Evicting Section 8 Tenants from Triplex

8 Replies

Hello all, 

Looking currently at an off market deal that seems to be priced right for the area its in.  The only catch is that the current owner is running the triplex with 3 separate section 8 tenants.  I believe that renovating the units would be the right move to maximize the property so I would need to get all the current tenants out when their leases run out.

I am assuming this will not be easy, and maybe wont even be possible due to the strict rules that I am sure that HUD has in place. Has anyone gone through a similar situation and what was your experience?

Thank you for any insight .  

Section 8 does not (should not) allow month to month leases.  You will be required to honor the existing leases.   But, you can non-renew the lease at the end of the term.  (That is very different than evicting.)  Good news, if you do it this way, you will likely get your units back in different months, making turns less stressful.

If they don't move out, then you would have to evict, but it is usually a much easier process if you have already sent a non-renewal notice..  Also, since Section 8 tenants don't have a security deposit, do not expect to get the units back in good condition.

That’s a good question to think about as you’re getting started. I know there are a lot of stigmas attached to renting to individuals who hold Section 8 housing vouchers; it is easier to think through the cons - however, some of the pros might be that you open up the property to a bigger pool of potential applicants. In many instances a large portion of the rent is almost guaranteed to hit your pocket each month - again, this may not cover the full amount but they are consistent payments coming in (paid by the government). Typically the tenants are already prescreened and you’re much more likely to have a lower vacancy rate. However, there’s always a certain level of risk that you take in accepting Section 8 vouchers and for you, you need to decide how you’d like to proceed - I know a portion of the rent is guaranteed, which is great, but I also wonder if the portion that the tenant is responsible for is considered riskier when compared to non-section 8 tenant candidates.

Additionally, there are a lot more regulations that you'll have to abide by as far as the price that you can set the rent at, and I don't believe HUD pays Security Deposits either, as Greg noted. Other downsides to going this route: the process to get the unit approved can be long and tedious; the apartment has to pass section 8 inspection - they are thorough, and go by the book. Section 8 doesn't manage the tenant, so if the tenant isn't paying their portion of the rent it's still your responsibility to evict them. All you can do is report it to Section 8 and there's a possibility they can lose their voucher. I'll defer to others though to keep the pros and cons coming! Still learning about this myself but happy to share what I've learned thus far. @Joe San

NJ allows you to not offer renewal for legitimate reasons, including rehabbing units.

But always treat the human, not just the situation. Let them know you'll be rehabbing ahead of time so they have enough time to look around. Even offer financial incentive to ensure they're out of needed.

Originally posted by @Greg Scott :

Section 8 does not (should not) allow month to month leases. 

Also, since Section 8 tenants don't have a security deposit, do not expect to get the units back in good condition.

While SEC 8 does dictate the term if the INITIAL lease be one year, after that they allow any term that the landlord and tenant agree on, from month to month to long term. If these tenants have been there for more than a year, there is a very good chance their leases could be month to month, because that is what the majority of landlords do.

I have 85 SEC 8 tenants and every single one of them has a minimum security deposit equal to one times months rent. What is making you think a SEC 8 tenant would not have to pay a deposit?


@Patti Robertson   None of my Section 8 tenants have ever had a security deposit. Perhaps that was a bad decision by my property manager or it could be the way our regional Section 8 authority operates.  Similarly, we've had situations where a Section 8 tenant has a month to month lease and we've been trying to get them to sign a standard lease.   Often it is the Section 8 authority that forces them to sign.  They told us they did not allow month to month, which was great from our perspective.