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Pros and Cons of Section 8

Pros and Cons of Section 8

Section 8 Housing program is the thing you should consider if you own a rental property in Oklahoma City. If you own or plan to own rental property in Oklahoma City, you will probably have to determine whether or not you want to become a property owner in section 8. There are mixed reviews of the experience of the landlord of Section 8. Some landlords enjoy investing in housing and love Section 8 tenants in Section 8, although some landlords stay away from this initiative. In this article, we will explain the pros and cons of the section 8 program to the landlords.

Individuals Assisted by Section 8 Program

Pie Chart of Individuals assisted with Section 8 Housing Program

Fig: Pie Chart of Individuals assisted with Section 8 Housing Program

How to Become Landlord of a Section 8 Housing?

The Section 8 housing process is easy to understand. In order to receive the section 8 tenants, you should begin by contacting the nearest Public Housing Authority(PHA) to inquire about the Section 8 Landlord requirements. Each state has its own housing authority office and many cities and counties do have the PHAs. Local Housing Authority typically issues and administer Housing Choice Voucher, whereas in some states the PHAs also carry out this activity. In order to operate the rental property, The Local Housing Authority must approve the property as well as the property. Here are the guidelines you can use for becoming the section 8 Landlords:

How to become a section 8 landlord

Fill Out a Section 8 Landlord Application

You may need to complete an application as a landlord and provide personal details. In order to ensure that they fall in line with rates for comparable dwellings in your city, the housing authority will also check your rental rates. One big downside is that you will be forced to lower your rates if the housing authority thinks that you are overcharging for your rental.

What you need to apply:

  • Your personal information
  • Your property location
  • The asking rent for your property

Complete Property Inspection

Once you are approved as a landlord by the housing authority, an inspector can visit your rental property (if you do need to buy a property, look at Roofstock) to ensure that it meets all local building and safety standards. The method of inspection is a long one. At the very least, on any window and door, you must have working locks, the structure must be solid, and the wiring and plumbing must work safely. You can need to install heating or cooling equipment, such as central air or radiant gas heaters, depending on the location. Some municipal codes can also mandate that outside of the property you install handrails or safety ramps.

Begin Accepting Voucher

Once your property is accepted by the inspectors, you will inform the local housing authority of the vacancy. Then, from the Housing Option Voucher waiting list, it can refer income-qualified applicants to you for review under the admission requirements.

Choose Tenant

Your local housing authority will mail you the percentage of the check decided upon after you have identified a resident and they have signed a lease, while the tenant will be liable for the remainder.

Recommended: Section 8 Landlord Responsibilities

Pros and Cons of Renting to Section 8

Pros and cons of being a section 8 landlord

So here is the question is renting the property to the section 8 tenants a good idea. Everything in the world has positive as well as negative things so does the Section 8 program. Section 8 has pros as well as cons to the landlords. Some of the pros of the Section 8 Program are as follows:

Pros of Renting to Section 8

ON Time Payment Guaranteed

The greatest benefit of being a landlord in section 8 is that you don’t have to worry about the fees, i.e. by the end of each month in the government’s regular order, you can collect cheques. Depending on the income of the tenant and the estimated utility costs for their house, the government typically pays between 50 percent-65 percent of the tenant’s rent. 

You are assured on-time payment by the government for the rental property until the leasing agreement is in effect and all the paperwork is done.

Lower Vacancy and Turnover Ratio

Because most landlords do not allow vouchers, it is hard for tenants to find voucher-accepting landlords. So, relative to other tenants, section 8 tenants prefer to remain long-term. That means lower vacancy and turnover rates.
Both of which mean higher profit and real estate cash flow.

Higher Allowance Rate

Many cities allow landlords to increase the rent per annum in the 5-8 percent range. These are calculated by the findings of fair market rents from the federal government; more on this below. 

But since the government pays most of the rent, tenants in Section 8 appear not to worry about rent hikes as much.

