Section 8 and Los Angeles Rent Control

section 8 and rent control

Many clients ask me if they can evict Section 8 tenants. Are they different from normal tenants under rent control law?  Yes and no; let me explain.

First, what’s a Section 8 tenant? “Section 8” is the common name for the Housing Choice Voucher program, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Basically, it provides substantial rental assistance for some low-income tenants. The craziest contract I’ve personally seen was a tenant paying $4 / month for a $1,040 unit.

When it comes to eviction, you have to separate the Section 8 contract from the Section 8 tenant.  You can cancel the Section 8 contract with 90 days notice, but the Section 8 tenant has the same rent control rights that anyone else does – and even more.  DO NOT cancel the Section 8 contract.  Once you do, the tenant is now only responsible to pay you the smaller portion of the rent that he was paying.

That said, Section 8 benefits you in one way. If you pay the tenant to relocate, that tenant can be assured that the amount of rent that he pays remains the same when he moves into a new, Section 8-approved unit. His Section 8 status moves with him. The tenant pays the same amount for the new place and the government pays the price hike.

The bottom line is that out of all the tenants you’ll want to relocate, Section 8 tenants have the most incentive to do it peacefully. They won’t pay more for a new place; they’ll simply get a hefty chunk of cash to deal with the annoying hassle of moving.

Leave a Reply