Sacramento Property Management

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How to Become a Section 8 Landlord: The Official Guide

Alexandra Goldthwaite - Tuesday, March 22, 2022
Property Management Blog

Did you hear the Sacramento housing voucher program was opening up 5,000 slots on their waiting list? If you’re an area landlord, that might have made your ears perk up. How can you get a piece of that potential market?

While it isn’t an onerous process to join the Section 8 program, there are several steps to it, and not all landlords qualify. If you have the right kind of property, it can be worth it to become a landlord in the program to expand your pool of potential tenants.

Let’s take a look at what section 8 is and how to get involved.

Understanding Section 8

Section 8 provides an alternative to subsidized government housing projects by providing vouchers to cover a portion of an individual’s rent elsewhere. This allows them to choose a place to live that best meets their needs as long as the housing meets certain standards.

The local public housing agency runs the program, issuing vouchers and inspecting potential rental properties. The subsidy goes directly to the landlord from the PHA on behalf of the tenant, who pays any difference between the subsidy and the rent amount. Section 8 laws call for renters to cover about 30 percent of the rent.

A long waitlist ensures landlords can find renters, while monthly payments from the vouchers provide guaranteed income.

How to Become a Section 8 Landlord

You can simply wait for Section 8 renters in the program to apply to rent your property like any other tenant. But registering with the program can get your property in front of tenants with vouchers faster.

This has the benefit of connecting and matching you with these renters without as much effort on your part. You also don’t have a delay in getting the tenant into your property while waiting on an inspection.

This process starts by contacting the local PHA office to ensure your property meets the requirements. You can make upgrades or changes to meet their must-have list before you get deep into the inspection step.

Inspections are looking to ensure your property meets basic health and safety standards. This typically includes checks on the sanitary facilities, electricity, water supply, and lighting. Expect to have your property inspected every year as long as you have voucher tenants in it.

Once you pass the inspection, you’ll complete all the necessary paperwork, including the documents that set you up to get paid. The PHA then helps you market the property to potential tenants so they can find and contact you about renting.

The rest of your rental process should proceed as usual with an application and whatever background checks you normally do. You and the tenant have the same rights and responsibilities as with any rental situation, although the PHA becomes a party to the lease as well. 

Interested In Section 8?

Many landlords find their properties are a good fit for the voucher program, which can help you keep your property rented and provide reliable income. Once you understand how Section 8 works, it can provide some breathing room for your business if you struggle to get and keep tenants.

If you need more help navigating the Section 8 housing program, contact us to discuss the details of getting accepted. Our expert team can help you get involved and come up with a plan to manage your future tenants.