Why Should I Become a Section 8/Housing Choice Voucher Landlord?
Landlords renting to families with a Section 8/Housing Choice Voucher enjoy a number of benefits, including guaranteed rent, free marketing, free property inspections, lower vacancy rates and tenant stability.
- Guaranteed rent. Renting to a Section 8 tenant means that property owners can count on consistently receiving a rental payment each month. Section 8 is a public program that provides rental assistance with a Housing Choice Voucher. This voucher allows the tenant to look for rental housing in the community from private landlords. Tenants apply for the program, and if they meet certain requirements, they receive a housing voucher from the local Public Housing Authority—in Bloomington/Monroe County, this is the Bloomington Housing Authority (BHA). Once the rental unit has been approved and inspected by the local Public Housing Authority, the landlord can sign a lease with the tenant. The Public Housing Authority is responsible for paying the tenant’s housing voucher directly to the landlord each month, either by mailing you a check or will depositing the amount directly into your account.
- Free Marketing. Once you become a Section 8 landlord, the Bloomington Housing Authority will market your property—free of charge! By considering Section 8 renters, you will expand your pool of potential tenants. This makes it easier for you to find an excellent tenant. This is especially true if your rental home is targeting tenants with lower incomes. BHA provides people who have received vouchers with a list of local participating landlords. This is free service is offered by the BHA for your convenience— you may still market your property however you want.
- Free property inspections. Section 8 tenants must have rental property they wish to rent inspected by the BHA prior to signing the lease. This ensures the unit measures up to all the local safety codes and building regulations. A typical property inspection entails checking locks on doors and windows, ensuring plumbing and wiring is working and is safe. The Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Inspector will meet with you to conduct an inspection to ensure that the property is safe and sanitary prior to the tenant moving in and annually thereafter.
- Lower Vacancy Rates and Tenant Stability. A consistent base of tenants is another advantage, as there is a long wait list for Section 8 housing vouchers. There are also more families with a voucher looking for housing than there are available apartments. This means landlords rents to tenants with vouchers have lower turnover rates.
- Service to the Community. For some landlords, Section 8 landlord benefits extend beyond financial ones. They derive personal satisfaction from providing housing to low-income families. Since the demand for Section 8 housing outstrips the supply in most areas, they are providing a valuable community service.
Photo credit: Chris Benson/Unsplash