Explanation of Section 8 Tenant Rights

Landlords are not required to accept Section 8 vouchers.

Section 8 is not required to accept units or landlords.

This can make it difficult to know what the tenant rights happen to be when it comes to this low income housing option. In general, however, the rights of a Section 8 tenant are virtually the same as for any other tenant.

1. All Evictions Must Go Through The Court System.

Any eviction attempt must follow the procedures outlined under local landlord/tenant laws.

Using self-help eviction methods, such as changing locks or shutting off the power, are not allowed.

2. The Rental Unit Must Be Able To Pass a Yearly Inspection.

The rental units for Section 8 housing must conform to the same safety standards as any other rental.

A yearly inspection performed by the program will certify the unit for another year. If the unit fails and inspection, it may require the tenant to find a new rental unit.

3. Tenant's Cannot Be Evicted If They Are Current On Their Portion Of The Rent.

A Section 8 housing agreement is a 3-way contract between the landlord, the tenant, and the local public housing authority.

As long as a tenant is current on the amount of rent that they owe monthly, they cannot be evicted because of a delay in voucher funding.

4. Refunds Are Mandatory On Failed Inspections.

If a rental unit fails an inspection, then any fees or deposits that a tenant has made must be returned to them.

It is up to the tenant, however, to have the rental unit inspected.

Landlords are only required to hold a unit for 10 days to have the Section 8 inspection.

If it doesn't occur, they do not need to rent to the tenant even if a lease has been signed.

5. Tenants Have a Right Of Appeal.

If a tenant feels like their tenancy has been terminated for a biased reason, they have the right to file a grievance.

This allows the tenant to remain in the unit, but rental payments must be made through the end of the hearing.

Section 8 tenants must be treated as any other tenant, even though the landlord is receiving most of their rent from a voucher instead of a personal payment.

Follow the tenancy laws and meet these rights to form the best possible relationship with low-income families who need a good home.

Posted on Jul 15, 2015


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