Posted in Blog  
  on Jan 28, 2015

What Are the Laws for a Section 8 Rent Increase

When you are living in a qualified Section 8 rental property, then here's some good news for you: the landlord you have can't just decide that they want to increase your rent. Landlords must make a request for a rental increase and then wait for it to be approved. Tenants are not required to pay more rent unless they have been notified in writing by the governing housing authority that they must do so. Rent increase requests that are deemed to be unreasonable or outside of what the fair market would allow are generally refused.

Tenants Can Have Their Rent Increased For Other Reasons

Landlords might need specific permission from their Housing Authority to increase the rent on their property, but tenants can seen rent changes for a number of different reasons. This won't affect the amount that a landlord receives, but it will affect how much of the rent that a tenant would be required to pay. Here are some reasons why tenants would pay more every month.

  • The amount of income that a household receives has had an increase.
  • A tenant decides to move out of one rental property and into another one, including into a different apartment within the same building.
  • The Housing Authority that approves rent that is higher than payment standards.
  • Section 8 reduces the amount they pay to a landlord.

A tenant's rent in a Section 8 property can only be increased once per year and it can only happen on their re-certification date. All tenants must receive a written 30 day notice of their rent increase for it to be valid.

What If a Landlord's Request For More Rent?

In most circumstances, the Housing Authority will pay the requested increase from the Landlord that has been approved. It will not change the amount that a tenant has to pay in rent. The only exception to this is when a landlord requests an increase that is higher than the payment standard and it is approved. When this occurs, tenants can be required to pay the extra rent on top of what has already been agreed upon. If HUD lowers their fair market rents, some Section 8 tenants might also find that they have large rent increases because of the standards of their property. In both of these circumstances, tenants are required to have a 90 day written notice informing them of the increase. These unique circumstances can also push a tenant's rent above the 40% income threshold that is generally allowed in this type of housing. The rules are slightly different for tenants who have a diagnosed disability. They may be able to request more assistance if a rent increase occurs, request having more disability accommodations that meet their specific needs, or other make other requests based upon their diagnosis. Notification times are the same in these circumstances. It can be difficult for a landlord to get a rent increase for their Section 8 property. By knowing what the laws are, however, the best chance to get that increase approved can be realized.


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