Can You Evict A Sec 8 Tenant

Performance Property Real Estate Question

Q: I have a tenant that continually smokes cigarettes and has pets despite the fact that both are violations of the terms of his lease. The tenant is section 8, does that mean I can’t evict him? Fred, Bristol, PA

A: It’s in the best interest of a landlord to avoid eviction if possible. The first step I suggest you take (if you haven’t already) is notify the tenant in writing that smoking cigarettes and having a pet is a breach of his lease and grounds for eviction. The Section 8 rental assistance program gives tenants rent vouchers to help them afford housing, however, all tenants regardless of how they pay their rent are required to abide by the terms of the lease they sign. Landlords must abide by state and local laws governing evictions and the terms set forth in the lease they sign with a tenant. However, landlords can evict a section 8 tenant for violating a lease like any other tenant although the rules for section 8 evictions vary from state to state and place to place and there may be more procedural safeguards in the case of a Section 8 tenant. For example, when evicting a section 8 tenant, a landlord may be required to notify the housing authority in writing as well as the tenant about the eviction. Before you proceed, check with the housing authority as well as a local real estate attorney operating where your property is located. Thanks for your question, Fred.

For more real estate tips and information visit my blog at