is discrimination. If you are concerned about screening potential tenants with Section 8 Housing, it is highly recommended you work with a professional property management company. Getting caught in the middle of a potential discrimination situation can leave you wide open for a lawsuit.
#3: What are the Landlord Requirements For Section 8 Housing?
There are a few things landlords will be required to do in order to offer housing to a Section 8 tenant. This includes an inspection of the property performed by a housing authority inspector to make sure it meets code and safety requirements if the tenant has chosen that particular unit. For landlords, having the housing authority on the property can be a bit stressful as they do inspect a number of things and can give you a list of things you must improve, change or fix prior to the tenant moving in. HUD will inspect the property for things such as:
- Kitchen has stove or range with oven, refrigerator, and sink.
- Determining if reasonable space present for safe food storage & preparation.
- Properly flushing toilets
- Fixed washbasin, and presence of tub or shower.
- Adequate ventilation/interior air quality.
- Alternative fire exits
- Working appliances
- Working locks on all doors and windows
- Updated, safe wiring
- Properly working plumbing
- Working fire alarms
#4 Tenant Requirements for Section 8 Housing
Fair Housing Laws require individuals or families to meet certain eligibility requirements in order to be given vouchers. There are four important criteria areas that need to be met in order to qualify for Section 8 housing:
- Family Status
- Eviction History
#5: The Pros of Renting to Section 8 Housing Tenants
Renting to Section 8 tenants can provide consistent payments each month as the rent payment will come directly from the program to you. All tenants that come through Section 8 will have tenants that are pre-screened, which may help reduce the stress on landlords to try and find quality tenants when they have a vacancy. There is also typically less turnaround with Section 8 tenants, as well as motivated tenants to make their portion of the monthly rent payment on time. Working with HUD to have Section 8 tenants in your rental properties does provide a consistent tenant base
#6: The Cons of Renting to Section 8 Housing Tenants
There are some areas of Section 8 that do make it difficult on landlords, and can cause some to consider not accepting Section 8 due to some of the following:
- Rental price regulations
- No voucher payment until after the tenant moves in
- HUD does not pay any portion of the security deposit
- Property inspections
- Section 8 tenant restrictions
- Required repairs
- Difficulty in evicting a tenant if necessary
That’s it for today’s video on should Northern Utah landlords accept section 8 housing tenants. If accepting section 8 housing tenants seems a little too overwhelming and stressful and want help choosing a Northern Utah property management company with years of experience, please contact us at Envy Property Management. We are a wealth of information when it comes to professional property management of your investment property. You can always ask us for some valuable tips and extra resources to make the choice simple and painless. Give us a call today, 801-337-4337 or visit our website at envypm.com where you can easily view our three-tiered pricing plan, so you can choose the package that best fits you and your needs.