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How Section 8 Decides if Your Rent Is Reasonable

How Section 8 Decides if Your Rent Is Reasonable

In Washington State, there was a 9% increase in homelessness from 2022 to 2023. Since 2016, the rates of the homeless have continued to increase as affordable housing can't match the demand.

Fixed income rates and rising rent prices are top factors in the housing affordability crisis.

Greater Seattle landlords can help their communities by offering fair rental prices. When you do, you may be eligible for housing Section 8 tenants. This comes with the perk of consistent monthly income.

Keep reading to learn how Section 8 decides if your rent is reasonable.

What Are Housing Vouchers?

Section 8, also referred to as the housing choice voucher program, helps low-income renters find affordable homes.

This federal government program gives renters the freedom to choose their housing as long as it meets their requirements. Landlords who offer Section 8 housing are paid by the Public Housing Agency (PHA).

Section 8 requirements include deciding if your rent is reasonable, among other factors. You have to meet minimum health and safety standards during a HUD inspection.

Is Your Rent Reasonable?

Rental prices vary from city to city so your reasonability won't be determined by the national average. Instead, the affordable housing program will compare your property to similar ones in Greater Seattle.

A reasonable rent price is within the fair market value. Section 8 will assess your rent price by focusing on:

  • Local rental market conditions
  • Property size
  • Amenities
  • Utilities

A thorough market analysis will determine which properties are similar to yours. Using other rental listings and vacancy rates in the area, landlords can determine a competitive rental price.

What Happens if You Become a Section 8 Landlord?

If the PHA decides your rent is reasonable after checking your property condition and the local market, they will accept the tenant's request to live on your property.

You'll rent out your property the same way you would with other tenants. Draw up a lease agreement and discuss the terms of the tenancy. The difference is that the local PHA will sign the lease agreement with you and the tenant.

Becoming a Section 8 landlord means earning consistent income throughout the tenancy. You will always receive the portion of the rent that the government pays. The same can't always be said for the tenant.

This is why it's important to screen tenants thoroughly before accepting their applications. Even if the PHA completes tenant screening, do your due diligence.

The government pays for up to 70% of the rent each month and the tenant is responsible for the rest.

Working With a Property Manager

Becoming a Section 8 landlord requires a few additional steps, but the payoff is worth it. A property manager from Brink Property Management, Inc., can help you set a fair rent price and work with the PHA to bring in tenants.

Brink has the most experienced managers in the region and is proud of it. We have more than 27 years of experience in the Greater Seattle area.

We offer year-round, 24/7 services, from tenant screening to rent collection. We do it all so you don't have to.

Contact us today to get started with professional property management services.