Section 8 Eviction Explained

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A Section 8 eviction of a tenant receiving benefits under the program is different from a typical eviction. Primarily, the presence of the government and rules of the Section 8 program provide only a few grounds for evicting a tenant, making it more difficult. However, despite these difficulties and the presence of the government in the landlord-tenant relationship, it is possible to evict a Section 8 tenant.

The Party Initiating the Eviction

The landlord is responsible for evicting a tenant receiving benefits from the Section 8 program. Despite the fact that the government pays a portion of rent, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the local housing authority cannot have a tenant evicted from the landlord’s property. However, the housing authority must be notified of the eviction. Typically, this notification occurs by the landlord providing the housing authority a copy of the initial notice.

Laws Governing a Section 8 Eviction

In a Section 8 eviction the landlord must abide by state and local laws governing evictions and the terms set forth in the lease. Typically, this means that the tenant must receive written notice anywhere from sixty to ninety days prior to the impending eviction. Additionally, some states have created rules and procedures to follow in a Section 8 eviction. Commonly, these rules require notification that the landlord receives permission from the housing authority to proceed against the tenant. Failure to obtain housing authority’s permission, however, does not prevent the eviction action, but the landlord must then name the housing authority as a co-defendant with the tenant.

Non-Payment of Rent

A Section 8 tenant can be evicted for non-payment of the tenant portion of rent. In this instance, the housing authority must be notified of the impending eviction and that non-payment of the tenant’s rent obligation is the basis for eviction. If the tenant has failed to pay their portion of rent, the landlord must provide him with the option to pay the overdue rent. If the tenant still fails to pay within the stated time period, the landlord may then continue with the eviction.

Other Grounds for Eviction

Tenants participating in the Section 8 program can also be evicted for reasons other than non-payment of rent. Illegal use of the property, drug abuse or a conviction of one of the tenants for drug-related criminal activity are valid grounds for evicting a tenant. Failing to submit income verification forms, proof of United States citizenship and failure to make property repairs or breaking the terms of the lease are additional grounds for eviction. Finally, a tenant subject to lifetime registration as a sex offender can be evicted. In all of these situations, the tenant may lose their eligibility for benefits.

The Eviction Process

After the landlord notifies the housing authority of his intent to evict a Section 8 tenant and the period permitting the tenant to rectify the problems ends, the eviction action proceeds like any other eviction. The next step is for the landlord to file a court case, commonly called an “Unlawful Detainer Action.” If the tenant fails to respond to appear in court or otherwise respond to the action, the landlord may then remove the tenant’s belongings and change the locks on the apartment. In most states, the police and not the landlord removes the tenant’s possessions.

Despite the requirement of notifying the local housing authority, evicting a Section 8 tenant is the same as evicting any other tenant. In any eviction action, it is imperative for both parties to keep records of the actions leading to the eviction.

18 Responses to “Section 8 Eviction Explained”

  1. September 09, 2012 at 7:31 pm, DIANE Olsen said:

    I have a sticky situation that I need help with. I live in a Section 8/236/LowIncome/housing authority apartment complex. I am the “head of household” because I have paid all of the rent and bills since 12/2005 to present. I want this man out and off my lease. By the way, this tenant is the father of our two children and we are NOT married. How can I legally remove him from MY apartment??? His name was added to my lease in 08/2009. We are no longer together and it would be in the best interest of our children that he does move out!! Please help me bring peace to my family. Thank you for reading! And I hope to hear from you soon!!

    Diane OLSEN


  2. November 16, 2012 at 5:01 pm, ari said:

    since you are the head of the household. you have to go into your local hud office just like you do when you re certify. and tell them you are no longer together and they may help you especially if there is domestic violence involved. because technically anyone that comes of the lease, has to ”sign off” that they will no longer reside in the apartment and provide additional info such as new address and 2 bills as proof.


  3. January 28, 2013 at 10:44 am, Stacey F said:

    Tenant has been living in my rental property; she has paid her portion of the rent, however Section 8 has not paid their portion. Tenant has moved in and was approved to move in January 3, 2013. I also, have not received any notification that additional information is needed, so I’m at a loss. I’ve contacted the caseworker and spoke to a PHA supervisor, was told everything looks like its in order but I have still not received payment for the month of January, mortgage is due and will be late because of there delay. Are they responsible for late pay charges? If not who is because they did approve for the tenant to move in January 2, 2013.

