Landlords Accepting Section 8 – What You Need to Know​

One of the most lucrative ways to increase one’s net worth is through the ownership and rental of multiple properties. Becoming a landlord opens the door to new opportunities with an added income stream each month.

The property management industry knows that not all tenants are built the same. As a landlord, you will meet a variety of potential tenants, including those with low-income restrictions and government assistance called a Section 8 voucher. 

This blog will explain Section 8 housing, how to receive approval to be a landlord, and how it makes you money.

What is Section 8 Housing?

Landlords know that not all tenants are financially built the same. Tenants who qualify for Section 8 housing qualify for a subsidy from the government (through Housing and Urban Development) when very low-income restrictions prevent them from successfully making rent payments on their own.

The Benefits of Section 8 

While there are some challenges associated with Section 8 housing, the benefits outweigh the risks. Landlords will receive perks like:

• Guaranteed rental income – The government guarantees a portion or all of the monthly dues and pays it directly to you. Tenant approval into the Section 8 program takes a long time to receive and is not worth the risk of losing. If your tenant is responsible for the remaining portion of their rent, they will most likely never miss a payment.

• A contribution to the local community – Renting your unit to a Section 8 tenant provides housing to individuals and families who would otherwise be in vulnerable situations.

• Access to a larger group of potential tenants – Seasoned landlords will agree that some leasing cycles are more challenging than others. Typical tenants must qualify through income and good credit, but finding a perfect combination of the two requirements may sometimes feel like searching for a unicorn.

• Recurring annual inspection of your property – The Section 8 program calls for routine inspections to ensure that the property is safe, clean, and habitable. Landlords may see this as an inconvenience, but the reality is that it keeps your unit well-maintained, safe, and more cost-effective to manage in the long run.

How to Become a Section 8 Landlord

Unlike a regular tenant, moving someone with Section 8 takes a few more steps before you can receive rental payments. Fortunately, the Louisiana Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides the steps potential Section 8 landlords must make before moving someone in. 

1. The first step is to contact your local Louisiana Public Housing Authority. They will be able to guide you in the right direction, advise what is needed on the property, and tell you what lease agreement clauses must be agreed upon by both parties before moving forward.

2. The second step is to find your tenant. Sometimes, this step is done first—and that’s okay. The idea is that the tenant has already received approval from the local HUD agency. Once a tenant is identified, landlords must submit a Request for Tenancy Approval Form and submit it to their local agency. The proposed rental rate must be reasonable and meet HUD criteria for your area.

3. The third step is confirming that the rental unit meets minimum standards.

4. Lastly, sign the lease agreement and your local agency’s contract and set a move date for your new tenant. 

Keep in Mind Fair Housing Law

The Fair Housing Act is a law that must be abided by all loan officers, real estate agents, and landlords. The Civil Rights Act of 1968 prevents prejudice in real estate sales, rentals, and financing because of race, color, religion, gender, family status, and more. The law applies to all section 8 units as well.  

Louisiana Landlords: Make Informed Decisions for Your Rental Property

Acquiring a Louisiana real estate rental is a dream come true for many local investors—but there is more money to be made when you rent to a Section 8 tenant.

KAJEN Rentals is a local property management firm in Bastrop, Louisiana, with rental properties available in Monroe, West Monroe, and Bastrop. As one of the expert property management firms in the NELA area, we strive to educate our community about all things real estate through our monthly blogs. 

Visit us online to learn more!