Security deposit for section 8 in question

I tried to sell last renovated house but my reserve is not met. I don’t want to take loss so now I am trying to rent it out to section 8. Found it seems nice prospective tenant, she is delighted with the property and says she will give any (!) deposit. But when I ask monthly rent for it, she sounds surprised. I will pay application fee ($30) but monthly rent as deposit? Now I am surprised.

This is my first dealing with section 8 and I am not sure what is the general rule of thumb when you meet with prospective tenant? My regular tenant gave me monthly rent as security deposit as inevitable but appropriate step on the way of moving in, but if there is different rule for section 8 in this matter?

Please, your insight would be so appreciated.

I suggest you continue to look for another section 8 tenant, you will find one that has the deposit.

Are you marketing on for your section 8 tenant?


Hi Jim. I do Sec 8 and just listed an opening on I had never heard of this site but we will see how it goes. Thanks.

No, just single ad in Cragslist.

This house was wrecked by previous section 8 tenants and the former owner gave it up to foreclosure. Lot’s of work and now house shines, but neighborhood is the same. I wish to understand what are my options to secure the damages with section 8? Maybe someone has personal experience with it?

Actually I like this prospective tenant a lot and would like to proceed with negotiations, just need to figure out how the whole thing might work.

Thank you jimingersoll,

I checked the link you provided and found they recommend :“Tenants are required to pay their own security deposits, though you are restricted from charging a security deposit that is greater than what you charge unassisted tenants.”

It helps, thank you so much. Also it seems there is all kind of useful info on that site, I am already registered and trying to make it work for me.

Section 8 is not for everybody, read about the good, the bad and the ugly here:

IF you are careful, diligent and screen tenants though you can find good section 8 tenants that will stay for a long-time in your houses.


I advertised in Cragslist as “Section 8 welcome” and received some responses. I chose one that was written in proper grammar and language in respectful intelligent manner and met with that person. I found right away that my criteria were perfectly right and the young woman looked, sounded and acted as a nice individual to deal with. The only problem she found that according papers she just received she will be eligible to move in only in the end of coming January.

I tried to answer some other people by phone and when I hear that they talk with tone falling from aggressive to defensive I am loosing any interest to continue with them.

I would wait for my nice prospective tenant but afraid that over the month a lot of things might change and plan will fall through. Maybe it makes sense to ask my “fair lady” about deposit? If this request would be appropriate or there is something else that I have to keep in mind?

And also in the link provided I saw that bureaucracy might cause delays in payments and wonder, if tenant is already in and city does not pay in time does it mean that first monthly payments will be simply lost?

Section 8 is a slow process, even after you screen and approve a tenant for move in:

  1. Receive the leasing packet from the tenant

  2. Complete the packet and send it to their representative, then they can take 10 - 15 days processing it. They also typically need proof of ownership, and a blank lease as well.

  3. After they process the paperwork, they schedule the inspection. They will give you a checklist of everything they will check and I encourage you to check it before they get there. They are mostly safety type items.

  4. When you pass the inspection they do one more check for affordability and approve the move in. They will start paying rent from that day forward.

The key is always finding the right tenant, regardless if you go with section 8 or not.



I know you would like to go with your gut feeling on your nice prospective tenant, but keep in mind that some of the best con artists and deadbeats are nice. They know how to play the game.

I would focus more on her credit and job history than on how nice she seems.


If you reside in housing sponsored by the federal Section eight rental help housing program, there area unit many stuff you ought to recognize if your property owner asks for a down payment. First, landlords United Nations agency rent below Section eight leases area unit subject to any or all state laws governing the safety deposits. this suggests that if a property owner takes a down payment from a tenant, the owner should provide the tenant a written receipt, should deposit this cash in an exceedingly checking account cut loose the landlord’s funds, and should pay the tenant interest on the tenant’s portion of the safety deposit

Thank you so much everyone for respond!

Jim, this step-by-step guide gives me a picture about paper work when dealing with section 8 and it is priceless to me! I was not aware of this process in such details, so I feel prepared now.

Natalie, I understand what you mean. Yes, I will submit background check and my application for tenants is comprehensive; along with standard data it includes their past and present contacts and I should see how it match to background check. Also I know she is working and I can see it is something she cares.

nidhishukla, I keep tenants deposit in separate account, which has something like 0,2% APR. I know what you mention is important and I would specify that account and APR in the lease agreement.