In the United States, some low-income people receive a housing benefit in the form of housing choice vouchers, more commonly known as Section 8. Section 8 is a federal program funded by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and provides local public housing authorities (PHAs) with vouchers that can be applied to a tenant's rent payments to a private landlord. Tenants in Section 8 housing must be evicted using the same procedure as any other tenant, which typically includes a court hearing. However, because the PHA is paying part of a Section 8 tenant's rent, the PHA may become a party to the eviction. For example, if a landlord in New York City wants to evict a Section 8 tenant because the tenant hasn't paid his rent or his rent, the landlord must notify the local PHA prior to filing for an eviction.
Although landlords who accept Section 8 vouchers are generally permitted to run their landlord business as they see fit and may evict troublesome or non-paying tenants, local PHA rules can affect the way a Section 8 eviction is handled. These rules may dictate valid grounds for a Section 8 eviction, the amount of advance notice that a tenant must be given, as well as any special paperwork that must be completed.
Housing eviction in the United States is usually a matter of state and local law. These laws establish the grounds needed to evict a tenant and the process that must be followed for the eviction to be legal. Tenants who are concerned about losing their homes can usually approach their PHA for Section 8 eviction advice. The PHA may be able to provide eviction mediation services that can help both landlord and tenant avoid going to court. The PHA may also be able to intervene with a landlord who is threatening an illegal eviction.
If a landlord is concerned about evicting a Section 8 tenant, he or she may want to consult an attorney who is familiar with Section 8 eviction. Evictions can be complex proceedings, and understanding the nuances of a Section 8 eviction may be difficult for both landlords and lawyers. In some cases, a landlord may have limited grounds to choose from when trying to evict a Section 8 tenant, and an experienced eviction lawyer can assist the landlord in proving his or her case. The PHA may also require that a landlord give a tenant significant advance notice of plans to file for eviction, and again the attorney may be helpful in helping the landlord document his or her compliance with this rule.