NEW Section 8 Rules in California

8 Replies

Hey BP Community,

Are there any posts out there on the new Section 8 Rules in California yet?  How are people managing this?  Does anyone have any advice they can share here?

over the past few years, i have been raising the criteria and an interesting thing happened - i found less section 8 tenants qualifying without a noticeable decrease in qualifying applicants (obviously that could be due to many reasons)

Anyways criteria like length of time in current job, length of time in current residence, avg bank balance and more are all criteria that help arrive at a well qualified applicant

If a section 8 applicant meets the criteria, they will likely be a good tenant and have the added benefit of being on section 8

In other words, having good criteria avoids bad tenants regardless of their section 8 status

Good Article on the new law, AB 329:

Section 8 and Source of Income Protections – SB 329 and SB 222 

My 2 cents:

Section 8 I have heard is a mixed bag.

Some cities, San Jose for example, already had existing rules against Discrimination for Section 8.

The new law in CA says you can't discriminate against income source for paying the rent - Section 8.

Some landlords love Section 8, because it guarantees the tenant pays the rent. Others dislike it because you have to go through an audit, to be approved to take section 8. Per one lawyer I spoke with, until you take a section 8 person you don't need to go through the audit. Other landlords worry about the type people associated with some section 8 tenants. If the Section 8 person violates their agreement, they can lose their section 8 benefits forever.

The comment the two lawyers I have heard speak on the matter, is that most Section 8 applicants have a poor credit history, so if you have a requirement of X score to qualify, they usually won't qualify.

I am not a lawyer, I don't do tenant application reviews, so this is a SWAG and not legal advice.

Originally posted by @Brian Larson :

@Bruce Leong - the non-discrimination changes. How are folks planning work with these new rules?

 You just have to allow them to apply and not discriminate based on their source of income.  So, if they have the credit score you require of all applicants, and same good landlord references, etc., etc., and enough income (including what they'd get from the housing authority), etc., you can't just deny them.

There are actually good Section 8 tenants out there.  And one of the upsides is that you get free inspections that the tenant can't deny access to.  But, if your criteria is tough, odds are they won't qualify anyway.  This law just says you have to give them a fighting chance.