The Miami real estate rental market is top Florida architects. Finding a qualified tenant that will maintain the property in good condition and pay the rent on time is a challenge. Miami-Dade County Housing Authority – Section 8 is an excellent way of finding tenants with most of the rent guaranteed by the US government and timely inspections done yearly. The benefits of renting to Section 8 tenants far outweigh the detriments. The landlord must follow all the procedures, rules and guidelines of the Section 8 process in order to comply with all the requirements.
1. Finding the tenant. Miami-Dade Housing Authority produces a list of available homes for rent in the Miami real estate area. The landlords can be added to the list so that all potential tenants can find available properties for rent. Be advised that Section 8 tenants do not have two months deposit plus the current month rent so you must be flexible.
2. Fill out the voucher. Each tenant has a voucher that must be filled out thoroughly and notarized. Any mistakes in the voucher will delay the process. The application will be rejected and all mistakes must be corrected. The Section 8 rental process begins once the voucher is delivered to the field office.
3. Survey. A property survey is conducted to insure that the rent requested is comparable to the rent charged in the Miami real estate area. The survey is a crucial step in the process. The landlord will receive a call from Miami-Dade Housing in the event the property does not pass the survey. The landlord will get the opportunity to lower the requested rent amount or cancel the contract.
4. Initial Inspection. According to the new guidelines the landlord gets only one chance to pass the initial Section 8 inspection. If the property does not pass the inspection the tenant must get another voucher and start the process again. The inspection consists of the following: no dead bolt locks, no exposed wiring, covered fixtures, weather tight doors, no dead bolt locks, no exposed wiring, covered fixtures, air conditioner must have heater, smoke alarms, electrical panel box, water heater, windows, bedroom must have a closet, windows must have screens, kitchen must have range hood over the stove, bathroom must have ventilator fan, all window bars must have openings, no scaling paint, no trash or junk vehicles in yard, among others.
5. Rent Increase. There is usually a yearly rent increase. The landlord must request the rent increase in writing two months before the lease is due and the re-certification is done. The maximum amount of rent increase is 8% unless a freeze is in effect for that year in the Miami real estate market. The landlord will not receive a rent increase if there are errors filling out the forms, or the forms are filled incorrectly or not turned in on time.
6. Yearly inspections. The property is inspected once a year by Section 8. You will receive a list of items that must be repaired, if any. It is specified if the tenant or the landlord is responsible to do the repairs in the list. You have 30 days to do all repairs and if you fail the second inspection the rent payments are stopped. The payments will resume after all repairs are completed. The payments are not retroactive. The rent will stop permanently if no repairs are made.
7. First Rent Check. The landlord must be prepared to wait for the first check to arrive in the mail. The first check can take up to five months to arrive. Section 8 has tried to speed up the process but has not corrected it yet. After the first check is received and the tenant is in the system all consequent checks are received every third day of the month in a timely manner.
The Miami real estate Section 8 rental process takes about a month to complete and the landlord must be diligent in following up and keeping track of the inspection, survey process. It is in the landlord’s best interest to follow all the procedures so that the property can be rented quickly in the Miami real estate market. The best thing to do is to go in person to the Section 8 office and find out the status of your property and potential tenant. Don’t assume that everything is fine. Miami Section 8 has an overwhelming number of tenants.
The process of renting to a Section 8 tenant is difficult and time consuming but definitely worth the effort. The tenant is not allowed to move into the property until the survey and inspection are done. Miami Housing Authority will not pay the rent if the tenant is allowed to move in prior to approval and no initial inspections are conducted while the tenant is occupying the property. Section 8 tenants are highly regulated and must confirm to very strict rules and regulations. Renting to Section 8 tenants is a viable alternative in today’s Miami real estate market.