HUD Section 8 Eviction Guide

What are the legal grounds for Section 8 evictions? Learn when and how to evict Section 8 tenants in this step by step guide.

1. Evicting Section 8 Tenants for Nonpayment of Rent

In general, a Section 8 tenant has to pay 30 to 40% of the rent while the local housing authorities will cover the remaining 60 to 70%. If the tenant is unable to unwilling to pay his or her portion of the rent, then you will have a just cause for eviction.

Similarly if the tenant is no longer receiving any Section 8 vouchers or is terminated from the Section 8 program, you can also take action to evict him or her.

Before you can begin the eviction process, you're required by law to give the tenant a final deadline by sending him or her a pay or quit notice. This deadline is typically 3 days but some states give tenants up to 14 days to pay up.

In a normal eviction, the next step will be filing an unlawful detainer complaint against the tenant in your local courthouse. In some states, there is an additional step in the Section 8 eviction process.

Before you can file an unlawful detainer, some states require you to notify the local housing authority that you intend to evict the tenant and give your reason(s) for doing so. Whether the housing authority approves or objects, you will still be able to proceed with eviction -  In the event of an objection, the housing authority will be named as a co-defendant in the eviction lawsuit.

Once you have filed your unlawful detainer, the courthouse will issue a summons to the tenant to appear in court for an eviction lawsuit. Once the eviction process has begun, it's important that you don't accept any rent payments from the tenant or it may affect the results of your eviction hearing.

2. Evicting Section 8 Tenants for Violation of Lease

You can also evict Section 8 for repeated or serious lease violations. Tenants conducting illegal activities on or near the property are also grounds for Section 8 evictions. Primary examples of such breaches include:

  • The tenant refusing to pay for property damages caused by abuse or negligence by the tenant, listed occupants or the tenant's guest.

  • The tenant causes disturbance or harassment to neighbors or co-tenants on multiple occasions.

  • The tenant subletting or assigning the lease without the landlord's consent.

  • The tenant housing squatters (unlisted occupants) on the property.

  • The tenant keeping pets on the property without the landlord's consent (except in the case of service animals for the disabled).

  • The tenant committing illegal drug or criminal activity on or near the property.

The steps on how to evict Section 8 tenants for lease violations are largely similar to the ones that we have already mentioned above.

The only difference here is that you'll send to send the tenant a comply or vacate notice instead of a pay or quit notice. This notice will give the tenant a last chance to rectify any violations (typically within a 3 day deadline).

Section 8 Landlord