How to Handle Section 8 Tenants: Best Practices for Landlords and Property Managers

property manager shaking hand with tenant

The rental market can be a competitive landscape for landlords and property managers. Finding qualified tenants who will care for your property and pay rent on time is a top priority. The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program can be a valuable resource for expanding your applicant pool and attracting responsible tenants. However, some landlords might have reservations about participating in Section 8 due to misconceptions. This blog aims to dispel those myths and provide best practices for landlords and property managers who want to have a positive experience renting to Section 8 tenants.

What is Section 8?

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), provides rental assistance to low-income families, individuals, and seniors. Eligible participants use vouchers to secure decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. The Housing Authority pays a portion of the rent directly to the landlord, with the tenant responsible for the remaining balance.

Best Practices for Renting to Section 8 Tenants:

  1. Know the Program: Familiarize yourself with the Section 8 program guidelines. HUD provides a wealth of resources online, including landlord handbooks and training materials. Understanding the program’s procedures and expectations will set you up for a smooth experience.
  2. Comply with Fair Housing Laws: Section 8 participation is open to all qualified applicants, regardless of race, religion, source of income, or familial status. It’s crucial to adhere to Fair Housing Laws and avoid any discriminatory practices in your tenant screening process.
  3. Market Your Rentals Effectively: Advertise your vacancies and highlight that you accept Section 8 vouchers. Many potential Section 8 tenants actively seek out landlords who participate in the program. Consider listing your rentals on websites frequented by voucher holders.
  4. Conduct Thorough Tenant Screening: While Section 8 helps with rent payments, it’s still essential to conduct a thorough screening process, including credit checks, background checks, and verifying references. This ensures you find responsible tenants who will care for your property.
  5. Maintain Open Communication: Clear communication is key to a successful landlord-tenant relationship. Be readily available to answer questions and address any concerns your Section 8 tenants may have. The Housing Authority can also be a helpful resource for resolving any issues.
  6. Conduct Regular Inspections: As with any tenant, adhere to your lease agreement regarding inspections. Regular inspections help ensure the property is being maintained in good condition and identify any potential problems early on.
  7. Be Professional and Respectful: Treat all your tenants, regardless of their participation in Section 8, with professionalism and respect. Building a positive rapport with your tenants will foster a more enjoyable experience for everyone.


Renting to Section 8 tenants can be a rewarding experience. By understanding the program, adhering to best practices, and maintaining open communication, you can create a mutually beneficial relationship with qualified tenants who will appreciate a well-maintained property. With the right approach, Section 8 can be a valuable tool for expanding your applicant pool and finding responsible tenants for your rental properties.

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