Is Section 8 a Good Idea For Land Lords

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What Benefits Does Section 8 Provide

Section 8 may be a great choice for landlords with at least one lower priced rental property. There are many benefits landlords can get when dealing with section 8 voucher families. Landlords may have extra responsibilities with section 8 but some find the benefits worth it.

Section 8 Makes Income Much More Reliable

Landlords that decide to participate in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program will have more reliable income. When a landlord houses voucher families the majority an in some cases all of their rent payment comes from HUD. This payment is always on time and guaranteed. Since Section 8 has strict guidelines vouchers are also incentivized to pay their share on time. Voucher families are also burdened less by their rent payments and are more likely to pay on time as a result.

For more information about the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program click here

Section 8 Tenants May Be More Respectful

Section 8 Vouchers are very valuable. Only a portion of low income families have access to Section 8. Local PHAs only have a limited number of housing vouchers because they only have a limited budget. Voucher families that do not follow the guidelines can easily lose access to their housing or even their voucher status. Section 8 vouchers are so valuable some treat them like gold. Voucher families are much more likely to be good tenants as a result. They are very likely to follow all terms of the lease and take good care of the housing unit and appliances.

Section 8 Tenants Stick Better

Voucher tenants are also much more likely to stay in one living unit for a longer unit of time. Section 8 tenants have lower income. They have less means to move or upgrade. Tenant turnover can be very costly to landlords. Demand for Section 8 housing is high. Since voucher tenants will have a hard time finding other section 8 rentals and will have less finances to upgrade they usually stay as tenants for much longer than non-voucher tenants.

Landlords May Be Able To Get More Rent Than Their Unit Is Worth

Your rental unit may be in a neighborhood where rents are below average. Since Section 8 is based on Fair Market Rent (FMR) value the FMR value for your rental unit may actually be higher than you would be able to get on the traditional market.

FMR's are defined at the county level. FMRs reflect the 40th percentile rent for an entire county. Many ZIP codes in a county have higher or lower rents than the average for the entire county. If the area your property is in is an area where rents are lower than the average of the county you may be able to get a bargain.

To view FMRs for your area click here.

Small Area Fair Market Rents (SAFMRs) combat this by calculating FMRs at the ZIP code level but they are not mandated everywhere. Some areas may not even have SAFMRs calculated for them. In other areas it is left up to the discretion of the local Public Housing Authorities if SAFMRs or FMRs are used for an area.

To learn more about SAFMRs or to view where HUD mandates SAFMR use click here.

Affordable Housing Is in Demand

Affordable Housing is in very high demand. Despite the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program many are still struggling to find suitable housing due to a lack of supply. As a landlord if you are able to provide decent, safe, and affordable housing you will almost certainly find section 8 tenants in abundance.

What Downsides Do Landlords Face With Section 8?

Landlords Will Have Less Control Over Rent Increases

When working with Section 8 landlords have less control over their rental unit. Landlords will have less control over rent increases. With Section 8 rent increases will need to be approved by the local Public Housing Authority. Many Land Lords need to raise rent at each lease renewal to remain profitable.

Landlords Will Have To Deal With Annual inspections

Landlords must also face annual inspections in order to ensure that the unit meets Section 8's standards of habitability. If your unit does not meet these standards the landlord must fix the issues and schedule another inspection. Inspections are free to landlords but the repairs needed to meet the standards of habitability are not in most cases.

Getting A Security Deposit May Be Difficult

Security deposits are not part of Section 8. Vouchers will not receive assistance from PHAs on security deposits. Since voucher tenants have very limited financial resources they may struggle to make a security deposit.

Initial Payments May Be Delayed

Under Section 8, tenants will most likely not pay one months rent in advance like traditional tenants. PHAs may even face delays in making a tenants initial subsidized payment. This delay can take up to several months in some cases.

Paper Work, Paper Work, Paper Work

Section 8 will require additional paperwork when compared to traditional renting.


There are pros and cons to Section 8 Vouchers tenants. You may find initial revenue lacking but long term section 8 tenants can be very profitable. If you are looking to lease budget housing, most agree that the pros of housing section 8 tenants heavily out way the cons.

Alan Reed

Alan Reed

Alan is a real estate investor based in Northeast Pennsylvania with experience renovating and operating everything from single-family rentals to strip malls and storage facilities.

June 23, 2022 (Updated April 22, 2024)