We are in the middle of renting one of our properties. The property has been cleaned and turned and is ready for move in. The property is listed and this past weekend we had three applicants. One of the three applicants is an individual with a Section 8 housing subsidy voucher.
We have a friend who has several properties and he regularly rents to folks who use Section 8. He spoke very positively about the program, in fact he prefers to rent to folks with Section 8 vouchers. Our friend has explained that the Section 8 funds are paid directly by the government to the landlord and the tenant/landlord lease relationship is not altered by the Section 8 housing voucher. If the tenant fails to pay his or her share of rent due, the eviction process would be the same regardless of whether the tenant has a housing voucher. We understand that we would have to have the property inspected by the local HUD office, but otherwise there are really no additional hoops to jump through.
Our concern, and one that we apply to all applicants, is ability to pay. We generally want to rent to a family or roommate group where the amount paid for housing costs (rent plus utilities) is 1/3 or less of take home pay (or other sources of income, Social Security, child support, etc.). In this instance, even adding in the Section 8 voucher ($1000 a month), this candidate does not meet our 1/3 rule. But looking at the Section 8 guidelines is seems unlikely that a Section 8 candidate would ever meet our 1/3 rule because then they would not qualify for Section 8.
We've never rented to someone with a Section 8 voucher so I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with this program? If so, I'd really appreciate hearing from you regarding your experiences, positive and negative.