Section 8 Guidelines for Landlords and Tenants

What are the must-know HUD Section 8 guidelines for tenants or landlords? Join us as we explain the Section 8 rules and regulations in plain English.

Section 8 Housing Rules - Before Lease Begins

Screening Tenants: Landlords are solely responsible for choosing tenants. That means they should conduct a proper screening for all prospective tenants, including running background and credit check on them - Click here to learn how to run tenant credit checks online.

While HUD does screen Section 8 tenants beforehand, they are only care whether the person  meets their income limits and application requirements.

Rejecting Tenants: According to Section 8 housing guidelines, the landlord is not allowed discriminate against Section 8 renters. To make sure that you don't run afoul of any discrimination laws, we recommend reading our guide to the Federal Fair Housing Act.

Home Inspection: Before the landlord is able to rent to Section 8 tenants, the rental property will have to pass a Section 8 inspection first. This inspection will be conducted by the Public Housing Authority PHA to make sure that the rental property meets the Section 8 housing requirements (known as the Housing Quality Standards).

Section 8 Housing Regulations - Lease Agreement

Lease Agreement: Upon passing the home inspection, the landlord will be give a HAP Housing Assistance Payments Contract. The lease agreement is included with the HAP contract. The HAP contract has to be filled up and returned to Public Housing Authority PHA.

Rental Period: Section 8 rules dictate that all Section 8 leases have to be fixed term tenancies lasting 12 months or more.

Security Deposit: The landlord can ask the tenant for a security deposit. The maximum security deposit limit is determined by the state laws - Click here to see what is the maximum security deposit amount for your state.

Pets: The landlord has the right to allow or disallow pets on the rental property.

Section 8 Guidelines - During Lease Period

Collecting Rent: The landlord will receive a check for part of the rent from the local housing authorities every month. The landlord shall collect the remaining rent from the tenant.

Increasing the Rent: After the first 12 months of a Section 8 lease, the landlord can apply for a rent increase by submitting a rent increase request form to the tenant and local housing authorities 60 days in advance.

According to Section 8 guidelines for landlords, this rent increase has to be approved by the housing authorities and is limited by the current fair market rents.

Evicting Tenants: Section 8 rules and regulations do not grant tenants any special privileges against evictions. As such, the landlord has the right to evict Section 8 tenants for non-payment of rent and violation of lease terms - Click here for more information on tenant evictions.

Section 8 Landlord