What Are My Rights Against a Section 8 Neighbor?

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Section 8 housing is federally subsidized rental payment assistance program, created and administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The intent of the program is to help low-income families maintain a safe place to live by helping them pay rent using vouchers. When living next door to a Section 8 neighbor that is violating the terms of his lease or engaging in criminal activity, other neighbors have the right and responsibility to report those violations to the landlord.

Illegal Activity

  • If the Section 8 neighbor is involved in illegal activities like theft of drug trafficking and you observe it, it is not enough to notify the landlord; you need to involve the local authorities. Your rights against a Section 8 neighbor in this regard are the same as they would be with any other neighbor that is engaged in illegal behavior.

Lease Violations

  • If the Section 8 neighbor is violating the terms of his lease, not maintaining the property or inflicting intentional or accidental damage to common areas, you must report this to the landlord. From there, the landlord will determine whether the violation is severe enough to evict the tenant. He may choose to issue a warning, instead. If you do not think that the landlord is handling the situation with the neighbor correctly, or if the tenant continues damaging common areas or other property, you have the right to contact the local housing office and file a complaint with the city.

Discrimination

  • Because of their economically disadvantaged status Section 8 recipients often deal with discrimination. It is unlawful for a landlord to discriminate against a Section 8 rental applicant based on race, color, marital status or income. To discriminate against a Section 8 neighbor without cause is a direct violation of the Fair Housing Laws. Consider this fact when facing issues with Section 8 neighbors.

Community Involvement

  • Accepting Section 8 vouchers is a decision left entirely to a landlord. If the landlord does not submit a property for Section 8 approval, the property is not eligible for Section 8 recipients. If you are concerned about the Section 8 status of a property, contact the property owner and inquire if he has decided to apply the property for Section 8 consideration.

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