Overview of Section 8 Subsidized Housing Program

Government-subsidized Section 8 housing is regulated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This article provides an overview of how to become a Section 8 landlord and the pros/cons of participating in the Program.    

Section 8 Approval Process

The first step towards securing Section 8 tenants is contacting the local housing authority office for the required paperwork.  Once the application is processed, the housing authority will set up an inspection to visit your property and make sure it meets housing habitability standards.  Inspectors will check to make sure the building is structurally sound, has sanitary facilities, working plumbing, heating and cooling, etc.  Requirements vary depending on the area.   

Once the dwelling passes inspection, you’re ready to begin accepting Section 8 tenants. When you notify the housing authority of a vacancy, it will refer income-qualified applicants to you from its waiting list.

After selecting a Section 8 renter, there are several forms that must be submitted to the housing authority to complete the arrangement, including:

  • Landlord Information form, which describes the property owner and rental unit
  • Housing Assistance Payments Contract form
  • A copy of your standard lease agreement— if you don’t have one, then the form of lease you wish to use, which could be a housing authority model lease
  • The HUD form’s Lease Addendum to attach to the lease form
  • Request for Tenancy Approval form
  • W-9 form including renter’s information

How much Does Section 8 Pay towards Rent?

Subsidized payments are typically the difference between 30% of a household’s income and the rent price. HUD recalculates fair market rents for state and local areas each year, taking into consideration local rental market conditions.

Can You Evict a Section 8 tenant?

You may evict a Section 8 voucher holder for good cause, which generally includes a serious or repeated violation of the lease agreement. After the initial term, you may generally evict a voucher tenant for other good cause, such as a tenant’s failure to accept a new lease or lease revision, or a desire to lease the unit for a higher rent.

It is important to follow proper protocol when evicting a Section 8 tenant. An eviction must comply with local law and any additional requirements of the housing authority.  The tenant must receive written notice of the landlord’s intent to initiate eviction proceedings against the tenant, and the eviction must be by court action.  In addition, tenants in federally subsidized housing in California are entitled to at least 90 days’ notice before eviction when the landlord is dropping out of the federal program. There are other procedural differences:

  • For nonpayment of rent by a public housing tenant, there is a 14-day notice period.
  • If the health or safety of specified persons are threatened, or a household member has engaged in drug-related or violent criminal activity or been convicted of a felony, notice is a reasonable period of time not to exceed 30 days.
  • In any other case, notice is 30 days unless a state or local law allows shorter notice.
  • The tenant may be entitled to an administrative hearing before the UD is filed.
  • The lessor’s receipt of a housing assistance payment on behalf of the tenant is not a waiver of the lessor’s right to terminate for nonpayment of rent.
  • Drug use in violation of a zero-tolerance drug policy is grounds for eviction under federal regulations.

Pros and Cons of a Section 8 Tenancy

The main advantage the Program offers for landlords is payment to the landlord directly for most of the monthly rent charged to the tenant.  In addition, the landlord receives a pre-screened pool of potential candidates, making it easier to rent the premises.

On the other hand, participation in the program can be time consuming given the increased paperwork, annual inspections, and other red tape required by the Program.  Additionally, because Section 8 tenants have little invested in the Program, they have a stigma of being very reckless and careless about the condition of the property and seldom attempt to maintain it.  

Lynx has substantial experience evicting Section 8 tenants.  We can be reached at 888-441-2355 or  We are standing by ready to answer any questions you may have or take your order if you are ready to start a case. 

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