Advice for section 8 tenants

6 Replies

Greetings. If a tenant is on section 8, do you still require them to have employment? I just put a rental on the market and a good amount candidates have section 8. How do I even accept section 8? Any advice is helpful.

Hello @Simon Obas ,

You can have a minimum income requirement if you'd prefer that. Many section 8 recipients have part or full-time employment so you should be able to find applicants that meet your requirements.

Once you've accepted a tenant, you'll have to fill out some Section 8 documents and submit the executed lease for approval. The approval process typically takes 1-2 weeks but this could be delayed during COVID.

I'd also recommend listing your apartment on You'll likely get flooded with leads but it'll help you boost exposure.

Best of luck to you moving forward!


Sure, as long as you use the same rent/income standards for all applicants.  You may not be able to discriminate on source of funds, but I guess if its legal its income.

@Simon Obas

We don’t have income requirements for section 8 applicants because every situation is different, what we always do that some landlords/managers don’t is have them fill out the application and pay the fee so we can run background, credit and eviction history. In the beginning we didn’t because they are supposed to be vetted by Sec 8 but after a few bad apples we learned our lesson. Everyone fills out applications and our section 8 experiences are much better.

If your getting a lot of applicants I would also suggest not to rent to someone (initially) who just got their voucher. Between both of your inexperience the process will take months and you’ll be losing money. Once you guys know what you’re doing you can coach the newbies through the process.

Last thing is the process takes at least 30-60 days in our market (Newark NJ) so be ready to have a vacant apartment for a while. 30-60 days is best case scenario, we’ve had applicants that have taken 4-5 months. I hope this helps.

It really depends on how much their voucher will be giving you each month. They work this out with the housing authority. Sometimes the assistance covers 100 percent of their amount sometimes they must pay a portion. You must determine how much will be paid from the assistance.

I love SEC 8, especially in a market like today where renters income can be unstable. It's basically rent insurance for the landlord - for free. If you search BP for SEC 8 you will find hundreds of thousands of posts.

I require 1 times the rent in dependable reliable income if the voucher size equals my bedroom size, and two time the rent if the house has more bedrooms than the voucher budget.  

The topic comes up ALOT. My poor fingers got tired of typing the same thing over and over, so I put my tips and tricks in a blog post. Here’s a link if you want to check it out.

In our market, you won't know what portion of the rent, if any, the voucher holder will be responsible for until after you submit the paperwork, pass the inspection, and get the rent determination from the local PHA. We need to pre-screen tenants to make sure they qualify on other criteria before we do all of that, and we do ask for their total income, and proof thereof. Once we get the rent determination, we apply the same standard to them as to any other applicant; their income must be at least 3x the amount they will be responsible to pay. 

The catch is that the PHA can reevaluate your tenant's situation and switch up how much they are responsible for. You won't be able to re-qualify them at that point, just have to hope they can continue paying their side.