Another section 8 question

Ok, I have tried to search for this but did not come up with anything. But I have a proposed tenant that has been approved for section 8. I understand that HUD will send me a check for their portion of the rent and the tenant picks up the rest.

  1. How long does it take to begin seeing the HUD checks? I heard this can be up to two months???

  2. I assume the security deposit is the sole resposibility of the tenant?

  3. What is the typical time for a section 8 tenant to get all the paperwork in line and move in?

  4. Is there anything I need to know about section 8 as a landlord that is not on the HUD web site? Will a HUD rep be available for me to talk with during this process?

Thanks all

Hi Warped,

Here in the Puget Soud region of WA, Section 8 voucher based program is administered by various ‘housing authority’ agencies. Here’s how it works here:

  1. Tenant wants to apply for one of my units.

  2. Tenant fills out application, pays screening fee, and gives you their Request for Tenancy Approval (“RTA”) and voucher.

  3. Landlord completes RTA and sends immediately to the housing authority reflected in the documentation. This is what starts the ball rolling to get the inspection completed which usually occurs within about 10 days. The tenant should never move until the unit passes the inspection as Section 8 does not pay until that occurs.

  4. Screen the tenant, primarily to check for criminal, sex offender, employment, and prior rental history. Their credit is less of an issue as their rent, either all or a portion, will be paid by Section 8.

  5. I always follow up with a phone call to the intake desk at the housing authority as they are famous for losing docs which will delay the process.

  6. You’ll probably get your screening report back before the inspection so you have time to make sure there are no issues as stated in #4 above.

  7. The inspection occurs, and if the unit passes and all else is good to go, you can move the tenant in. If the unit fails the inspection, you’ll get a list of the items right there and the inspector’s direct number to set up the reinspection. Depending on the level of work to do, the re-inspection can usually be set up within a couple of days.

  8. Approximately 1-2 weeks after the inspection you will receive the Housing Assistance Payments (“HAP”) contract, which is the agreement between you and HUD and which will reflect the rent for the unit as well as who pays how much. Your lease, which is the agreement between you and your tenant, must reflect the same dates as those reflected on the HAP contract.

  9. There will be other paperwork you must complete and return with the HAP contract: lead based paint addendum if your property was built prior to 1978, W-9 for payments received by you, etc. They usually provide all the documents you need.

The section 8 payments usually start coming in, at the latest, the first of the following month. Some agencies here cut checks every week so it’s good.

The security deposits, if the tenant doesn’t have the money, can be obtained from various ‘payees’ and also from DSHS. Here, one can get a $750 security deposit once a year from DSHS.

Hope this helps!


Hi, Warped.

  1. I had a lease start 11/20/05. By 12/9/05 I received a check from Ga Housing and Finance Authority for prorated rent for November as well as rent for December.

  2. Yes

  3. Before we had Section 8 Appt, I checked all references and took security deposit. Then when we had the inspection, the same day we signed lease. I gave Section 8 voided check for direct deposit.

  4. The only time I talked to rep was to set up appt. In Georgia, wanted to make sure smoke detectors work, light switches work, light fixtures on light, outlet covers on outlets, refrigerator and stove clean – clean behind them as well. Make sure water drains correctly out of sinks, no slow drains; if ceiling is discolored, they might question it but you can still pass; make sure windows have no cracks or holes and they open and close easily; Safety hazards