    My question is can a tenant be evicted because the government hasn’t paid there portion of the rent?


    • January 11, 2017 at 8:54 am, Samantha Murillo said:

      What about in Texas? Housing had approved the rental increase of the rent and they had send out an approval letter. After several month of paying they send a letter that they had over paid but, in reality they had not approved the new rent and never send me notification other wise. They are aware they made a mistake and have finally approved it. It's been 3 months and I have not yet received payment from them. What can I do? I have left several messages for the supervisor to contact me and emailed the case worker and have not received a call back. Please advice.


  4. March 11, 2013 at 11:54 pm, Stella said:

    In California you cannot evict a Section 8 tenant if the Government fails to pay their part.


  5. June 18, 2013 at 5:50 pm, David said:

    I am a landlord for a 3 flat building in Chicago.
    1 of our tenants is a member of the CHA, and we are paid her rent through the city monthly. She is on her 2nd lease with us. Her lease was up on May 31, 2013, and she sent us a text asking if she could stay through Mid June for her sons graduation. We spoke to the CHA and they told us they would continue to pay rent until they received her moving papers.
    It is now June 18, and the tenant contacted us today saying she will not leave, and we have already resigned her lease to another person for a July 1 move in date.
    She has told us repeatedly she was NOT resigning her lease with us. We got her permission to show the apartment, and we told her a month ago that we found someone who was interested, but they would wait to move in July 1 since we allowed her to stay an additional month.

    Do we have any options to get her out? She is not planning on staying a full year, and now she is just being difficult because she knows we found a new tenant.

    Can you please let me know if we have any rights in this situation, or the best way to go about this?


  6. October 08, 2016 at 1:44 pm, Mikhail said:

    where to find a good and not very expensive lower for unlawful eviction case in San Diego


  7. October 29, 2016 at 3:34 am, Dale Puisys said:

    I am so heart broken as I am a good tenant always paid rent on time paid my bills and no trouble , my lease can up the landlord of the big aptment building raised my rent up 75.00 and section eight won't pay this raise so now I have 2. Weeks to find affordable housing ,and I can't find anything, this apt complex is supposed to be affordable for section eight voucher holders they are supposed to have so many apts for section eight I'm on section eight I've been here three years and now if I don't leave I will be evicted , I am thinking of fighting this what will happen if I loose , and what if I win will I be able to stay ,nervous wreck I able on ssi I have very bad anxiety and high blood pressure which this is rally making me sick everyday please help me with some advice thankyou


  8. November 02, 2016 at 3:02 am, Mary Beth Sweet said:

    Ive been on section8 for 23 years. Never a violation. I recieved a 60 day noitce to move. No explanation. I and landlord got into a argument on oct 10. I called him a name because he is so mean and nasty. Ive lived there for 3.5 years. 10 days later i recieved eviction. He gave no reason for the eviction. However he told housing a that the police had been called to my place and they removed my daughter. A complete and total lie!!! Can i sue for defamation. And illegal eviction. Also. He allows felonious men to live here and doesn't notify us the tenants as to thier crimes and if we want them there. They intimidate us the tenants as well as scare us. The Jewish Family Services are the ones doing this with our landlord. They are placed with disabled senior citizens. Can they do this to us as tenants.?


  9. November 03, 2016 at 8:15 am, Henry said:

    Which SPECIFIC state and locals laws facilitate the 60 to 90 eviction?


