Section 8 housing info for a new landlord

5 Replies

Where do I go to learn how to be able to accept section 8 tenants in Indy? I need to learn about this to decide it it's right for my property.

Hi Angela,

Check out this link:

http://www.indyhousing.org/housing-choice-voucher/landlord-resources

I was going to suggest calling IAH, but @Jennifer Cherpes gave a much better answer. We JUST went through this process for our first S-8 tenant in Indy. It's somewhat painful the first time around with the initial inspection and getting approved and everything. 3wk minimum process. The group that does inspections are running a couple weeks behind. It's my understanding that once you're set up, it's easier after that.
Good luck.

Is the inspection costly? Did you have any surprises from yours? Are there loads of forms to fill out?

My main concern with the property is an old heating oil tank in the basement. It was obviously placed there as the house was being built ( in 1940). I have no idea if it's been emptied or not. It cannot be removed because the home was built around it.

Any idea if this would be a problem for section 8?

@Angela Smith The inspection itself does not cost anything. I tried to be pro-active and have them check ahead of time, but they don't do that. They will only do an inspection after you have interest from a prospective S-8 tenant - and since it's free, I guess that makes sense. Here's how the process works as I understand it:
1) You list your property
2) Tenant expresses interest
     a) you do your background check - if approved:
3) Tenant gives you their S-8 RTA form
     a) You fill out your portion and return it to S-8
4) They determine if your rent is within their market guidelines
     a) If it is not, then they say "hey,  your rent is too high for our program, we'll only allow $635/mo, not $650" (as an example)
     b) It's up to you at that time to determine if you will accept the lower amount or not. You can back out at this point.
5) If everything is good up to this point, then they do the inspection.
6) If they find anything wrong, you fix it and everything is good
     a) If the cost of repair is too high, you say no-thank you and can also back out at this point and rent to someone else not in the S-8 program.

Again, I'm WAY new to this program so some of what I have above could be wrong, but that's how it works as far as I understand it. For your specific question, I'd call IHA and ask. They may not be able to tell you if your particular property would qualify, but I would think at the very least that they could tell you if there are other properties in the system that also have tanks in the basement. I'd be surprised if they didn't since many homes in the Indianapolis area were built before the 40's. 
If the tank is an issue, you could likely hire someone to come in and remove it. They'd probably have to make sure it's drained and then cut it up and remove it in pieces. Total guess on my part.

I have one more comment on S-8, but I won't post it. PM me if you'd like.



I have been a Section 8 Landlord since 1985 and currently manage over 300 tenants in houses on the program in Indy for owners. We manage non Section 8 in addition to the 300.  I am happy to share my experiences. 

@Angela Smith As far as the Oil Tank, removal is required by Section 8 if they can see it. I have seen them pass inspections if the tank is contained. (example  a wall and ceiling  is framed around it to box it in  and completely sealed up.) 

@Shawn York The process for the past several months has been much faster than ever since I have  been involved. It is the 1st time the inspection department has been fully staffed.  In the past the process from RTA submit to move in was 6 to 8 weeks. I have found that the 2 main reasons for delays has been the Caseworker not processing or the tenant not turning in all the needed documents to the caseworkers.

For those interested I am working on a White Paper for the Section 8  Director to explain why more Landlords are not willing to be on the program and possible solutions to those objections. If anyone has anything to offer of their experiences please PM me  

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