How do you do a Section 8? - Posted by Jeff (Atlanta)

Posted by Nate on February 19, 2001 at 08:35:18:

To Mark - and anyone else that may have similar questions - HUD pays based on the “Fair Market Rent” for the area. This is in quotation marks because in practice it is often neither fair nor market! :slight_smile:

The way to find out the FMR for a particular area is:
go to and on the left click ‘data sets’. Then select “Fair Market Rents”. You can download the data in several formats. HUD published these figures for every county in the United States.

Note also, that the stated FMR will be a GROSS number - that is, assuming all utilities are paid by the landlord. If the tenant is responsible for paying any utilities, you will have to reduce the FMR by an amount that is also predetermined by HUD. To get these numbers call your local housing authority or Section 8 office and ask for a copy of the utility allowances.

Good luck,

How do you do a Section 8? - Posted by Jeff (Atlanta)

Posted by Jeff (Atlanta) on February 19, 2001 at 07:17:25:

How do you set it up so that you can let tenants make Section 8 payments? Is there any work to be done on my part, or is it just work on the tenants part?

Re: How do you do a Section 8? - Posted by eric-fl

Posted by eric-fl on February 19, 2001 at 14:31:49:

In addition to the “Fair Market Rent” concerns listed below, I think there are also 2 types of section 8 tenants, one gets a voucher as a supplement, and pays you, the other one, HUD pays you directly. HUD says which type of tenant they are in terms of this. This was why I passed on the program when I was approached about it. It seems like HUD just has say in too many things; who rents, how much they rent for, what is and isn’t normal wear and tear, how they pay, etc.

Re: Section 8 usually “does” YOU…(NT) - Posted by Ed Copp (OH)

Posted by Ed Copp (OH) on February 19, 2001 at 11:14:47:

Re: How do you do a Section 8? - Posted by mark in GA

Posted by mark in GA on February 19, 2001 at 08:23:38:

You have to have your property inspected and up to HUD’s or the local Housing Authority’s standards. I haven’t done one but am looking into it. Basically, its cleanliness, safety (smoke alarms & deadbolts). The tenant has to go down to the HA and apply for assistance then the checks get mailed to you. HUD’s website has it in a little more detail ( hit search/index at the top go down to ‘S’ ).

What I’d like to know is if anyone does Section 8 in Douglas county? Are there people that far out? What does a 3 bedroom pay (in Douglas County)?

Re: How do you do a Section 8? - Posted by Nate

Posted by Nate on February 19, 2001 at 14:50:37:

Generally the way it works is, the tenant is responsible for paying you 30% of their income. (if they have any income!) The difference between that amount, and the agreed upon FMR, is what HUD pays you.

If your rent is in excess of the FMR, the tenant is allowed to pay the excess. For example, if the FMR for an apartment in my area is $500 and I charge $500, and the tenant’s income is $1000 per month, they pay 30% of their income ($300) for rent, and HUD makes up the difference up to $500, so HUD pays $200. But if my apartment rents for $550, the extra $50 is paid by the tenant, not HUD, so that the tenant would pay $350 and HUD would pay $200.

If the tenant has no income, HUD pays you everything directly. In some cases where the tenant’s share is zero, or is less than the amount of the utility allowance, HUD will not only issue you a check for rent, they issue another one to the tenant for the utility allowance! Gotta love government… :slight_smile: