How Section 8 Decides If Your Rent Is Reasonable

How Section 8 Decides If Your Rent Is Reasonable

South Carolina's average fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment in 2024 is $905. A studio costs $705, while a four-bedroom apartment costs $1,409. These numbers will vary depending on the area of an apartment and other factors like the vicinity of the downtown area.

The problem with fair market rent is that it doesn't always line up with what people make at their day jobs. Some people working minimum wage barely make enough to pay rent and buy groceries afterward. Section 8 is one way the government is helping those with limited income.

Here's how it works and how to know if you have reasonable rent.

How Section 8 Works

Section 8, previously known as the Housing Choice Voucher Program, is a program where the government pays a portion of a person's rent. It was created to help low-income individuals and families. You can receive payment for any property you wish to live in as long as it's approved by your local Public Housing Agency.

The landlord must choose to participate in this program, and they will rent to tenants who receive housing assistance. In turn, they keep the property up to code.

Tenants must pay a portion of their rent based on their income, and the PHA covers the rest.

As such, signing up for this program is a good way to attract new tenants who would otherwise be unable to afford rent.

What Is a Reasonable Rent?

Section 8 decides that rent is reasonable based largely on whether the landlord charges fair market rent. Fair market rent is determined by including the base rent and any essential utilities a tenant would have to pay.

If a landlord charges much more than other similar properties in their local housing market, it would not count as fair market rent. As such, they would not qualify for the government program or affordable housing.

Landlords can compare their listing with other local ones see to a get feeling for what they can charge. They should also consult with their local PHA.

Payout Limits

Despite Section 8 covering part of a tenant's rent, it does have certain limits.

To begin with, there are maximum household income limits that can't be met. If a renter makes more than this limit, then they won't be able to move into Section 8 rental properties.

In addition, a tenant is required to pay roughly 30 to 40 percent of their monthly income. They can't rely entirely on Section 8, and the amount going towards their rent will depend on the payment standard set by their local PHA.

A property management company can help track these changes and notify the landlord.

Find Section 8 Properties in Greenville

Section 8 is a great opportunity for landlords to gain new tenants and for financially struggling individuals to find a new home. As long as the landlord can prove they charge a reasonable rent, their property can qualify for the program.

PMI Accelerate can help if you're not sure whether or not your rental property meets the fair market rent. Our services cover both residential and commercial property management as well as realty services. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more.