What Happens if My Landlord Wants to Opt Out of Section 8?

When a landlord opts out of Section 8, both tenants and landlords will face potential consequences. Tenants may be immediately facing eviction or need to find alternative housing, while landlords could be subject to fines or other legal action if they discriminate against tenants. It’s important for both parties to understand their rights and obligations under the law, and to be aware of possible alternatives to the situation.

In this blog, we explain what happens when a landlord opts out of Section 8, the implications for both tenants and landlords, and what you can do if your landlord makes this decision.

What Happens if My Landlord Wants to Opt Out of Section 8?


Understanding the Implications of a Landlord Opting Out of Section 8

For landlords in the United States, understanding the implications of opting out of Section 8 is critical before making a decision. Opting out means that a property owner will no longer accept tenants whose rent is subsidized by the government.

Section 8 helps those who are unable to pay the full market rate for housing, but many landlords see it as a risk due to their perception that only low-income tenants qualify for subsidies. As a result, some landlords believe opting out will lower their chances of dealing with destructive tenants or late payments.

However, this can also leave these landlords without an income stream from potentially rent-subsidized tenants regardless of potential financial struggles caused by events such as illness or job loss. Ultimately, by weighing both upsides and downsides, landlords can make informed decisions about participating in Section 8 whenever possible.


Reasons Why Would a Landlord Opt Out of Section 8

With more demand for rental housing in the US than supply, it is essential for landlords to be aware of their options and the benefits (or drawbacks) they may come with. Section 8 is a federal program that provides housing choice vouchers to tenants who qualify based on financial and other criteria.


Reasons Why Would a Landlord Opt Out of Section 8 (2)
Reasons Why Would a Landlord Opt Out of Section 8 (2)

However, more and more landlords are opting out of Section 8 due to difficulties that go along with it, such as time-consuming paperwork, low rental rates, and lack of control/oversight over who they lease their property. This introductory paragraph takes a look at some of the primary reasons why landlords are choosing not to work with Section 8.

1. Potential for Poor Tenants

Some landlords are reluctant to accept Section 8 tenants because they think that accepting these tenants could make it more difficult to find quality renters or those who will take care of the property.

2. Risk of Unpaid Rent

Since Section 8 programs are administered by local governments, there is a risk that rent payments will not be made on time. This can lead to financial hardship for landlords and also affect the tenant’s credit score.

3. Preparing Property

Landlords may need to make certain modifications in order to meet Section 8 requirements, such as installing safety features or bringing the property up to code. This could require additional expenses that some landlords are unwilling to make.

4. Extra Paperwork

Section 8 landlords are typically required to submit additional paperwork and reporting since they are dealing with an outside agency. This can be burdensome, time-consuming, and costly for some landlords who would prefer a more streamlined process.

5. Difficult Tenant Screening Process

Since the tenant screening process for Section 8 is different than that for traditional renters, some landlords may be reluctant to accept tenants who do not meet the requirements.

6. Potential Discrimination

Some landlords worry that participating in Section 8 could create a perception of discrimination if they reject certain applicants. This can be an especially sensitive issue in cities with minority populations.

7. Changes in Local Rental Market

Landlords may opt out of Section 8 if the rental market changes in their area, leading to higher rents or higher demand for non-subsidized tenants. This can help maximize a landlord’s returns in a changing market.

Reasons Why Would a Landlord Opt Out of Section 8 (2)


Possible Consequences for the Landlord

Renting to Section 8 tenants can be a great way for landlords to make money, but there are potential consequences for opting out of this program. Landlords who take Section 8 payments are required to abide by state and federal laws, and failing to do so may lead to substantial fines or even eviction proceedings.

Additionally, choosing to opt out of Section 8 could alienate potential tenants and cause landlords to miss out on reliable rental income from this demographic. Furthermore, refusing prospective renters due to their participation in the program will be viewed as discrimination.

This is also illegal in certain cities and states that have stricter regulations against such actions. Therefore, it is advisable for landlords to consider all of their options before choosing whether or not they want to take part in the Section 8 scheme.


Possible Alternatives for the Landlord

Landlords who are considering opting out of Section 8 rental subsidies may want to explore different options that allow them to provide housing for low-income tenants without going through the federal program. As an alternative to Section 8, landlords can opt for multi-unit affordable housing, where rent prices are set in accordance with local incomes.

For example, an affordable housing unit could have rental rates that are 30% less than the standards of the area and would be restricted to households below 50% or 60% of the median income. Another option is rent control, where landlords agree to a cap on their rents so they’re not exorbitantly priced.

Additionally, a landlord can offer fixed-term leases with lower rents, giving families some stability while they work on finding long-term housing solutions. Finally, they could provide other incentives like utility assistance or waiving pet deposits and fees, which will make their units more appealing and accessible for lower-income renters.

