Also known as the Housing Choice Voucher Program, Section 8 is a kind of housing assistance provided by the government for low income families. The U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) created a voucher program. These vouchers will then be administered by the Public Housing agencies. Various families and individuals who are qualified for the assistance, are given vouchers so that they can find and select an appropriate housing unit.
Anyone who owns properties for rental can apply to participate to this program. How do you do it?
Landlords who intend to qualify their property for section 8 should do the following:
1. Property made available for rent should be at their Fair Market Rent. This means, you cannot set your own price as it will be based on the local Fair Market Rent calculated by the HUD.
2. Land owners should go to Public Housing Agencies and inform them of the intent to make the property available for section 8 qualified tenants. The landlord can describe from there the property. Then the PHA will enlist your property as one of their qualified units.
3. The property should also meet HUD health and safety standards. They have what they call a minimum Housing Quality Standard. These standards should be met before the property can be made available for section 8 tenants. Setting them, ensures that the property is a livable unit. To determine such standard, an inspection will performed by the housing agency.
4. They can also mention in their ad that their homes are made available for section 8 tenants.
For the landlords to further qualify for section 8, they should also be willing to:
1. Perform the screening of tenants.
Maintain the property according to the Housing Quality Standard.
3. Pay for the utilities.
4. Follow the Fair Housing Act.
5. Ensures the conditions and agreements stated on the lease are enacted.
If the landlord fails to meet all of these conditions, the housing agency may decide to stop making payments. Another thing, if during the inspection the house fails to meet the standards, the housing agency may request to have the property repaired. If not, tenants will be advised to look for another property.
Therefore, it is smart for landlords to make sure that their houses meet the qualities listed by the housing agency. Doing this avoids wasting the owner’s time and effort.
Benefits of landlords who qualifies for section 8
There are many reasons why you landlords want to participate in such program. First, 70% of the rental is subsidized by the government. This means a large portion of the income will be assured of being paid regularly. Second, you are able to help the government in reducing the number of homeless people. Moreover, out of good will you are able help and earn money at the same time. Third, this is a good way to get tenants, especially in a slowing real estate market. Engaging in this program will help you lower your vacancy rate. Fourth, you can still exercise the lease agreement and collect security deposits.
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