If you are a landlord and are thinking of turning one of your homes into a section 8 house, there are some things that need to be taken into consideration. Preparing a home for section 8 can be strict and costly. You have to basically make the home you own into a new house. The first thing that is done is looking at the condition of the home.
Section 8 inspectors look for the most minute thing. They will walk through the home with a tester that plugs into three-prong sockets. The tester will show if the socket is grounded correctly and if it is wired correctly. If it shows no ground on the test, the inspector will stop with the inspection and fail you. Most older homes have the regular two-prong socket.
Under their rules, you cannot have a three-prong socket on a two-wire system. The socket must be changed back to a two-prong. A person will then have to use one of those gray adapters. The holes left from nails in the walls when a person hangs photos have to be filled in either with joint compound or some type of glue. Large holes in the walls will have to be repaired with new sheet rock.
If there are any socket plates or switch plates missing, replace them with new ones. Replace light bulbs that are burned out or if a light socket is missing a bulb. Anywhere on the outside of the house that has chipped paint will need touch ups. This can range from wood showing on a wooden garage door to the porch pole. The inspector will check all windows and screens.
You must replace any window that has even the smallest crack. The inspector will raise all the windows to see if they stay up. The manual that is given to a first-time Section 8 landlord does not give a specific height of the window. The inspector will raise the window up to three inches. If the window does not stay up at three inches, it will be marked as fail.
Windows that are sticky need to be repaired to where they open easy. It is a safety issue. It helps in case there is a fire. A person can escape through that window if it does not stick. The inspector will perform door tests. All doors have to open and close easily. Doors cannot be loose or have writing on them.
If a door has writing on it, the writing needs to be painted over. If a door has a hole in it, patch the door if possible and paint. The floor cannot have deep scratches or writing on it either. If there are any loose trim boards on the floor or around doors, secure them with nails or screws. Replace any ceramic tiles that have cracks.
The inspector will also check any cabinet doors for loose screws and if the door closes and opens properly. Older homes will develop cracks in the ceiling and walls. If the cracks are up to an 1/8 of an inch in width, joint compound is a good material to use. Just like the nail holes the compound can be used on the cracks. You may have to do a little sanding after the compound dries.
Gutters have to be cleaned and secured. Loose gutters will cause a fail in inspection. The inspector will also look for clogged vents that go around the foundation of the home. If a vent has holes that are big enough for rodents, he will mark that down as a fail. The toilet will have a few tests done.
Grabbing the toilet to see if it is loose is one test. The same type of test is done on the faucets on all sinks and tubs. If there are signs of leaking from the toilet to the sinks, those are fails. You have a few chances to get the home correct. When the inspector comes back, they will mainly check things they did not check on the previous inspections.
What happens next
Once the home passes inspection, the tenants on the program can now move in. If anything breaks, you cannot drag your feet on repairs. The repairs are performed within three days after the report is filed. If feet are dragged, the landlord is in danger of being disqualified and the family will pay more for rent. The program is for low income families. The occupants pay a fraction of the rent. The section 8 people pay the majority.