Understanding the Implications of a Landlord Opting Out of Section 8


What Happens to Tenants When a Landlord Opts Out of Section 8?

Section 8 is a government-funded program that benefits tenants who are struggling to pay rent and/or need assistance finding housing. When a landlord opts out of this program, tenants in the property can be affected adversely. This could mean that they may not be able to stay on their property or find similar terms elsewhere.

Tenants have rights under the law and can reach out for guidance if their landlord has decided to opt out of Section 8. Tenants also have options such as appealing the decision with their local housing authority, filing a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, or seeking legal counsel from an experienced landlord-tenant attorney.


Rights of Tenants Under Section 8

Section 8 housing offers an invaluable opportunity for people across all walks of life to gain quality, affordable housing with the help of government assistance. However, it’s important for potential or current Section 8 tenants to be aware of their rights and legal obligations, which luckily are fortunately clearly outlined in this section.

  1. Right to reasonable and timely notice before eviction.
  2. Right to receive a written statement from their landlord detailing the reason for any proposed eviction proceedings.
  3. Right to an impartial hearing in court if evicted without just cause or reasonable notice, including the right to present witnesses and evidence on their behalf.
  4. Right to receive written notice when their rent is increased, and the right to challenge any proposed increase in court if they believe it is unjustified.
  5. Right to refuse entry by their landlord or other authorized personnel into their home without reasonable notice and legal authorization.
  6. Right to privacy, which includes the right to be free from arbitrary or excessive inspection.
  7. Right to safe and well-maintained living conditions, including the right to have repairs made in a timely manner.

There are more rights of tenants that are under Section 8, you can browse the whole list here.


Possible Alternatives for Tenants

Tenants have numerous alternatives to their housing arrangements if they find themselves in a difficult situation. First, one can choose to move somewhere else entirely. This can allow for tenants to live in a safer, more accommodating environment, albeit at the cost of packing up movers and finding a new place.

Alternatively, some renters can speak with their landlord about transferring or subleasing their space. Depending on the rules and regulations of the local area, this may be an easier solution that does not involve as much packing and moving into another location. Additionally, more localized options such as roommate sharing are also available, allowing tenants to still maintain their current living situation while paying down some of the financial burden associated with rent.

When facing a difficult housing dilemma it is best for tenants to explore all possible alternatives so they can make an informed decision that best suits their needs.

What Happens to Tenants When a Landlord Opts Out of Section 8?


What Should You Do If Your Landlord Opts Out of Section 8?

What Should You Do If Your Landlord Opts Out of Section 8 (2)
What Should You Do If Your Landlord Opts Out of Section 8 (2)

Options for tenants

If your landlord chooses to opt out of the Section 8 program, there are still options available to you as a tenant. First, look into finding another property in your area that accepts the Section 8 voucher. You can also check to see if subsidies or other financial assistance is available near you.

Additionally, you can reach out to local social services for advice and guidance on how to proceed with housing. Finally, renting with roommates may help offset some of the costs of rent and/or services such as utilities that you’re responsible for.

It’s important to remember that although it may feel like all hope has been lost, there are still plenty of resources available for those who need help obtaining safe and reliable housing.


Seeking legal assistance

Tenants who are dealing with landlords that have opted out of Section 8 have many options at their disposal. The most important one is to seek professional legal help. An experienced housing attorney can help tenants navigate and understand their rights under the law, so it is highly advisable for those facing this particular situation to consult with an attorney.

This can be done by searching online or in person for listings of local lawyers who specialize in landlord-tenant relationships and housing law. They can reach out to civic organizations or non-profits who offer free legal advice and resources dedicated to assisting tenants in resolving any disputes they may have with their landlords.

Taking advantage of these opportunities can prove invaluable to those seeking a fair resolution in regard to their Section 8 status.


Reporting discrimination

Renting a home or apartment that is eligible for housing assistance can be a great way to save money, especially when it comes to Section 8 vouchers. However, some landlords choose not to accept this form of payment, and this can put those in need of affordable housing in an unfortunate position.

To protect your rights as a tenant, it’s essential to understand the law and be aware that any discrimination against Section 8 renters is illegal. If you suspect discrimination in your landlord’s refusal to accept Section 8 or any other form of housing assistance, get in contact with your local civil rights office or state attorney general’s office. It may be possible to hold the landlord accountable for their unlawful conduct.

What Should You Do If Your Landlord Opts Out of Section 8?



Section 8 offers a valuable resource for tenants in need of affordable housing. But it is important to understand the risks and rewards that come with participating in this program. Landlords may choose to opt-out for several reasons, including potential difficulty finding quality renters and extra paperwork involved.

For landlords, there are alternatives such as multi-unit affordable housing, rent control, and fixed-term leases. For tenants, it is essential to know their rights under the law and be aware of any discrimination that may arise from landlords who opt out of Section 8.

Table of Contents