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2024 Section 8 Fair Market Rents by Zip Code

Fair Market Rents are set by HUD to determine payment amounts for Section 8. The government pays about 70% of FMR and the tenant pays the remainder. Enter a city or zip code to find FMR for an investment property

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Our Guide to Section 8 Investing

What are the requirements to qualify a Section 8 rental property?

To qualify as a Section 8 rental, the property must:

  • Pass an initial Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection and subsequent annual inspections to ensure it is decent, safe and sanitary.
  • Be rented at or below the fair market rent for the area as determined by HUD.
  • Have a rental amount that fits the Section 8 tenant's voucher size (e.g. a 2-bedroom voucher for a 2-bedroom unit).

What are the benefits of investing in Section 8 housing?

There are several key benefits to investing in Section 8 rental properties:

  • Guaranteed rent payments - The government pays a significant portion of the rent (up to 70%) directly to the landlord each month, providing a stable and reliable income stream. SeeInvestopedia Guide,Bigger Pockets Section 8 Investing Forum.
  • Low vacancy rates - High demand for affordable housing means Section 8 properties tend to have few vacancies and quick tenant placement from waiting lists.
  • Tenant prescreening - Section 8 applicants are prescreened by the Public Housing Authority, including criminal background and income verification.

What are the risks and downsides of being a Section 8 landlord?

While Section 8 has advantages, there are also potential drawbacks to consider:

  • Difficult tenants - Some Section 8 tenants may be more prone to causing property damage or violating lease terms since they are not paying full market rent.
  • Rent control - Landlords cannot charge more than the fair market rent determined by HUD for the area, potentially limiting returns.
  • Inspections - Properties must pass initial and annual inspections to meet HUD housing quality standards, which can require repairs and maintenance.

How do I find Section 8 tenants to rent my property?

To find Section 8 tenants for your rental property:

  • Contact your local Public Housing Authority, which maintains waiting lists of Section 8 voucher holders looking for housing.
  • List your property on websites like that specialize in affordable housing listings.
  • Advertise your property as accepting Section 8 on standard rental listing sites (like Facebook or Craigslist) and indivate "Housing Choice Vouchers Welcome".

How much a landlord can expect to receive in rent for a Section 8 housing unit?

Based on the provided sources, here's a summary of how much a landlord can expect to receive in rent for a Section 8 housing unit:

Determining the Rent Amount

  • Find Fair Market Rent (FMR) per bedroom count: HUD sets the FMR for each area, which represents the cost to rent a moderately-priced unit in the local market.
  • Determine "Payment Standard": The Public Housing Authority (PHA) sets a payment standard between 90% and 110% of the FMR for each bedroom size. This is the maximum monthly assistance the PHA will pay.
  • Gross Rent: The gross rent is the contract rent (the rent the landlord charges) plus the utility allowance (an estimate of the tenant's utility costs). The gross rent cannot exceed the payment standard by more than 10% of the tenant's monthly adjusted income for the unit to be affordable.

Calculating the Housing Assistance Payment (What Government will pay you)

The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) is the monthly amount the PHA will pay the landlord. It is calculated as the lower of:

  • The payment standard minus the tenant's Total Tenant Payment (TTP)
  • The gross rent minus the tenant's TTP

The TTP is the minimum amount the tenant will pay, based on their income. It is typically 30% of their adjusted monthly income.

Here's an example:

Let's say the payment standard for a 2-bedroom unit is $1,500, the contract rent is $1,400, the utility allowance is $100, and the tenant's TTP is $400.

The gross rent would be $1,400 + $100 = $1,500

The HAP would be the lower of:

  • $1,500 (payment standard) - $400 (TTP) = $1,100
  • $1,500 (gross rent) - $400 (TTP) = $1,100

In this case, the landlord would receive $1,100 from the PHA and $400 from the tenant each month, for a total of $1,500.

The key takeaways for landlords are:

  • The PHA will determine if the requested rent is reasonable compared to similar units
  • The gross rent (rent + utility allowance) generally cannot exceed the payment standard
  • The PHA will pay the difference between the gross rent and the tenant's required contribution
  • The total amount the landlord receives will be the contract rent, paid by a combination of the PHA's HAP and the tenant's portion

How are Section 8 Tenant's Rent Payments Calculated?

Section 8 housing assistance is based on a voucher system where the tenant pays a portion of the rent and the Public Housing Authority (PHA) pays the remainder directly to the landlord. Here's how the rent calculation typically works:

  • Use our map to determine fair market rents: The PHA sets a payment standard that is between 90% and 110% of the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for the area. The FMR represents the cost to rent a moderately-priced unit in the local market.
  • The tenant's required rent contribution is generally calculated as the greater of:
    • 30% of their monthly adjusted income
    • 10% of their monthly gross income
    • The welfare rent (if applicable)
    • The PHA's minimum rent (if any)
  • If the gross rent for the unit (rent + estimated utilities) is less than the payment standard, the PHA will pay the difference between the tenant's required contribution and the gross rent.
  • If the gross rent exceeds the payment standard, the tenant must pay the excess in addition to their normal rent contribution. However, by law the tenant's total rent payment cannot exceed 40% of their adjusted monthly income when initially signing a lease.

So for example, let's say:

  • The payment standard for the area is $1000
  • The tenant's monthly adjusted income is $1200
  • The gross rent for the desired unit is $1050

Then, the tenant's required rent contribution would be 30% of $1200, or $360. The gross rent exceeds the payment standard by $50, which the tenant must pay on top of their $360 contribution. So the tenant would pay $410 and the PHA would pay $640 to the landlord.

Keep in mind this is a general example and actual calculations can vary based on the specific policies of the local PHA. Tenants should always check with their PHA to understand exactly how much rent they will be required to pay for a given unit under the voucher program.

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