Sec. 8 pre-screening?

I am looking at a single family 2 BD/ 1BA/garage to rehab. I’m estimating 6 mos. (pretty much a total rehab) before rent ready.

Does anyone know if Sec. 8 will allow me to screen tenants during rehab? And if so, will Sec. 8 allow me to offer a lease to a prospective tenant while we rehab? Or does Sec. 8 want the property complete before the screening process can begin? I know Sec. 8 will inspect before a tenant can move in.

I hope I worded that right. In short can I look for a Sec. 8 tenant during rehab? I’m in IL. I plan to contact Housing today, but I figured I could start here in the meantime.

Screening tenants has absolutely nothing to do with Section 8. You can screen as many tenants as you like. You just won’t be able to start getting Section 8 for a tenant until the property passes the section 8 inspection. In my opinion, it would be pointless to pre-screen tenants months in advance. Tenants have an attention span of about this long… one, two, …that’s it! By the time you get to three, tenants will be thinking about something else!

Good Luck


Makes sense. I’m just thinking ahead as I do and looking to see what I can do to cut down on the vacancy time once the property is rent ready.

You could get a contract that said they will rent it for $xxx and the agreement is contigient upon Section 8 inspecting and approving the house.

Section 8 tenants don’t seem to plan ahead, usually, they don’t work on finding a new place until they are being evicted from their current one. But everybody is different. so you might get one who is looking for a better place to move to and would get yours under contract and wait.

If you did get a Section 8 tenant who was planning 3-4 months in advance, you’d more than likely be getting the cream of the crop as far as Section 8 tenants go.

You do know to not let them in the door until after all the Section 8 paperwork is completed and the inspection passed, right?

I had the pleasure (and I use that loosely) of dealing with Sec. 8 in the past. That was my very first experience as a new landlord in '03.

around here section 8 vouchers only last 60 days once they give there landlord notice they are moving or are newly approved for the program. I find I get an influx in calls after the monthly move-out meetings voucher holders are to attend. I have had tenants view rentals during rehab and get them ready before inspection which is usually a week or two after you fill out the tenant papers. The most recent one I did like this was a challenge because of the amount of work still needed to be done before the inspection.