Property Management, Tenant Selection, Real Estate News & Tips

Think Twice Before Rejecting an Applicant on Section 8 Housing

By on August 4, 2014 in Education, News with 4 Comments

thinkBesides working for Rentec Direct as the Social Media Director I’m also a landlord and as such I try to pay close attention to the ever changing rental property and landlord/tenant laws. My friend, also a landlord, has a rental property that is currently vacant and she was asking me just yesterday about renting to people on HUD/Section 8 and what the laws are about the requirements to consider Section 8 applicants and getting a rental property “approved” by HUD.  I didn’t have all the answers she was looking for but as luck would have it came across an article about The Housing Choice Act which went into effect July 1st, 2014. The Act prohibits landlords from refusing to rent to someone solely based on the fact that they receive federal housing assistance as part of their income.

Let me back up a minute just to clarify, Section 8 is a federally funded program administered at a local level by housing authorities that are there to help low income families and people find housing. Those who meet the income qualifications are given a voucher that covers a percentage of there monthly rent payment.

A landlord does not have to rent to someone on Section 8 if they do not meet other tenant selection criteria such as criminal background check and credit reports. Section 8 does have a provision that if the tenant causes more than $500 in damage to the property the landlord can file a claim in small claims court against the tenant. There is a mitigation fund setup that will cover up to $5,000 in damage. It is at the judges discretion if the damages are above normal wear and tear and is therefore the landlord or property managers task to prove that the damages exceed what would be considered normal wear and tear. If the judge rules against the tenant then the landlord is reimbursed the funds.


What is your take on Section 8 tenants? Having rent payments guaranteed and a damage fund are both compelling reasons to want to eagerly accept voucher recipients.


About the Author

About the Author: Dulcey is both a private landlord and media contributor for Rentec Direct. Her passion is to bring up to date, useful information front-and-center for property managers and landlords. .


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There Are 4 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Michaelj says:

    I wasn’t aware of the mitigation fund. A few years ago, we had a sect 8 tenant that trashed our house. We sought, and received judgment of almost $3000. Nobody from the local HUD office informed us about mitigation. Is there a statute of limitations on this? What is the filing procedure?

    • Dulcey S says:

      I apologize for the delay in my response, I have been out of town. I’m not sure of the specifics for your state but in Oregon you would file with the small claims court, as it sounds like you have, and the funds awarded by the judge would be provided from HUD (up to the limit) rather than the tenant. I don’t have the specific answers that you are looking for but it may be worth looking into, if for nothing else to know for future reference. Good luck to you and again sorry for the delay.

  2. lavida says:

    I admit that many people on section8 program mabad for good make it bad for good tentants that work daily make payments on time. And keep a clean home and do right by the laws of the program by not having others live with them and drugs on the property. But not all people on the program do this some like myself are trying to do better and live in a nice neighborhood.

    • Dulcey S says:

      Lavida, I think that HUD is a great program and can really help many people get started on making a better future for themselves. Thanks for the comment and good luck.

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