Reasons to Break a Section 8 Lease

Moving

Under most circumstances, you may not move for the first 12 months after signing a Section 8 lease. You may only move once every 12 months if you want to keep receiving your Section 8 housing voucher. Contact your HUD representative if you want to move. Your HUD representative must pre-approve the move for you to continue receiving Section 8 benefits.

Owner Breach of Contract

If the landlord breaches the lease agreement, such as by not making required repairs or not accepting HUD's portion of the rent, HUD may terminate the lease on your behalf and you will be able to move without risking loss of benefits. If you cannot resolve a problem with a landlord, contact your HUD representative for help. HUD may be able to help you resolve the issue; it will allow you to move only as a last resort.

Divorce

If the family unit breaks up, HUD must determine which members of the family continue to receive assistance and whether they must continue to live in the current unit. HUD takes into account the best interest of family members who cannot take care of themselves, such as children and disabled individuals, as well as factors such as whether members must move due to domestic violence or whether the unit is still appropriate for the new family size. In addition, some divorce courts view Section 8 housing vouchers as property and give them to one member of the divorcing couple. HUD must accept this decree and give assistance to that member.

Risks

If you break your Section 8 lease for a non-approved reason or do not get HUD pre-approval for your move, you risk losing your Section 8 housing vouchers. If you are in danger due to domestic violence or substandard living conditions, get to safety before contacting your HUD representative.