  10. December 23, 2016 at 11:05 pm, Janelle said:

    Ive been on section 8 in the house ive been in for five years….. At first i was on a year least after that if i stay in the unit for more than a year it would become month to month….. Its going going on six years ive been in this house … Well the beginning of the year my landlord didnt keep up the payments on the house im in so the bank took it….. From my understanding the bank told me earlier this year that everything was going to stay the same even though the old landord dont own the property. .. I had an inspections last month in November it past …. Starting December now the property manager now harassing me talking about i have investors that wont to look at the house i dont have a problem with anybody looking at the house but i do live there and my things are in there so i ask her do i need to find some were to move or do i need to start looking she implied no thats not the case here…. Sense i let the first investors in now she just making appointment to have people come into my home and im still paying rent and livimg there with my three kids…. So this past monday she had some man stop bye the property and tap a pieace of papar on the door saying that she have made an appointment for another investor to come and look at the property that Wednesday giving me less than 48 hours and that will be there at 10 am.. So i told her no its Christmas time i have family gathering going on and that would not work at the time…. Now here it is Friday and i guess she mad cause i wouldn't let the investor come Wednesday now she saying i have less than 30 days to vacate the property on grounds that they will not be renewed the lease and that i have 30 days to leave and if i dont she will start a eviction. …My question is are she aloud to just put me out and ive been in this house 5 going on six years…


  11. January 04, 2017 at 11:04 pm, Belinda Ray said:

    I on section 8 and I got this letter from the apartment manager stating that I have until February 28 2017 to move because my lease is up. I've been living there for 4 years and I always renew my lease. I went to the office and tells me that it has nothing to do with me it's just that they don't take section 8 anymore. But they been stop taking new section 8 customers 3 years ago. I need to know is it legal for them to do this because I just had my yearly review on 12/28/16. I ask her did section 8 know about this and she kinda look looked in the air and said she told them last week. She lying. What can I do about this because I don't want to move


    • February 14, 2017 at 8:41 am, Maria Mendosa said:

      > It is illegal for a landlord or manager to tell you they don't take section 8 anymore. I don't care what there reason is but to flat out tell you they can't have you as a tenant because your poor and perticipate under the section 8 program is illegal file a complaint with HUD immediatly. I did that one time years ago and received over $3000 for damages because some idiot landlord told me that.


  12. January 05, 2017 at 3:38 am, Abigail R said:

    I got a notice of non payment saying that I have to move out shortly I paid all my rent since the last year . They gave no notice of rent being late I have checked with them a few times and they never said they didnt receive payment I am at a loss I have 2 small children I am a section 8 tenant where are my rights to right this?


  13. January 07, 2017 at 2:25 pm, Landlord said:

    I have a rental with a tenant on HUD here in Ca. The money arrives on time from hud, however the tenant has not paid ANY rent since day one. She is going on her 5th month. Apparently she thinks it will take at least another 6 mo. Just to evict her. She is illegally scamming the govt. And me as a landlord. How can I get her out quickly without losing any more money? I will be applying all rent that was due and taking it from her initial security deposit. I even waived a cleaning fee and let her move in early! This is just very very lowlife of her and wrong!


  14. January 11, 2017 at 10:24 pm, Adrienne said:

    I have city of los Angeles section 8 my landlord gave me a 90days notice to move with than the 90days it was very hard looking for a place i found a place but i wany be able to move until the tenant move out the unit in form my Landlord now she file unlawful detrainer now i have to respond in 5days i am pregnant and have disable children can i please get some advice


  15. February 09, 2017 at 5:55 pm, Susanna said:

    I'm on Section 8 and my landlord is kicking me out for calling the police on a drug dealing, gun dealing squatter who breaks into other tenant's units, stole my medications a number of times plus my tablet designed to be used for my disability, my phone, also modified for my disability, and money. What I didn't realize is that I've been complaining for 2 years about this guy, and they did nothing. Now I find out they OWN a gun shop and have been indicted and convicted several times for gun smuggling and illegal arms sales. So it seems the reason they were so upset when I finally had this guy removed by the police, is because THEY are his suppliers for both the guns AND the drugs! Now they sent a letter to section 8 accusing ME of using drugs and letting this guy into MY apartment!!! They are so dirty and vindictive, I am disabled and well known for my kindness and generosity to total stranges because I feed others even when I have barely enough to feed myself! I'm not sure what to do, other than that I wrote a long email to my section 8 caseworker and her supervisor telling them My side of the story. Any other advice??


  16. February 13, 2017 at 9:22 am, Robin B Brown said:

    Hello my name is robin brown I'm on section8 and I'm evictioned for a problem that didn't have nothing to do with me it was a fight that happen in my apartment complex but not in the building where I stay at but all because it was my family members I got fault for it and my landlord gave me a eviction how can I fight thi


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