How to Qualify to Rent Your Home As Section 8

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Your local PHA must approve you as a Section 8 landlord.
Your local PHA must approve you as a Section 8 landlord. (Image: Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Becoming a Section 8 landlord allows you greater flexibility in finding renters. When you rent out your home to Section 8 tenants, part of the monthly rent will be paid directly to you by your local housing authority and the balance will be paid by your tenant. Before you can rent to Section 8 tenants, the public housing authority (PHA) must approve your property.

Contact your local public housing authority to obtain a Section 8 landlord application. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) website has a list of PHAs (see Resources).

Complete and return your application. Applications vary and are updated periodically, but expect to answer questions about yourself and your property, such as square footage and your rent requirements.

Arrange a time for a PHA inspection of your property. The inspector will look for safety hazards, such as improper electrical wiring and lead paint. He will also ensure that all plumbing is functional, that the doors and windows are secure and equipped with working locks and that the kitchen has a working oven and refrigerator. You can download a Section 8 housing inspection checklist (Form HUD-52580a) from the HUD website (see Resources).

Make any repairs requested by the PHA and arrange a follow-up inspection.

Sign a Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract. Once approved, the PHA will have you sign the HAP, which demonstrates your willingness to take part in the Section 8 program and receive rent checks monthly from the PHA once a tenant agreement is signed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Section 8 is also known as the Housing Choice Voucher program
  • Depending on demand, application processing and inspection approval can be a lengthy process.

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