Partially PreScreened Tenant

Section 8 tenants are partially aided by the federal government. The tenant screening process is carried out by the local authority and includes a criminal background check, drug testing, educational background, and per capita income. The tenant which doesn’t meet the tenant screening process is not given the Section 8 voucher.  It’s beneficial to know that the applicants have met certain criteria to qualify for section 8, but it’s highly recommended to perform tenant screening by the landlord too.

Additional Marketing

Once you and your property have been approved by the local authority for section 8 housing, you can advertise your property i.e house on the local authorities’ website where voucher holders can see it. This reduces the advertising cost and gets your rental in front of many tenants.

Wider Access

Section 8 is a popular program and most of the urban areas have hundreds of tenants on the waitlist. Your property becomes marketable to a larger pool of renters by embracing Section 8, which gives you a greater chance of having it leased.

Cons of Renting to Section 8

Yearly Section 8 Inspection

The local housing authority will send someone each year to carry out the property’s inception to ensure it meets the minimum criteria for housing quality. This inspection must be done even though there is no tenant turnover. 

If you fail the inception, you will be required to fix the issue or you could risk losing your subsidy.

Delayed Initial Payment

In the Section 8 housing program, the initial i.e the first month’s payment for the landlord is delayed until after the tenant has moved in and it can be delayed by one to several months.

There have also been times when tenants have had to wait as long as three or four months for Section 8 to get paid, but you can expect regular payment every month after you receive the first payment.

Red Tape

Government bureaucracy, red tape, and the duration of the approval process to become a landlord in Section 8 can be frustrating, probably reducing the income that a property owner might make from renting to tenants outside Section 8.

Property Damage

Most of the tenants who participate in the section 8 housing program are from low-income backgrounds i.e they are believed to be destructive. There have been many horror stories such as floors being destroyed, big holes in the walls, toilets being cracked, garbage and filth everywhere, and so on. 

 All of the section 8 tenants are not bad at all. There are good section 8 tenants as well as bad section 8 tenants so it is necessary to screen the tenants in proper order.

Security Deposit is not paid by Section 8

Section 8 offers housing vouchers that pay the monthly rent to the tenant. No amount for the security deposit is included in these vouchers. 

If a landlord wants a security deposit to be collected, he or she has to receive this deposit directly from the tenant. This could be a problem because, by being approved for a Section 8 voucher in the first place, the tenant has already shown limited income.

As with any other tenant, you should never allow a Section 8 tenant to move in without first collecting a security deposit from them. The maximum amount you can collect is determined by your state security deposit limit.

Pros of Section 8 Tenants

Cons of Section 8 Tenants

ON Time Payment Guaranteed

Yearly Section 8 Inspection

Lower Vacancy and Turnover Ratio

Delayed Initial Payment

Higher Allowance Rate

Red Tape

Partially PreScreened Tenant

Property Damage

Additional Marketing

Security Deposit is not paid by the Section 8

Wider Access



Section 8 housing is a much-needed assistance program that helps low-income families to live in stable neighborhoods and maintain adequate monthly income to provide the family with.

Now that you’re armed with the correct details of renting to section 8, the pros, the cons, and the facts, go ahead and make a good decision! For several landlords, the Section 8 Housing Voucher program has its position and can be a viable choice. But make sure you know exactly what it is you are getting into before jumping in.

Check out: Section 8 Houses for Rent OKC


Who pays section 8 damage?

Section 8 is not absolutely responsible for the damage. They are only responsible for rent payments. You can, however, be able to use section 8 against your tenant as leverage.

Can the landlord cancel Section 8?

Yeah, the landlord can terminate section 8 during the lease term for a lease violation which may include illegal activities such as drug use and unauthorized occupant on the property.

Does Section 8 pay directly to the landlord?

 The local authority is responsible to pay the tenant’s housing voucher directly to the landlord each month on a regular basis.

Can the landlord evict the Section 8 tenant?

A landlord would have the right to be evicted and a resident will have to relocate, even though Section 8 assistance is obtained by the tenant.



Scott Nachatilo

Hi, I’m Scott Nachatilo and I own a property management company in Oklahoma (OKC Home Realty Services, LLC). We help landlords and real estate investors to manage their property in OKC

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