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Things to consider when evicting Section 8 tenants

As many landlords know, the daily costs of living can get expensive. For families who are struggling financially, paying rent each month can be a challenge. Fortunately, there’s a voucher system to help people get back on their feet.

The Section 8 program, also known as the Housing Choice Voucher program, lets landlords rent apartment units and homes at fair market rates to low-income tenants. Residents qualify for the program by applying for rent assistance vouchers.

Accepted tenants put a minimum of 30 percent of their income into rent each month. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development covers the rest.

Through these programs, tenants pay a reasonable rent. Landlords have the freedom to use their own lease agreement. Potential tenants must also go through the same screening as other applicants.

South Carolina offers several types of programs, which include:

  • Tenant-based program: This program allows tenants to access and maintain affordable rent at privately owned rental properties. It’s more common and the wait time to qualify is shorter.
  • Project-based program: This program focuses on property. For example, a tenant can move to an apartment and use the vouchers. However, if they move out, they cannot take those vouchers with them.

What makes Section 8 eviction different?

For the most part, landlords handle Section 8 tenants the same way they would any other tenant. Section 8 tenants still have a responsibility to respect the property and pay their part of the rent on time. Evictions, however, do differ.

Section 8 programs come with a list of tailored regulations. During the eviction process, it’s important to follow the rules. Breaking one could result in legal consequences.

Regardless, there are grounds for a landlord to pursue an eviction, such as:

  • The tenant didn’t pay their portion of the rent on time.
  • The tenant damaged the rental property.
  • The tenant committed a crime.

The process of eviction is mainly the same. Landlords are required to notify the court of all legal actions. An unlawful detainer must be filed in court, then the landlord will need to receive an order before removing a tenant.

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