Section 8 housing is a major topic for landlords and real estate investors, and many find both extreme positives and negatives associated with the program. Section 8 is a tenant-based program where eligible families with a certificate or a voucher are able to lease a home or apartment in the private sector for a portion of the rent. The local housing authority will pay the remaining portion of the rent, guaranteeing that the landlord gets paid on-time on their end (and usually the majority is on-time, since it’s paid by the housing authority).

The local housing authority does have quite a few guidelines a Section 8 landlord must adhere to, for instance, they cannot charge a Section 8 tenant more than Fair Market Rent, even if they have similar units being rented for more for non-Section 8 tenants. Fair Market Rent is also determined by HUD, the Department of Housing and Urban Development. There are quite a few pros and cons to Section 8, and one of the most important things to understand is that landlords do not have to accept Section 8 applications, but many private owners may find that they enjoy the guaranteed income from the housing authority.

Here are a few basics about Section 8; what it is and who is eligible:

Section 8 has been used in the past to open up housing that the courts deemed discriminatory. In the event that housing residents need to be relocated because of rehabilitation or demolition of public housing units, Section 8 comes into play, and lastly, what most people are familiar with; it’s housing assistance for low income families or individuals who rent instead of buy Denver Colorado homes for sale. To be eligible for Section 8 housing you must meet government income guidelines, pass a criminal background check and have at least one family member who is a U.S. Citizen or has eligible Immigration status.

Advantages of Section 8 Housing

  • Guaranteed rent for at least the majority of the rental payment
  • Yearly inspections of the property
  • Fair Market Rental rates
  • On-time payment

Disadvantages of Section 8 Housing

  • Two contracts to deal with-your own standard lease and the government contract from HUD
  • The government becomes party to your tenant-landlord relationship
  • Dealing with annual inspections of the property by government inspectors to ensure that the housing is safe and in livable condition
  • The Department of Housing and Urban Development gets to set the Fair Market Rent for your unit, so if you feel you could be getting more money for it, you’re losing a bit of money each and every month

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