People ask this question all the time and the short answer is, you don’t. Or at least, you don’t do it first.
Below I will lay out the steps to accepting Section 8 in your rental property and getting it approved.
- You’ll advertise, show and screen the prospects mostly like normal.
Because I only take Section 8 voucher holders, my process is a little different to maximize success (sign up to receive my free giveaway Tips, Tricks & Dealbreakers for Screening Section 8 Tenants), but these 3 steps could be the same for Section 8 and
- Once you’ve approved a tenant, you’ll complete their Section 8/Housing Authority paperwork with them and turn it into the public housing authority-PHA (check with your tenant’s caseworker to determine how they want to receive the paperwork).
- The housing authority will schedule their inspection.
- You’ll receive notice of the total approved rent from the housing authority. You may or may not be able to negotiate this, depending on your local HA office. You can approve or disapprove of the rent. If you approve it, you move to Step 5. If disapproved, the process ends and you’ll need to find another tenant (likely a market tenant because the
rent will be the same if you get another voucher holder working with the same HA).
NOTE: This will be the total rent amount. By law, you are not allowed to charge more than the
- The tenant (and probably the landlord) will receive the move-in authorization. This document gives the tenant the move in date and the breakdown of how much of the rent the tenant will pay and how much the government will pay.
- Move in the tenant.
- You’ll receive the HAP contract from the housing authority, which you’ll need to sign and return. This is the critical step that many landlords miss. The government rent payments will not start until the caseworker receives the executed contract back.
Note: Check with your local Public Housing Authority (PHA) to find out exactly how their process works. They may have a slightly different process or do things in a different order but generally speaking, these are the steps that you’ll have to follow.
This process may sound like a lot, but for us, it only adds 2 to 3 weeks tops to the move in process. It does require us to stay on top of the paperwork but I believe the benefits of Section 8 far outweigh the time delay.
Want to know more about becoming a successful Section 8 landlord? Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the Contact form on my website. I look forward to hearing from you.