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What are the Room Requirements For Section 8 Tenants

Property Management Blog

We know many of you have, or will have, buildings with Section 8 tenants. We thought it would be helpful if we shared the room requirements (for both bedrooms and rooms in general) for a home/unit occupied by a Section 8 tenant.  There is a lot more required to be approved, however, these are some requirements that you need to consider when looking for or rehabbing properties.  Please click on the link at the bottom of this email which will take you directly to a Section 8 inspection checklist. 

Section 8 Bedroom Requirements 

Many owners will estimate their potential rent based on the amount of bedrooms in a home, and because of this, it is important to make sure all of your bedrooms qualify as a bedroom under section 8 guidelines. The guidelines are as follows:

  • Each bedroom must have a window that opens to the exterior of the building. Exception: Bedroom windows can lead to an enclosed porch as long as the porch has a window that opens to the exterior.

  • There must be at least two working outlets, or one working outlet and one working light fixture, in each bedroom.

  • Each bedroom must have a minimum of 70 square feet of floor space

  • Each bedroom must have at least 53 square feet of the ceiling with a height of 7 feet or above

  • Bedrooms in basements or attics must have finished ceilings. In addition, for ceiling height requirements, the floor-to-ceiling height will be measured to the bottom of exposed joists or beams. 

  • Carbon monoxide detector must be located within 15 feet of any room used for sleeping purposes. 

  • Smoke detectors must be present and working within 15 feet of any room used for sleeping purposes.

  • If mounted on the wall, the top of the detector cannot be more than 12 inches from the highest point of the ceiling. 

  • If mounted on the ceiling, the detector can be placed anywhere on the ceiling.

  • Smoke detectors cannot be mounted under a soffit.

  • Smoke detectors installed on open joist ceilings must be mounted flat on the bottom of a joist but cannot be mounted inside the joist space.

OTHER ROOMS

Here is some information on the rest of the rooms within a house that Section 8 will account for:

  • There must be a window present that opens to the exterior.

  • There must be least two working outlets, or one working outlet and one working light fixture

  • Carbon monoxide detector must be located within 15 feet of any room used for sleeping purposes.

  • Smoke detectors must be present and working within 15 feet of any room used for sleeping purposes.

  • If mounted on the wall, the top of the detector cannot be more than 12 inches from the highest point of the ceiling.

  • If mounted on the ceiling, the detector can be placed anywhere on the ceiling.

  • Smoke detectors cannot be mounted under a soffit.

  • Smoke detectors installed on open joist ceilings must be mounted flat on the bottom of a joist but cannot be mounted inside the joist space.

  • No ceiling height or size requirement.

To learn more about the entire Section 8 process which includes all of the pros and cons of this investment strategy, please use the link below to set up a time to talk.  GC Realty & Development has learned all of the ins and outs of being a section 8 landlord over the years,  especially about how to deal with the challenging Chicago Housing Authority(CHA).

You may also find these other great resources helpful: 


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