The Housing Authority's Section 8 Policies on Termination

Housing agencies across the country that administer HUD's Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program must create a Section 8 Administrative Plan, which outlines the rules that govern their respective programs. While these plans can take local conditions into account, the Code of Federal Regulations generally informs their content. All housing authorities must spell out policies dealing with the termination of a Section 8 tenancy.


Good Cause

Section 8 landlords can terminate the tenancy of a tenant who receives Section 8 benefits on the basis of "good cause." The Code of Federal Regulations highlights "serious" and "repeated" violations of the lease agreement and "violation of federal, State, or local law" that interferes with the assisted tenancy as primary examples of good cause. Other instances of good cause include a family's refusal to accept a new or revised lease or the owner's intention to use the assisted unit for personal or family reasons. If noted in the lease as possible grounds, an owner can terminate a Section 8 tenancy if a household member engages in criminal activity.


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Notice and Evictions

In most cases, landlords will need to go through the courts to secure an eviction if they wish to terminate a Section 8 tenancy. In most states, a landlord can ask a tenant to move; however, if the tenant refuses, the landlord must turn to the courts. The Code of Federal Regulations requires Section 8 owners to abide by State and local law when seeking an eviction. The landlord must serve proper notice and copy the housing agency that oversees the assisted tenancy on all official notices.


PHA Termination

The Code of Federal Regulations allows local housing agencies to refuse or terminate assistance for Section 8 applicants and recipients on several grounds. Housing agencies can follow up on an owner's lawful decision to terminate by doing the same. If a family fails to properly comply with Section 8 protocols, a housing agency can refuse or terminate benefits. For example, termination can result from a family's refusal to submit the required documents to verify citizenship or eligible immigration status as well as income and household size.


Drugs and Criminal Activity

Housing agencies must deny admission to the Section 8 program for several criminal offenses, including drug activity. In terms of termination, housing agencies have the right to terminate if any household member currently engages in drug use or related criminal activity. The Code of Federal Regulations requires housing agencies to terminate assistance if any household member receives a conviction for drug-related criminal activity.