Rules and regulations are the name of the game as a Small American Landlord. The Housing Voucher Program or better known as “Section 8” is like every other program in that it’s full of rules and regulations. As a landlord, it’s your responsibility to understand these rules, regulations, and laws very closely. The Housing Voucher Program affords many families a nice home that they otherwise couldn’t afford. As a landlord, you can work closely with your local Section 8 Housing Authority to advertise your Florida Rental Property to Section 8 Housing participants. The best part? It’s a guaranteed monthly rent payment.
The program was formed to help low-income families. Created in 1974, the Section 8 programs name was later changed in 1998. Throughout the United States, the Housing Choice Voucher Program is operated at the local level in your communities through PHAs, otherwise known as Public Housing Authorities. Basically, low-income families are provided with vouchers that help them pay the rent – straight into your pocket, the landlord. Many times, people refer to this program as “tenant-based” assistance because tenants are free to choose where they want to live.
You should know that a few rules about your rental property if you plan on going section 8. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- A flushing toilet
- A cooking stove or range
- At least one window in living and sleeping rooms
- No serious defects, such as large holes, bulging or loose surface materials
- A kitchen, living room, bathroom, and at least one bedroom or living-sleeping area
- Space for storage, food preparation, and serving
- An alternative exit in case of fire
Since the Housing Authorities are managed at the local level, each of them are responsible for determining the rent limitations. What the Housing Authorities are willing to pay is somewhat similar to what other renters in the area can be expected to pay. You can check out www.rentometer.com to compare your rental property address with averages in the area.
As a landlord, you are still within your rights to screen applicants even though they participate in the Housing Voucher Program. Just because an applicant indicates they are on “Section 8”, doesn’t mean they automatically are qualified for your rental property. You have the right to ask for a rental application, evaluating their credit report, and run criminal and eviction reports using VerticalRent. However, you must be sure that your screening process is consistent across all potential renters. For instance, if you’re running criminal checks on Section 8 applicants – then you better run criminal checks on applicants not in the Section 8 program.
VerticalRent should be an integral part of your screening process for Section 8 approved applicants. You can use our online rental application to collect info and generate a lease agreement. Plus, you have the ability to quickly run credit, criminal, and eviction reports on all applicants.