How You Can Become a Section 8 Landlord

Rent to Section 8 Housing

If you are a landlord or property manager who has had trouble filling vacancies, finding qualified tenants, getting paid on time, or are looking to maximize your income from rent, Section 8 might be right for you. Section 8 is a federal government housing assistance program designed to help low-income families afford housing by paying a portion of the rent.

In Section 8, the tenant pays you a portion of the rent and gives you a government-issued voucher for the remainder. You (the landlord) then present that voucher to your local Public Housing Administrator and get paid by the government.

More: Find the Fair Market Rent of Your Property

Section 8 Landlord Requirements

To become a Section 8 program landlord, you must meet specific requirements established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These requirements include ensuring that your rental property meets housing quality standards by passing an inspection, charging reasonable rent, and signing a Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract with your local Public Housing Agency (PHA).

Additionally, you must follow all fair housing laws and regulations and adhere to the PHA's policies and procedures to stay in compliance.

Pros & Cons of Being a Section 8 Landlord


While the Section 8 program may not appeal to every landlord, it still offers enticing benefits that are worth considering. The main advantages are:

Guaranteed on-time payments It's understandable that most landlords prefer timely rent payments. In fact, a recent study from National Equity Atlas shows that over 5 million households in the U.S are behind on rent.

With the Section 8 program, landlords can rely on consistent payment from the Public Housing Administrator for their portion of the rent.

And remember, if tenants fail to comply with the terms of their lease, they may risk losing their housing voucher under this program. This warning serves as an incentive for them to prioritize timely payments.

Pre-screened and qualified tenants. While landlords are entitled to screen tenants who participate in the Section 8 program, it's worth noting that housing authorities also play a role in evaluating potential tenants. As part of the pre-screening process, these authorities examine the tenant's income level and may uncover issues like criminal history.

In order to assist landlords in their selection process, local PHAs are required to provide them with the following information:

  1. The names and addresses of the tenant's current and previous landlords.
  2. The tenant's current and previous addresses as recorded by the PHA.
  3. The type of screening process used for the tenant.

It’s relatively difficult for a tenant to pass the Housing Authority's screening so if a tenant is qualified for Section 8 you will probably be fine renting to them.

More eligible candidates The Section 8 program is particularly popular in urban areas where real estate prices are high. Many renters in these areas admit that they can't afford a home in their preferred neighborhood.

By participating in the Section 8 program, you can tap into a wider pool of potential renters in your area, regardless of the location. This can help ensure that your property remains occupied and generates consistent income.

In simple words, this means higher demand..

Advertising by the HUD The HUD has a website designed for prospective tenants who are looking for low-income homes that meet the program's criteria. As a Section 8 landlord, you can advertise your rental property through this resource. Additionally, your local PHA may operate a rental listing website that you can use to promote your property.


Of course, there are also drawbacks:

How to Qualify Your Unit for Section 8 Housing

If you have decided that renting to Section 8 tenants is right for you, then it’s time to sign up for the program. Getting your property qualified can be difficult. There are multiple inspections and your property must be 100% up-to-code.

To get started, contact your local Public Housing Agency (PHA) in order to know the Section 8 Housing requirements. Every state has its individual housing authority office. Plenty of counties and cities have their own PHAs. Local county or city PHAs usually issue and implement Housing Choice Vouchers.

After your early queries are answered, follow these steps to know how to get a house or apartment Section 8 approved:

  1. Fill out the application
  2. The first step is to reach out to your local PHA for the initial paperwork. They will walk you through the application procedure. You will have to provide some details, such as the rental price, the property address, and your personal information.
  3. Property inspection
  4. After the application is approved, the PHA will schedule an inspection to ensure your home fulfills housing quality standards. In most cases, inspectors observe the following things: Some inspectors also observe the home’s cooling or heating system. Furthermore, Section 8 housing requirements differ based on your region, so you may ask your local PHA before the inspection to ensure that your rental property fulfills the criteria. Keep in mind that during the inspection, the inspector will either pass, fail, or mark items as inconclusive in regards to the home's safety and health standards. If an item is marked inconclusive, it usually means that the inspector needs more information from the owner to make a determination.
  5. Start accepting vouchers
  6. Once you inform your local PHA of a vacancy, they will refer income-qualified applicants from the Housing Choice Voucher waiting list to you. You can then review and screen these potential tenants according to your admission standards.