What is Section 8? Know the Law

Section 8 was written to assist low income homeowners and renters as a federal housing program. The assisted recipient’s monthly rent is limited in order to be affordable. If you are not low income (below 50% of the area median income) you will not qualify.

If you’re the Landlord

If you are renting one of your units to someone who is section 8 you still need to do a thorough check of them as you would with a possible tenant who is not receiving federal assistance. The Housing Authority will assist you in your endeavor by sharing any information that they have on the applicant with you the landlord. Do not rely on the Housing Authority however to furnish you with all the information needed to determine whether or not the possible future tenant is a good fit. For example, if information that the applicant gives you conflicts with the information that the Housing Authority gave you on this applicant, you have a big problem. Someone’s handing out false information. Things also get a little touchy when it comes down to discrimination if you’re renting to someone who is section 8.

If you are the Applicant

Expect to answer any number of questions posed to you. Here are just a few examples: how often do you get paid and when; how do you intend to raise money for the rent; social security number and name; have you had any complaints filed against you or been evicted; how many people will be renting here; have you been involved in gang activity or any other illegal activities in any residence within which you have lived; where have you lived before and for how long at each residence; where are you currently living and how long have you been there?

If you are a landlord don’t allow yourself to be taken advantage of by the housing authorities. Know the laws.