Section 8 housing, also known as the Housing Choice Voucher Program, provides housing subsidies for low-income renters. The program helps these families gain access to better-quality housing than they could otherwise afford. To qualify a property for Section 8 housing, landlords undergo an application process and a rental inspection to ensure you adhere to all local housing laws and regulations. Once you get through the application and inspection, your properties are eligible for Section 8 tenants. Section 8 sounds like a great deal for tenants, but what do you get out of it as a landlord?
One of the biggest benefits of the Section 8 program for landlords is the guaranteed payment from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, also known as HUD. The voucher program covers 60-70% of the rental payment, with the tenant covering the other 30-40% from their own funds. At the very least, you're going to receive the government's portion of the payment. When one of the biggest risks in the landlord business is non-payment, this means you achieve significant peace of mind. This program also helps tenants who may experience major financial issues, such as a job loss. Instead of being forced to evict long-term tenants who run into temporary difficulties in paying rent, HUD provides additional financial assistance for the families.
HUD maintains a database of rental properties participating in the Section 8 housing program, providing you with another marketing venue. If you aren't getting a lot of response from the local newspaper websites and Craigslist, getting listed on the Section 8 website might be perfect for your home. You also tend to get higher rental rates compared to what you would normally get in the area, since HUD is footing a majority of the bill. However, they do dictate exactly how high your rental rates can go.
Decreased Turnaround Time
An empty property does nothing but cost you money, potentially resulting in a major loss on your rental. Many areas served by Section 8 housing vouchers have years-long waiting lists that mean the renters are eager to get into a house or apartment once they are eligible for the vouchers. You generally won't wait long to fill up a Section 8 rental compared to a standard listing, as there are almost always more families waiting to be placed.
Helping Low-Income Families
If you enjoy helping people who are down on their luck or are having problems making ends meet, the Section 8 program helps you do that without losing out on a significant amount of income. These low-income families might not have had the best luck in life, but with the help of the housing voucher program they can get back on their feet and provide a safe and stable housing situation for their family.
Section 8 doesn't take everyone who applies. Applicants must pass several criteria in order to qualify for the program, such as making enough money to afford a 30-40% share of the rent. The families participating in the program must sign a one-year lease and pay any required security deposit. If the tenants do not follow the lease terms and maintain the home, they get removed from the program. While HUD does provide some screening as far as income goes, you want to do your own due diligence with tenant screening programs such as the one offered by Landlord Station.
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