No, the Section 8 program does not cover the security deposit, broker fee, or any upfront rent required of a tenant. So, if the landlord or management company leasing the apartment requires a security deposit, program applicants must pay it out of pocket. Luckily, some landlords who accept Section 8 do not require a deposit because they know the program does not cover it. However, you’ll need to do your research to find a landlord willing to accept this arrangement.
- Ask for Referrals from the Housing Authority
- Try to get Referrals from Other Section 8 Tenants
- Do a Google Search for No Security Deposit Apartments
- Apply for Financial Assistance to Cover the Deposit
- Negotiate With the Landlord
1. Ask for Referrals from the Housing Authority
The best place to find information about anything related to Section 8 is likely your local housing authority. They likely have a list of local landlords who accept Section 8 and may be able to tell you which ones require a security deposit. If you need help negotiating, they will be a great resource because they will know the local laws regarding Section 8 – for instance, landlords are not permitted to charge Section 8 tenants a higher security deposit than regular market tenants, meaning it should not exceed one month’s rent.
2. Ask for Referrals from Other Section 8 Tenants
Another good source of information on where to find no-deposit landlords is other Section 8 tenants. If you know any other families or individuals using the Section 8 program, contact them to see if their landlord requires a security deposit. Even if they can’t help, perhaps they know someone else in the program who was accepted with no deposit.
3. Do a Google Search for No Security Deposit Apartments
If you can’t find any viable referrals, one option is to try searching it on Google and see what comes up. Search for “no deposit” rentals or “section 8 houses no security deposit” and see what you can find in your city. You may or may not find any results, but if you can find the contact information of any landlords or property management companies that accept Section 8, you may be on the right track.
4. Apply for Financial Assistance to Cover the Deposit
If you’re struggling to find landlords who don’t require a security deposit, one option is to seek financial assistance to pay the deposit. There may be local charities and non-profit agencies in your area that assist families that are struggling financially. You may be able to find community action agencies that offer grants to help pay for all or at least a portion of the security deposit. Other organizations like the Salvation Army and Volunteers of America also offer loans that can be used to pay the Section 8 deposit, although you’ll eventually have to pay the money back.
5. Negotiate with the Landlord
You can always try negotiating directly with the landlord when all else fails. If you’re renting from a private landlord as opposed to a large corporate company, you may be able to reason with them and convince them that they don’t need a security deposit. If you have a proven track record of financial responsibility and taking care of your residence, present this to the landlord and promise to pay your rent on time and avoid damaging the unit. This tactic may not work with every landlord. However, if they need a tenant quickly, and you can prove that you are responsible and considerate, they may be willing to waive the security deposit.
Even though the Section 8 program does not cover your security deposit, that doesn’t mean you necessarily have to pay it out of pocket. Some landlords are willing to waive the deposit for Section 8 tenants, but you’ll likely have to do extensive research and prepare to negotiate.