Section 8 Eviction
In order to gain a greater understanding of the laws surrounding Section 8 evictions, it is necessary to read through the applicable laws and regulations. In general, Section 8 eviction will largely track the normal eviction process with a few exceptions. Section 8 evictions require additional procedural prerequisites before the suits are filed, and federal law (along with Florida state eviction laws) will govern.
What is Section 8?
- Section 8, also known as the Housing Choice Voucher Program (“HCV”), provides assistance to low-income families to afford safe and sanitary housing. Congress established Section 8 of the Housing and Community Development Act in 1974 to make sure people earning low wages could find decent housing and a suitable living environment.
Do special rules apply when evicting a Section 8 tenant?
- A Section 8 eviction of a tenant who is receiving benefits under the program is slightly different from a typical eviction. Some of the unique Section 8 eviction rules are as follows:
- Landlord of the property must give the local Public Housing Authority a copy of any eviction notice at the same time the landlord notifies the tenant
- Advise the tenant that he/she has 10 days within which to discuss termination of tenancy with the landlord. The 10-day period beings on the day that the notice is deemed effective
- A tenant is entitled to a 30-day notice when being evicted for “other good cause”
- The landlord may only evict the tenant by judicial action pursuant to state and local laws
- For more information regarding HUD Section 8 termination, click here.
What grounds can a Section 8 tenant be evicted on?
- There are no major differences between the grounds that a landlord may use to evict a Section 8 tenant and a normal tenant. Some of the most common grounds that a Section 8 tenant can be evicted on are as follows:
- Non-payment of the tenant portion of rent
- Serious or repeated violation of the lease
- Violation of Federal, State, or local law that imposes obligations on the tenant in connection with the occupancy or use of the unit and the premises
- Criminal activity or alcohol abuse
- Other good causes such as a tenant violating a condition of probation, disturbance of neighbors, destruction of property
- Tenant fails to provide the information required by HUD
Get a free consultation with a Section 8 eviction lawyer today.
Do I need a Section 8 Eviction Lawyer? Procedure for evicting a Section 8 tenant (The procedure may vary based on federal, state, and local laws)
- The notice given to the tenant must be served by:
- Sending a letter by first class mail, properly stamped, and addressed and including a return address, to the tenant at the unit address; and
- Delivering a copy of the notice to any adult person answering the door at the unit. If no adult answers the door, the notice may be placed under or through the door or attach it to the door
- The notice must include:
- The specific date the tenancy will be terminated
- The reason for termination of tenancy
- The landlord must establish that the basis for the termination of tenancy is consistent with HUD-required lease provisions, allowable lease provisions set forth in the lease for the unit occupied by the tenant, and applicable state and local laws
- State that the tenant has 10 days to discuss termination of tenancy with the landlord
- Must include the dollar amount of the balance due on the rent account and the date of such computation if the tenant has not paid rent
Note: The landlord may only collect the portion of rent the tenant is responsible for. Trying to collect more than the tenant’s amount may result in a federal lawsuit.
- The date that the notice is deemed to be received by the tenant is the later of:
- The date the first-class letter is mailed; or
- The date the notice is properly given
- The date the service of the notice is deemed effective is when the notice has been both mailed and hand delivered
- When terminating tenancy for material failure to carry out an obligation under a State and Local Landlord and Tenant Act, the time of service of the termination notice must be in accordance with the lease and state law
- A copy of the notice must be sent to the local Public Housing Authority
- The landlord may file to evict the tenant in the county court where the property is located
- The landlord may not recover possession of the dwelling unit without bringing a lawsuit for eviction against the tenant
Who administers the Housing Choice Voucher Program?
- Housing choice vouchers are administered locally by Public Housing Agencies. The funds are provided by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”), which is a U.S. government agency that was created in 1965 to support the housing market and homeownership.
Who qualifies for Section 8?
- United States citizens and non-citizens with eligible immigration status who are 18 years or older in households earning less than 50% of the Area Median Income. HUD defines a household as a home that consists of one or more persons.
How much are Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers worth?
- Under the Section 8 HCV program, tenants will have to pay 30% of their monthly income towards rent and utilities. The remaining costs related to rent and utilities will be paid for by the voucher that the Public Housing Authority (“PHA”) issued and approved. In some instances, tenants may be required to pay up to 40% of their monthly income if the market rate rent of a unit exceeds the payment standard set by the PHA.
What is the difference between HUD Public Housing Program and Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)?
- The HUD Public Housing Program allows eligible participants to live in housing units that are federally owned. The Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) allows tenants to rent private residences approved by local housing authorities.
- In order to qualify for the HUD Public Housing Program, the candidate should have income that is 80% lower than the average income in the appropriate housing authority’s jurisdiction. To qualify for the Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8), the candidate must earn income that is 50% lower than the average income in the appropriate housing authority’s jurisdiction.
- The rent amounts a participant in the HUD Public Housing Program must pay is set by the local housing authorities. In the Section 8 program, the Section 8 beneficiary will agree to monthly rent payments with private landlords.
For HUD’s Florida contact information, click here.
For a list of Florida’s Public Housing Authority contact information, click here.
For a list of Florida’s Housing Authority websites, click here.
For additional resources on being a Housing Choice Voucher landlord, click here.
The information contained on this page should not be construed as legal advice.